What Is a Career Vector and How Do You Plan One for Fulfilling Work?
Elena Bogdanova, career coach and self-development specialist, explains how the combination of skills, experience, interests, and values impact your career vector.
In this article
Anyone who strives for professional fulfillment and wants to become successful moves within their career vector.
A career vector is the direction of professional development, and the achievement of professional goals, based on a combination of skills, experience, interests, and values. For a person to feel successful and fulfilled in their profession, these four components must be synthesized.
In my work, I often deal with an interesting problem — people who chose a field based on someone else's ideal career picture or rumors of financial opportunities in that field.
For example, not everyone needs to work in tech, especially if they do not have natural abilities for it. If you choose to do so despite a lack of abilities, you can struggle for a long time, trying to force yourself to master something you have no interest in, which can lead to burnout.
When choosing a career path, people often ignore their personal qualities and superpowers that could be more beneficially applied in a different field.
How can you explore the elements necessary to build your own career vector? How can you learn where to develop?
Skills are the first important point to be analyzed. Answer one simple question in as much detail as you can: what can I do?
Consider your professional experience and also your personal skills. For example, if you can dance well, sing, or perform in public, all of these can be monetized in a professional sphere.
It's also important to analyze your experience and conduct a deep audit of the life stages you've been through.
As with the inventory of your skills, you should consider both professional and personal experience. If you have been involved in charitable activities and have spoken in front of large audiences, for example, that's experience. Yes, it's a non-commercial experience, but it counts.
The next component is interests. What is interesting to you? What do you like to do? What field attracts you?
Not just a field where there's money to be made, but a field that you have a genuine interest in. Some people get great satisfaction from solving complex mathematical tasks or performing logical, analytical operations, while others find joy in creating graphics.
Here, you should honestly answer the questions: "What do I truly enjoy, and what am I interested in?" Is the answer to that question production, information technology, the real business sector, or one of the creative professions?
An important step in building a career path is values. What is important to you in life? Why do you do things in a particular way? How do you make decisions? What motivates you to get up in the morning?
These are values that generate your motivation to act.
I don't believe that laziness or procrastination exist. From my personal experience and from client cases I have been involved with, I see a lack of motivation where values are overlooked, and someone’s professional activity is inconsistent with what is subconsciously important to them.
Some people strive for a harmonious life in which their career and family coexist seamlessly. Others want to build a career in an international company and are willing to give up their personal life and everything outside of work to achieve this goal and attain a high position. Some people want their job to be stable, creating a sense of security, while others are interested in solving very complex tasks and constantly facing challenges.
Values are inherent in any activity, both professional and personal.
When developing a career vector, it's important to consider all four individual components. After auditing them, and synthesizing them, you form the vector of a successful career. And the position that you chose will allow you to fully demonstrate your skills, experience, and values.
Once you have the overall picture, what does it look like? What thoughts arise when you see this unified picture? Knowing this will help you determine the direction in which you should move.
You will gain a clearer understanding of the field and the tasks you are capable of and would enjoy addressing due to your personality and your constellation of characteristics.
This is what the algorithm looks like for conducting the search for a suitable profession and how to independently chart your optimal career path.
May everyone have a career they love, and work they enjoy, and find professional fulfillment and pleasure in doing what they love.