The Women's Journal

Find Your Path – Maximize Your Potential For Teens & Adults

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pip nc jas17 Liz Brown
Liz Brown, Be Well Life Coaching

One of the main indicators of life satisfaction is engaging in a role that provides meaning and purpose. Whether it is in a job, career or college major, when people don’t find meaning in their mission, the resulting dissatisfaction generally spills over into other areas like relationships, health, finances and home life. Often people feel stuck if they are on a career path or in a college major that they are not enjoying or does not use their strengths. Although they feel stuck, it’s not always easy to identify what would be a better fit. In addition, college students often waste time and money because they are unclear with what they want to do.

There are several reasons people end up in the wrong job or in the wrong major. Perhaps they feel like they “should” do something because family members want them to or it is something they can do whether you like it or not. Another reason is the job or future job pays well. This reason is fine if you aren’t making your life miserable doing something that is not a good fit.

Fortunately, there are ways to overcome these challenges and find the path to what will best utilize your potential. One way to find a good fit is to assess your personality, interests, skills and values.

Why Consider Personality

Personality can be described as a combination of your natural tendencies and how you are motivated to act. Why does that matter when seeking a career? Here are two examples. If your personality is non-confrontational, a job that demands you to confront others is going to be challenging for your natural tendency. Another example is if you are naturally innovative, a job that requires strict compliance to set rules might be a poor fit.

Interests are a Key Factor

We all have interests and finding a role that utilizes at least some of our interests will be more fulfilling. While some of our interests might be clearly hobbies, others might be part of your career or even your entire career. For example, if you are interested in writing, it could be a hobby of journaling, a part of your career like writing reports or you could be a writer, blogger, journalist.

Build on Your Strengths or Skills

When choosing a path, there are two main reasons for building on your strengths or what you naturally do well. First, it will help you maximize your potential because you will learn faster and achieve more with the same amount of effort. For example, for a career in sports, a person who is naturally athletic will have a far easier time maximizing potential than a non-athletic person. The same can be said for any skill such as mechanical, artistic, mathematical, organizational to name a few. The second reason is it is more enjoyable to use strengths and generally we feel more fulfilled and less stressed when we are doing what we are naturally suited to do. Of course, anyone can gain skill in any area but utilizing natural strengths will be more productive.

Values are Critical

Even if a career path fits your strengths, personality and interests, if the values of the organization are not in line with your own, you might not be happy in that job. For example, if you are in a job that requires 70 hours of work each week and you value family, this might not be a great fit. Or if you value high income and career progression and are working in an hourly position, you might be frustrated even if you are interested in what you do, have strengths in that area and it fits your personality.

Find the Right Path

There are a few ways to figure out what is best in terms of the right combination of personality, interests, strengths and values. One way is to do an objective assessment to determine where you fall in each category. A good assessment can provide clarity and save time and frustration. Another method is through self-analysis of each of the four areas. This can be a bit more challenging but is effective for those who feel clear about their strengths and values. A life coach can help put the pieces together through assessment, analysis and action steps toward change.


Liz Brown PCC is a Professional Certified Life Coach and Owner of Be Well Life Coaching. She is one of 1000 coaches internationally with the National Board Certification in Health and Wellness Coaching. In addition, she holds national certifications in ADHD Coaching, Recovery Coaching for Teens and Adults and is a Certified Career Direct Coach. At Be Well, Liz helps clients turn their personal and professional dreams, goals and visions into reality.  


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