How to Find Your Career Sweet-Spot

A crude illustration of the Career Sweet-Spot

A crude illustration of the Career Sweet-Spot


Contrary to popular belief, creating your most ideal career needn’t be a highly complicated endeavor.  Sure, there are lots of variables to consider – like where you want to live, how much money you need to make, what sectors have strong demand, and (let’s not forget) what you actually like to do!   Unfortunately, most people get mired down in these details and give up on creating a life that’s truly great long before they make any substantial progress toward achieving it. 

But what it really comes down to – what you really need to get clear on – are three simple things: 

  • Your Strengths
  • Your Personality, and
  • Your Purpose/Passion

There is plenty of research that supports the claim that the most satisfying careers are those that honor a person’s complete and authentic self.  Among the most cited today is the work done by Marcus Buckingham, coauthor of the bestselling First, Break All the Rules, and Now, Discover Your Strengths. When you’re operating from your most natural state, success comes easy.  When your work requires you to do the things that you’re naturally wired to do, and in a way that suits your unique personality, it no longer feels like work: It is a source of joy! Your work energizes and replenishes you.  And more than that, when your work aligns with what you truly find meaningful your spirit is continually nourished and, as a result, you’re drawn to do more, dig deeper, and stretch farther. 

When your work is in harmony with who you are, you experience ‘being in the zone’ or a state of flow.  Instead of being driven by the desire for money, recognition or the promises we’ve made, which can feel like an uphill battle at times, you are carried along, pulled by the gravitational forces of your vision, like water running downhill.   Discovering what draws us, speaks to us, and suits our natural state of being has the power to overcome the bonds of lethargy and fear. 

The secret to creating your most ideal career, and achieving a highly satisfying life, is to find that place where work aligns perfectly with your personality, strengths, and passion. 

I call that place the Career Sweet-Spot

Much of my work as a Career & Performance Coach involves helping talented people to finally get it right.  Sure, they’ve already achieved a level of success through their smarts, some good luck, and sheer determination – but they come to a place in their life where they realize there’s got to be something more.  Simply put, they are tired of working so damn hard and not really enjoying much of it. 

That’s a huge clue that you are not in the sweet-spot

I’ve been there. I know how much of a struggle life can be when you’re stuck in a job that doesn’t suit you.  You begin to think that you’re the problem; that you’re flawed and hopeless – or that you’re just expecting too much out of life.  But you can hardly blame yourself when the North American way of career selection is to pick off the menu of ‘Who’s Hiring  Today’ and hope you aquire a taste for it – rather than actually creating your own career recipie. 

It’s tragic.  It’s frustrating.  Frankly, it pisses me off that so many talented in the world people are becoming resigned to quiet versions of career hell  when we can’t afford to lose them!  That’s why I became a Coach; to help people identify their career sweet-spot and attain it.   And my signature coaching program, the Career Choice Program, is designed to do just that. 

So here’s the good news.  If you want a future that is truly satisfying – if you want a career that isn’t just a series of compromises – there is a solution. 

Here’s How to find your career sweet-spot

It can start with just a few simple questions. 


  • What are the things that you do where you lose all track of time?
  • What are the things that you do that restore you; that make you feel stronger, more energetic after completing them?

If you don’t know what these things are, taking an aptitude- or strengths-test can help you clarify. 


  • Are you an introvert or extrovert?  What proportion of your time do you like to spend working with other versus spend it in solitude?
  • Each of us has a preferred way of interacting with the world.  What’s yours?

This is probably the easiest element of the Career Sweet-Spot to pin down, given that there has been so much research on the subject of personality type.  Some of the best and most reliable tests for career selection are the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®, DiSC® Assessment, and True Colors Career Pointer


  • What are you most passionate about in life?
  • What makes your heart sing?

This third element of the Career Sweet-Spot is often the most elusive. Simply put, there isn’t a test that you can take that will tell you what’s truly meaningful to you. Fortunately, however, life has a way of naturally offering up clues and working with a Coach can help you excavate the truth about your life’s purpose and what holds real meaning for you. 

Once you’re finally clear on where work aligns perfectly with your personality, strengths, and passion – once you’ve identified your Career Sweet-Spot – it’s just a matter of plotting a course. 

Like they say, once you know where you’re going – getting there is easy. 



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.

2 Responses to “How to Find Your Career Sweet-Spot

  • Strengths,personality and passion are 3 major topics which affects our life in every situation.
    we should know our strength field and also the personal development is also important.
    Thanks for sharing such a nice article with us.

    • Hey, Thanks Carolina! Glad to know you’re out there and enjoying my blog. I couldn’t agree more with your assessment: strengths, personality, and passions ARE the 3 major organizing elements of our life. You rock.