Chocolatey goodness! (And your career.)

Valentines’ Day is upon us so, naturally, our minds wander to all things chocolate. (Do we need a reason?)  But did you know that your favorite chocolate bar can actually tell you a lot about your ideal career?

Let me explain.

In the world of candy bars each of us has our own personal preference.  And that preference always lands within a framework of 3 key ingredients; it’s called the Candy Bar Holy Trinity (ok, I just made that part up):

  1. Fruit and Nut BarChocolate (milk, dark, Belgian, white, etc.)
  2. Chewy (caramel, raisins, nougat, toffee, etc.), and
  3. Crunchy (nuts, wafers, crisped rice and that golden honeycomb stuff in the Crunchie bar)

Now think about your favorite chocolate bar.  It offers a particular proportion of these 3 ingredients that perfectly suits your tastes, doesn’t it?   That’s your Chocolate Bar Sweet Spot.  Like super chewy with zero crunch?  You’re a Mars bar fan.  Prefer extreme crunch and chewiness?  You’re an Oh Henry! person.  Like to keep things simple?  The classic Hershey bar is your pick.

So what the hell does this have to do with your career?   Well, here’ comes…

Sweet Spot Chocolate Bar & Career

Like the chocolate bar Holy Trinity (chocolate: chewy: crunch) so too does your career consist of 3 key elements:

  1. Talents (what you’re naturally good at)
  2. Personality (how you naturally operate), and
  3. Meaning (how and where you want to contribute)

Your career success (and happiness) is determined by how well your role aligns with these 3 elements.   It’s your Career Sweet Spot.

Here’s a real life example…

A few months ago, I was working with a client that was a high extrovert with a strong desire for independence & control over her work (personality).  She had always been a great student with a knack for analytical thinking (talent).  Not surprisingly, she had pursued a career in accounting where she quickly progressed from Staff Accountant to Senior Accountant with one of the major firms.  Despite this success, she was continually frustrated with the solitude of the work, rigidity of the firm’s structure (personality), and ultimately wanted a greater influence in whether the firm succeeded or failed (meaning).   She left the firm to become a Controller of a mid-size equipment dealer and later, the VP Finance and Operations of a commercial developer.  And while she had gained a greater sense of meaning and influence in her role, she still couldn’t shake the feeling that something was off in her career.

Working together, we identified that she still felt constrained by the owners’ agenda and longed for a closer relationship with clients.   Using the Career Sweet Spot as a framework, she acknowledge that she’d always craved more independence & interaction than the accounting profession offered.  Her direction was finally obvious! Today she’s a successful Financial Advisor that enjoys a role that calls for the exact mix of personality: talent: meaning that she has to offer.  She is finally working in her Career Sweet Spot.

Mmmm… Delicious and zero calories!

Finally, here are some tell tale complaints if you’re *close* but still not working in your natural Career Sweet Spot:

  • I’m great at what I do but I can’t stand the people I work with.
  • I’m great at what I do but eventually the stress is going to kill me.
  • I used to love my work but now it seems like the meaning is missing.
  • If it weren’t for the people I work with, I’d quit this job in a heartbeat.

So if this resonates with you, I invite you to a conversation with me a conversation with me.  I’ll help you identify where your Career Sweet Spot is and some simple steps to get you closer to it.  Or check out my snazzy ebook, The Career Clarity Manifesto, which walks you through the process at your own pace.

Be sweet to yourself this Valentine’s Day: take a moment to think about your Sweet Spot – both the candy bar and the career type.  Sometimes it only takes tweak (a nut here, some nougat there) to create your perfect recipe.

Heather Petherick is a master success coach for high potential business leaders, having established her private coaching practice in 2007. Since then, she’s coached hundreds of emerging leaders and entrepreneurs from around the globe to overcome the mindset traps that keep them playing small so that they can realize their potential and create the impact they’re meant for. Her areas of speciality are: • Mindset • Confidence • Communication • Speed of Implementation Her clients include corporate rising stars at WestJet, Agrium, Suncor Energy, Manulife Bank, TD, Royal Bank of Canada, KMPG and PepsiCo International as well as big-thinking entrepreneurs from around the world. She has been featured as a career and success expert with Women Engineering The Future, The Royal Bank of Canada, Canadian Living Magazine and Chatelaine magazine. Heather’s journey from growing up on a humble sheep farm on the prairies of western Canada to building a global coaching business have lent to her signature coaching style that combines both wit and humility, style and business savvy. She holds a Master’s degree in Management and lives in Lethbridge, Alberta with her husband and two children.

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