Changing paths can be a scary prospect and a difficult reality in Hong Kong, but having a job you don’t hate getting out of bed for (too much) is vital for your happiness and wellbeing. Kully Jaswal of Ignition Career Coaching shares her top tips for those in search of a more fulfilling track.
The proverbial rat race couldn’t be a more pertinent expression than for a commercial hub like Hong Kong. As big businesses and banks harvest most of the city’s moolah, careers at such institutions have typically gotten more competitive and laborious, albeit more lucrative. The pressures of such high-performance/ high-reward positions have been grimly highlighted recently with a string of shocking suicides of high-level business executives.
Having transitioned from a role in accounting herself, career coach Kully Jaswal knows the importance of combining work and passion. As the majority of our lives are spent at work, it would be a shame to waste all that energy on unexciting pressures, she explains. So whether you’re a fresh graduate or a seasoned professional, follow these five steadfast rules and make work work for you!
1. Know Yourself
Before anything else, it is essential to know your values, priorities, and interests. A good indication of these is what you choose to do and how you react to stimuli in your most relaxed times, without any pressures or obligations. Each individual has their own traits and tastes, which may not necessarily be cloned from family or friends. The traditional expectation to conform often keeps people from establishing and expressing their own personalities. Unless you know what drives you, it’s hard to gain clarity and make progress.
2. Professionalise your Passions
Using techniques like the Harrison Assessment and the MBTI personality tests, it’s easy to discover how these interests and talents can be channelled into identifying and planning a career. Following this, it is recommended to carry out extensive research and networking with those already in the industry to get a feel for the type of work and lifestyle involved. Details to consider could include the financial prospects, working hours, regular tasks, channels of promotion, longevity of career, and margin of error.
3. Skill Up
Once you’ve ascertained your preferred profession, the next step is to get certified training. This could even be done part-time or online while you still maintain some form of income. Learning the basic skills of your chosen field could also help affirm if you’ve made the right decision. Besides training, fresh graduates should consider getting coached in areas such as job application and interview technique, while executives may require some guidance when it comes to shedding their inertia and taking new risks.
4. Be a Team Player
Realistically, just performing enjoyable tasks competently is seldom enough to sustain a flourishing career. A thorough integration with the local and company culture is vital. You ought to ‘do as the Romans do’, which means speaking the company’s language and interacting with colleagues beyond what is formally required, especially if you aim for a long career with a local firm. Those unfamiliar or uncomfortable with this should try multinational companies, which generally don’t enforce many culture-specific practices.
5. Get a Life
Besides professional success, changing careers can also ignite an all-round wholesome transformation. Healthy habits like regular exercise, sufficient sleep, nutritional eating and inspirational reading are encouraged, and creatively expressing yourself through writing, painting, or dancing can be just as cathartic as a holiday. The aim is to stay relaxed, energised, and contented; this is likely to inspire innovative ideas, confident decisions, and greater clarity on your present and future goals. Pressures can then be seen as challenges, and with a career that you love in the bag, pacing a few extra miles for ultimate carrot of growth and happiness is well worth the sweat of the journey!