How to match yourself to the right career

How to match yourself to the right career

(Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash)

A career that you love is really one that is authentic to who you are as a human being. It is in alignment with your interests, your talents, your skill set, and your potential in terms of how you are growing.

To match yourself to the right career path, you need to gather relevant data to determine your set of skills, interests, and competencies. One way of doing this is to compile a combination of keywords to guide you in the right direction.

How to Gather the Data

  • Self-reflection (interviewing yourself). Use high-quality self-reflection questions and exercises to determine what it is you are good at and passionate about. Schedule a time where you can work through these questions uninterrupted. This self-reflection session could focus on questions like: 
    • What do others ask me for advice on?
    • What am I asked to train other people on?
    • What was one of my favourite days at work; what was I doing that day?
    • What would my past managers or my current manager say I’m not particularly good at?
    • When do I feel most unlike myself at work? What was I doing then?
    • What do I really hate doing; what drains me?
    • What are the things I can improve on?
  • Feedback (references) from people that are closest to you. Create a focus group from past managers or team leaders, senior colleagues, and people that have worked with you on projects. Get about 5-7 people from who you can get feedback, but do not include more than two that are family or friends.  
    • Prepare the questions beforehand: similar to the above self-reflection questions.
    • Make it easy for your focus group to answer and be honest with you, and so provide high-quality feedback.
  • Psychometric assessments. These assessments should be administered by a trained, qualified professional. This is one of the invaluable services provided by Dynamic Talent – contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

These exercises will provide you with useful information and keywords that you can use to carry out research on the types of roles for which you are best suited.

Role Research

Role research is looking at roles that exist, which best suit your core grouping of skills and activities. The best places to do role research are search engines such as Google, and work-focused social platforms like LinkedIn.

What you will be doing now is called a Boolean Search

A Boolean search is a type of search that allows users to combine keywords with operators (or modifiers) such as AND, NOT and OR to further produce more relevant results. For example, a Boolean search could be "hotel" AND "New York". This would limit the search results to only those documents containing the two keywords. See or Google ‘Boolean Search’ for how this works.

Recommended Reading: Boolean expression.

For example, if ‘coaching’ and ‘graphic design’ came up as activities you like during your data gathering exercises, search for job descriptions that contain both these keywords. Type the following into the Google search bar:

coaching AND graphic design AND job description

LinkedIn search

LinkedIn has search criteria for both job roles and people. For example, you can search for people that have both ‘coaching’ and ‘graphic design’ on their profile. Who are they? What do they do? Furthermore, you can limit this to your location, e.g. Johannesburg, London or wherever.

On LinkedIn, you can see what people are actually doing with similar combinations of skills, and how they got there. This starts to give you insight into:

  • People you can potentially connect with, who could become mentors, or who may be willing to introduce you to companies to help you along your career path. 
  • How they got there: what qualifications do they have, what experience they have, what courses have they done?

From there, you would do a gap analysis. This looks at what you need to do, and with who you need to connect, to get to the role where you want to be.

Set SMART goals to help you to this

Make sure your goals are SMART to make it easier for you to reach them. Are your goals Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely?

Plot your career path

You can start applying these tips from today, to help you plot your career path. If you need help, our in-house psychologist can assist you along every step of the way.

  • R750 for 2 career coaching sessions. 
  • R1300 for a career assessment report.

Connect with us at helThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.