There are two kinds of motorcycle buyers: those who are experienced riders, have done their homework and know exactly what bike they want to buy and those who are new to two-wheels and have little to no knowledge of all of the options and intricacies available to them. There are similarities with career choices: there are those who have had a firm idea of what they wanted to do since they were in school, many of whom pursued professional paths, and those who have worked jobs without ever knowing what they really want to do in life.
Many riders purchase their first bike much like people fall in love: they become infatuated with superficial characteristics and once down the path of what should have been biker bliss turns into disappointment. Others fall to peer pressure and choose a motorcycle because it’s the same one their friends ride only to find out down the road that their decision was wrong for their particular riding needs.
The decision to buy a first bike is often a public process. People who already ride are always more than happy to give advice and recommendations. Unfortunately, much of this well-intended advice comes from particular bike owner perspectives as opposed to considering what’s best for the novice rider. In much the same way, parents, teachers, coaches, and a range of well-meaning authority figures are more than willing to give their advice on what career they think is best for young adults starting out. Oftentimes, these adults play a direct role in the career path a person chooses without regard to what the individual’s needs are.
The absolute best way to buy a motorcycle, especially if you’re a beginner and overwhelmed by the options and terminology, is to do your homework and take test rides so you can make an informed decision about what motorcycle is best for you. The same goes for choosing a career out of school or reinventing a career later on in life.
The job search process involves such important components as writing a résumé, crafting a cover letter, preparing for an interview and learning how to negotiate compensation. But, none of those are first steps. The real decision that has to be made before all the other work is done is: “What do YOU want from YOUR career?” Before you even start creating the ideal résumé you have to know YOU as best you can and plan for YOUR ideal career. If you want your career and life to shine as bright as a 100-watt bulb, don’t screw a 60-watt bulb into the socket. Go for the most “what-age” by asking yourself:
- What really engages you and motivates you to do your best work?
- What are your strongest skills and the ones that you’re most proud of and satisfied using?
- What field do you find the most appealing to work in?
- What kind of co-workers will enable you to do your best work?
- What kind of physical space are you most comfortable in?
- What values will you not compromise in any work situation?
- What is your underlying career purpose?
- What is your compensation value in the marketplace?
- What part of the world do you want to work in?
- What do you want your ideal life to look like?
Only by digging deep and answering these questions honestly and confidently can you start to reflect this in your career research, job search and, then and only then, your résumé . And, you don’t just ask yourself these questions once at the beginning of your career. Continue challenging yourself throughout your career to be sure you’re on the best job trajectory for your changing needs; just like your first bike might be a used one that you ride for a year then trade up or go for a different model that satisfies your evolving riding skills.
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