Part 3 of a 3-part series where Bowhunting Freedom host Philip Havens reads The Bowhunter’s 7 Step Guide To Career Freedom. This career guide is free for download at BowhuntingFreedom.com/guide
Step 7 – Exploratory Exercises
The seventh step in this process is to explore what really makes you tick by going through a series of exercises. The more you know about yourself, the better your chances are to determine the career and lifestyle that you want. Get out your notebook and prepare to write your answers down. You may think that you can just skim over this part. I strongly encourage you to set aside the time in a place where you won’t get distracted and write down your thought and responses to these exercises. There is something about writing down an answer that really helps to clarify what you are thinking.
“Most job-hunters who fail to find their dream job, fail not because they lack information about the job-market, but because they lack information about themselves.”
Exercise #1 – Who Am I?
An exercise in self-knowledge.
- Get 10 sheets of blank, lined paper and a pen.
- Write at the top of each sheet the words “Who am I?” To get you started, I’ll give you a few possible answers that I could use. Who am I? A man; a small business owner; a podcaster; a home owner; a husband; a father; a brother; a grandfather; a follower of Jesus; a seasoned IT professional; a project manager; a home inspector; and of course, a bowhunter.
- Now write one answer to the question on each sheet, and only one answer.
- After you have completed writing answers on each of the 10 sheets, review what you have written and expand upon each answer. Ask yourself two things about what you have already written, why you wrote what you did and what turns you on about each answer.
- When you have finished step 4 for each of the 10 sheets, review what you have written again and put the sheets in order of priority. Priority in this case means which of these identities is the most important to you? Put the most important one at the top, then then next most important, and so on. The least important identity should be at the bottom of the 10 sheets.
- Now read your answers again and pay particular attention to how you answered the question what turns you on about this? Can you see any common denominators or themes in the 10 answers? If so, then write those common themes down on a separate piece of paper.
This is just the very first step in coming to a better understanding of what makes you tick and what your job, career, vocation or mission needs to include if you are to be truly motivated, inspired, fulfilled, and the most productive.
Exercise #2 – What Makes Me Tick?
Another exercise in self-knowledge.
- Get another sheet of paper and write your answers to the following questions.
- Think over the past five years. When have you been the most happy and the most satisfied with life?
- What gives you energy? List as many things as you can.
- What drains your energy? List as many things as you can.
- When do you feel the most productive, or the most inspired, or the most creative?
“If you have a great product, if you do a good job of marketing it, if you work hard, you have just as good a chance in the outdoor industry as you have anywhere.”
Eric Dinger, Founder Powderhook
- What are you NOT willing to do in order to achieve freedom and success?
- Is recognition for your efforts important to you and if so, what kind of recognition do you want?
- Do you want to be the face of your own business or do you prefer to work behind the scenes in your own business?
- Do you want to work with a team of people or do you prefer to work alone?
- What kind of things do you need to do every day in order for you to be satisfied and to consider your day complete?
Exercise #3 – What Are My Values?
An exercise to determine and prioritize your values.
The word “values” can mean different things in different contexts. For the purpose of this exercise, the word “values” means “core beliefs” or the broad outcomes for your life. While we could use a long list of values for this exercise, we will limit ourselves to two sets or groups of values, Work Values and Life Values.
- Get a sheet of lined paper and draw a line vertically down the middle of the sheet, from top to bottom.
- Write “My Work Values Priorities” at the top of the left side and write “My Life Values Priorities” at the top of the right side.
- Now look at the lists in the table on the next page and determine for yourself, which value in each group is the most important, then which is the second most important, all the way to which is the least important to you.
- There are no wrong answers to this exercise.
- You should end up with two prioritized lists, one with Work Values and one with Life Values. Both sets of values come into play when planning your life and your future.
- We will come back to your responses soon.
“If you want to work in this business, there’s opportunity. There absolutely is. Don’t be afraid. It is easy for me to say, but don’t be afraid.”
Gregg Gutschow, General Manager Shockey Enterprises
Exercise #4 – Where Is My Dream Living Location?
An exercise to brainstorm places you would like to live and work.
The place where you live can affect how you feel about work and life in general, so it should be considered as part of your overall plan. To the extent that you can determine it, where would you most like to live? This can be a complicated question for some people, so let’s use a fairly simple process to narrow down the options.
Get two sheets of paper. At the top of one sheet of paper write “Names of places I have lived”. On the second sheet of paper, draw a vertical line top to bottom in the middle of the page. At the top of the left column write “Negatives” and at the top of the right column write “Positives”.
