Before we start, please grab a piece of A4 paper, a writing pad, a pen, and a highlighter.
Now draw a line down the middle of the page and write on the top left-hand side “Enjoyment” and on the right-hand side “Dislike”.
Moving forward, please think about every hobby you have ever tried, had an interest in or tried and disliked since childhood (let’s start from 6 years of age inclusive) and write the corresponding hobby in the Enjoyment or Dislike column. It is important that you do not stop, think and analyse every entry. Just let it flow.
Upon undertaking this exercise, you may repeat yourself a few times – this is OK. Don’t pay too much attention to this yet.
So now you have completed both the Enjoyment and Dislike columns, I want you to leave the list alone and go and have a 10-15 minute coffee break and return to it.
Welcome back; now I want you to take 10 minutes to review and analyse the lists.
- What are the common themes that seem to be repeating themselves?
- Can you group the common themes together, for example, Sports, Animals, Collections, Home-making, Art, etc?
You may wish to use your highlighter to highlight the areas that keep repeating themselves.
So what did you find? What are your top 3 groups?
Your top 3 key groups (Enjoyment and Dislike) are strong indicators of your preference.
Now review and analysis of your top 3 key groups. Can you identify any key sub-themes, for example? If you loved playing sports, common themes may include: –
- Outdoor Activity
- Team Work
- Social Interaction
- Commitment & Discipline
- Communication Skills
So, how does this apply to my Career?
Think about it – Do you want to sit in an office all day by yourself with minimal contact with clients or colleagues, or would you prefer a job that saw you out and about, for example, a sales representative, outdoor motivational trainer, personal trainer, trades professional, etc.?
Finally, remember to analyse your disinterest side, as the common themes here will give you a clear picture of what you do not like and what to avoid. This is particularly helpful if you are going to review job advertisements, job guides and descriptions as it allows you to analyse what percentage of the role incorporates these areas of disinterest and will enable you to question yourself, for example, can you cope with this area as a part of the position or is this area a non-negotiable aspect for you? Only you can answer this!
Remember to be truthful with yourself, for you are only fooling yourself if you are not.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR (2010 Version)
Katherine is the Founder of Blu Ripples, a Counselling practice in Sydney, NSW.
Initially commencing in 2003 as HR Aspects (Career Consulting Practice), Katherine rebranded her business to Blu Ripples in 2009 to incorporate Personal, Career and Workplace Counselling Services into her practice.
Katherine is a nationally registered Counsellor and a current Member of the Australian Counselling Association.
Before commencing her private practice in 2003, Katherine predominantly worked in Human Resources and Administration.
© 2010 - Katherine Foster T/as Blu Ripples
Updated 19 Oct 2023; Originally Posted 1 Oct 2010
Katherine's Photograph: 2023