Champion Your Career: Winning in the World of Work by Halimah Bellows addresses the needs of a new generation of career seekers in a rapidly changing economy and job marketplace. Designed as self-paced career development workshop in book format, it provides self-assessment tools to enable individuals to explore their personal passions, values, strengths and skills along with sound strategies and resources for decision making, goal setting and networking to begin a fulfilling new career.
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At an early age Halimah Bellows became aware of her natural ability to listen to people non-judgmentally as well as her desire to be of service to others. In her life as an educator, a career counselor and a coach, she has been able to marry her fascination with people’s stories with her deep interest in the world of work.
A Pacific Northwest and California-based career/coach for more than 20 years, Halimah Bellows holds an MA in English Language Teaching from the University of Exeter, an MS in Counseling Psychology from San Francisco State University and received training at The Coaches Training Institute and Retirement Options to become a Certified Retirement and Professional Coach. Author of Champion Your Career: Winning in the World of Work and creator of CAREER QUEST CARDS, she is a seasoned workshop presenter, group facilitator and talk show guest.
In addition to assisting people through career transitions and supporting retirees to “retire with fire”, she also focusses on helping couples and business partnerships build powerful intentional relationships as well as empowering artists, entrepreneurs, and professionals to develop their business and achieve their dreams.
Recognizing Your Strengths
In order to find out what will make you happy at work or in your time away from work, you need to discover your talents and your strengths. People sometimes confuse strengths with skills. The basic difference is that skills are learned. You learn how to drive. Driving is a skill while your strengths or talents are innate, natural abilities. You may find you have natural talents in many different areas. When you see a little kid creating an amazing drawing or painting you say, “That kid is a natural.” It’s automatic. The child knows how to do it.
Champion Your Career
’m going to give you five questions to think about when you want to uncover your talents. It’s basically tapping into what you enjoy. First of all, you want to think about what you enjoy most about your current work. Now, even if you dislike most of your work there may be one feature about it that you enjoy. So what is it that you enjoy most about your current work? Find that part of the job that you really love to do and do more of it. You can always re-craft your job to make it more interesting to you, to find the things that you really want to do more of. You can negotiate with your bosses, your management. Take on extra projects to do what you really love. Then at least you’ll have more satisfaction at what you do.
Second: What do you most enjoy doing when you’re not working? List your hobbies or your recreational interests.
Third: What do you enjoy most learning about? Believe it or not, we like to learn about things we feel we’re good at—things for which we have a natural talent. It all flows together.
Fourth: What do you most enjoy making? It doesn’t have to be a piece of art. It could be a project you’ve taken on.
Lastly: If you were financially independent and money was not a factor, what kind of work would you do?
These are just some questions that give you an idea of how to tap into your talents. Once you get a list of activities you enjoy, take the top 10, then ask three or four of your friends, “This is what I think I am really good at, what’s your opinion?” See if you rated yourself correctly. Your friends may come up with something you hadn’t originally considered to be a talent.
You may find that you feel a lot of resistance, confusion and fear when you ask yourself these questions. People need to stretch out of their “comfort zones.” It’s easy to be complacent. Some people find that they love to paint but only do it for personal satisfaction. Others who are passionate about their art are reluctant to offer it for sale for fear no one would buy it.