Using the first sheet of paper, write down all the places that you have ever lived. Easy, right? Now get the second sheet of paper and look at each place that you have lived and start writing down all the negative things about each in the Negative column. Write down anything that you just didn’t like about the place. For example, it rains all the time, the neighborhood is noisy, it is too far to the grocery store, there are too many hills, there are no sidewalks, etc.
Again, using the second sheet of paper, in the Positive column, write down the attributes of each place that you liked or enjoyed. When you are done writing the positives, go back and look at the negatives again. For each negative attribute, see if you can come up with an opposite for each and write that in the Positive column. You may not be able to craft an exact opposite for every negative, so just get close.
When you are done getting all of the negatives and the positives down on paper, focus just on the positives and put them in order of priority for you. What attribute is the most important, then next, etc. Now take the top ten positive attributes and put them on a separate piece of paper and show this to everyone you know, asking them the question “Can you think of places that have these ten attributes or at least the top five attributes?” Collect answers for two weeks and write down all the suggested locations. Finally, sit down, look at the locations, do some research on each of the areas and then pick the three or four places that are most interesting to you.
“Now there are a lot of jobs in the outdoor industry that do pay well. There are engineers and manufacturing jobs, people that make products. Whether it be your bow companies or your rifle companies, camo, what have you…. optics companies. There are those jobs. There are marketing jobs, sales jobs, there are all kinds of jobs that do pay well.”
Mike Adams, Podcaster Up North Journal
Exercise #5 – Putting It All Together
Combine your answers for exercises 1 – 4 all onto one sheet of paper and review everything that you have just written down. This is just the start of the process to plan for a new career. How does all of this make you feel? Are you feeling encouraged with the process or are you having doubts already? If you are having doubts, you need to go back to Step 1 and review why you want to do this. If your motivation isn’t strong enough, maybe you need to re-evaluate your reasons for pursuing a career change.
Some Additional Resources
If you want to delve into any of these exercises in more depth, plus explore several other key traits related to work and career, you may want to check out the resources page.
The Conclusion – Now Get Started!
There are several other personal factors, traits, and characteristics that you can and likely should consider as you continue with this process. Some career experts recommend personality tests (Strengths Finder, DISC, Myers-Briggs, etc.), subject interests, educational background, work experience, transferable skills, people or work environments, working conditions, and of course level of responsibility and income requirements. The more that you know about yourself and what makes you really tick, the more successful you will be in your career search.
I started off this 7 step career guide by saying the purpose for the book is to get you thinking about what you would really like to do for a career. I hope that the exercises and questions have gotten you started on your new career adventure. It may not be easy, but then how often is a hunting adventure easy or simple? The goal (for me) for a hunting adventure is to enjoy the process and the outing itself, not just to make it easy or simple. It is a real bonus when I can come home with some game for my freezer. Your career search adventure probably won’t be simple or easy, but if you keep moving ahead one step at a time and you keep focused on your ultimate objective, you can find more fulfilling work and a career where you can be your most productive self.
“It wasn’t like I had a goal to be on a TV show back in the early 90’s… meaning I just wanted to do something in the outdoor industry and I was open minded enough to know that if doors opened for me, I would be open minded to it and take those opportunities.”
Travis “T-Bone” Turner, Co-Host Bone Collector & Realtree’s Road Trips
About The Author and Podcast Host
My name is Philip Havens. I am married with two adult children and two grandchildren. I live in the state of Connecticut in the United States of America. I created Bowhunting Freedom and launched the first podcast episode on Friday October 24, 2014. As of the date of the first release of this book, over six months have flown by and over 60 episodes have been produced. It would take you almost a full working week at eight hours a day to listen to every great interview. My guests have been awesome and they have shared from their career experiences to provide you with valuable content and information.
The website where you can find the podcast episodes is BowhuntingFreedom.com. You can subscribe to the podcast so that you don’t miss any episodes on iTunes at BowhuntingFreedom.com/itunes or if you have an Android smartphone, you can subscribe on Stitcher at BowhuntingFreedom.com/stitcher.
The reason I started on this Bowhunting Freedom adventure may be best explained by sharing my mission statement. The mission for Bowhunting Freedom is to encourage, embolden, and empower avid bowhunters to pursue their passion in a fulfilling career with a podcast that informs, educates, and inspires by offering career and business ideas that will motivate them to align their work with their dreams and desires.
I’d love to hear any feedback that you have either regarding the podcast or this book, or please just send me an email or tweet to say hello. Thank you. Phil…..
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