If you are unhappy with your profession, then, before making sudden movements, figure out what exactly oppresses you or drives you into stress in it. Is there anything in it that you still like, despite the general disappointment?
Without answers to these questions – and answers as specific as possible – you are unlikely to be able to successfully choose a new direction and risk getting another disappointment.
Substitution of concepts: the profession and the business role in it are not the same thing
“From childhood I dreamed of becoming a doctor,” Daria says to herself, “she loved to read medical journals, wading through complicated terminology (dad – a doctor, he wrote out). She studied at the university with great pleasure, she herself was looking for additional information in addition to the mandatory program. My classmates called me a fanatic. But how terribly I became disappointed in the profession when I started working! Communication with patients literally exhausts me – and yet this is 80% of my working time. The treatment is carried out according to certain standards – that is, the work is actually stereotyped. I’m silent about the paper routine – for me it’s just a nightmare. The most striking thing is that, despite this, I still go to medical conferences with great interest, listen to and read about medical discoveries, new treatment regimens. But why? ”
This is a clear example of a mistake in choosing not a profession as such, but a business role. Communication with people is clearly not Daria’s strongest, but her routine morally destroys it. She is, by character, an analyst and an innovator. In the same medicine, she most likely would have been closer to work in basic and applied research. She could not leave the laboratory of her own free will for days, and in the clinic she looks longingly at her watch, waiting for the end of the working day.
Quite often we take for dissatisfaction with the profession dissatisfaction with the business role that we play. But sometimes you can change your business role without changing your profession. And vice versa – you can change the profession, but again find yourself in the same business role and again feel discomfort. Although it is really a change of profession that really helps someone, but preserving the usual business role. How is this all connected?
How do the profession, career type and business role relate
We recently told what a career type is , dissatisfaction with which is also sometimes mistaken for dissatisfaction with the profession as a whole. Job satisfaction comes when you realize yourself in the right business role for you, within the framework of your career type. But not only.
Any profession is a combination of narrow-profile knowledge and skills that are needed to complete tasks, and a certain set of so-called “soft” skills . For example, a doctor must fundamentally know the medical business and gain experience in applying this knowledge in practice: in other words, based on this knowledge, make diagnoses and prescribe treatment to people who turn to him. A lawyer must be well versed in legal theory, legislation, navigate in judicial practice and be able to apply this knowledge to solve specific problems.
But the set of “soft skills” for different business roles within the same profession may vary. The one who communicates a lot with clients and works in a team needs communication skills, the one who has a greater bias in monotonous and analytical work needs perseverance and deep focus.
A suitable business role depends not only on how developed certain soft skills are in us, but also on whether you like to apply them. A deep introvert can overpower yourself, learn communication techniques and become a completely successful sales manager. But he will still feel uncomfortable at this work, because it contradicts his nature.
One can only envy those who are interested in narrow-profile knowledge and skills, if at the same time they are satisfied with their business role and type of career. Alas, there are few such lucky ones – usually at least one of these three components is not happy.
One profession – different business roles
A simple example: Ruslan, Olga, Timur, Irina and Sergey are lawyers and former classmates. Ruslan is a lawyer, every day in different courts or at meetings with clients, he has more than 10 flights a month, because the processes are in different cities, and a lot of communication with new people – and these people are usually annoyed, because they are in conflict or in another problematic situation. Olga never goes to court, she has no clients and calm, monotonous work – the coordination of contracts in a large legal department. Timur runs a law firm – he is both a lawyer and a businessman at the same time. Irina works in court, she is a specialist in the department of systematization of legislation and analysis of judicial practice. She has research and analytical work. Sergey – legal scholar and member of the expert council, who is involved in the development of new bills. He also teaches at his native law school.
With one common profession, they all have completely different business roles. Olga may think that she does not like jurisprudence, although only the monotonous nature of the work drives her into longing – she would have to drive, like in Ruslan, or more creative tasks, like Sergei. And if Ruslan says that he is terribly tired of jurisprudence, this will probably mean tiredness from stress and the dream of a calmer rhythm – such as that of Olga. Another question is whether such a business role really suits him. Perhaps he just needs to reduce the load.
In a similar way, it can be decomposed into different business roles and other professions – almost everywhere there is an opportunity to find application for yourself taking into account your inclinations and with the same narrow-profile knowledge. Unless, of course, the latter are of interest to you. And if you are not interested, then you need to choose a new sphere, taking into account not only the knowledge and functions that make up the profession, but also the appropriate business role in it.
What are the business roles
Manager. This is your role by calling if you like to lead people and processes, make key decisions, build a common work strategy, systematize action algorithms, look for imperfections in them and come up with ways to eliminate them.
Communicator. Imagine that your work of 70% consists of close interaction with people – communication with customers, direct sales, exhibitions and presentations. Are you happy or scared by this prospect? If you are happy, you are a communicator. If it scares, this is not your role.
Functionalist. Does it scare you away, but, on the contrary, are you attracted to monotonous, single-type work with documents, information, maintenance of already established processes? The calmer, the more comfortable? You, like no one else, are accurate with numbers and other data, do not miss a mistake and go crazy with an extra comma in the text? If yes, you are a functionalist, it is much more comfortable for you to work quietly in the back office than to communicate with clients.
Administrator. In many ways, this role is similar to the role of a functionalist, but it is a little wider: people who are inclined towards it like to ensure order and stability in the internal processes of the organization, to plan and control them.
Analyst. Do you feel like a fish in water in large streams of information, know how to single out the main thing in them, love to delve into random data and find patterns in them, draw conclusions and predictions? So this is your role.
Entrepreneur. You are not so much scared as inspired by ambitious large-scale tasks – when you need to start a project from scratch, be it your own business or a new task within the company in which you work as a hired employee? If so, then you are a born entrepreneur.
The innovator. This is your role if you hate routine – you are interested in creating something new, inventing something of your own.
Specialist. You are not a lover of leadership and the principle “want to do well – do it yourself” is close to you? Are you focused on one specific area of work and do you like to dive deeper and deeper into it? You don’t dream of revolutionary discoveries, but prefer to carry out what you are responsible for as efficiently as possible and your colleagues really value you for this? Your role is a specialist.
Usually, one person has pronounced tendencies towards three or four business roles at once, although there are bright representatives of one or two roles.
How to understand which business role is closer to you? You can consult a psychologist – career consultant. You can engage in introspection: decompose your work into the functions of which it consists, logically assign each of them to one of eight business roles, and then mark in front of each whether you like to deal with this function and whether it works well for you.
Another option is to undergo career counseling testing. Only for the most accurate results do you need to choose not superficial, purely entertaining tests like “10 questions in 5 minutes”, but serious tests prepared by professionals.