How to identify your career drivers (and use them to your advantage)

Written by Catherine Nangle 6 months ago.

Imagine your dream job.

It could be one you’ve always wanted, or if you’re lucky, it’s one you’re already in – but what exactly is it that draws you to it?

Is it the chance to feel creative every day, or maybe the possible financial gain? Perhaps you’re looking for a job where you’ll be able to prove yourself an expert in something?

Figuring out what’s most important to you when it comes to work isn’t always easy, and that’s where career drivers come in.

What are Career Drivers?

Simply put, career drivers are a tool to discover what you enjoy in a job. They can help you make informed choices based on this information, so you find a career that’s a good fit for you. As well as this, they can also teach you to play on your strengths in your current role.

This way, you’re more likely to stay motivated and passionate about what you do at work, contributing to over-all job satisfaction (and you’ll have a happy employer too!).

Online, there’s a wealth of questionnaires, quizzes and articles to try and help you figure out what your career drivers are. We’ve decided to take some of the work out for you, and narrow down the things you need to know about identifying them, so you can use them to your advantage.

Below are ten common career drivers, have a read and find yours.

1. The Experts

You’re driven by the need to become a real expert in your field. You want to develop your abilities further in a subject, rather than across a wider scope of many subjects. You prefer the idea of specialising in a chosen field, putting you in an excellent position where only you (and perhaps a select few) can do the role.

2. The Creatives

You seek a job where you can stretch your creative muscles, think outside the box, and use your inventive mind. You have a great imagination, and can bring new and fresh ideas to the table – and you really enjoy doing so.

3. The Helpers

The Helpers are those who really want to make a difference with their work. You search for deeper meanings in your career, looking for jobs where you can have a tangible, positive impact in some way.

4. The Influencers

You like to take a steady control of situations, and you enjoy having an input on big decisions in the workplace. Seeing the positive results of your judgements and actions on others inspires you, and you enjoy guiding and motivating people.

5. The Organisers

You’re good at keeping things in order, and you love doing so. You like planning, and you think things through thoroughly to obtain great results in your work. You feel rewarded by seeing your hard work and efforts being used to positive effect.

6. The Reward seekers

You seek financial return as your central drive at work. You want to work hard, and receive a good reward and recognition for your efforts. You’re happy to take on big challenges to do this, because you know the results are going to be worth it.

7. The Socialisers

Having a strong team environment or social aspect to work is important to you. You love working with people, and you seek jobs where you’re able to do this everyday. Whether it’s customer or colleague relationships, you thrive on social interactions to really enjoy your work.

8. The Securers

Job security is key for you. You look for a career that’s in high demand within the industry. You want to make sure you’ll always have a steady income, that your role is protected, and that it carries little risk.

9. The Autonomy Seekers

You prefer an independent approach to work, and feel it’s important you’re able to make your own decisions and have a good work/life balance. This could include choosing your working hours or location, or having control over your own workload. You seek a role where your employer is flexible and adaptable to your needs.

10. The Actives

You need to be constantly moving, whether physically or mentally, and you’d love a job with regular travel, varied workloads, or lots of interactions with new people. You seek excitement in your career, where you’re always moving in some shape or form.

How to use your career drivers

We recommend using two to three of these drivers, however if you feel there are more that apply to you, consider these too. After deciding what yours are, you can research roles, or qualifications and skills you’ll need to obtain, which will allow you to meet your ambitions.

Ask others for their opinions too, they’ll probably have their own ideas of what you should try, the more ideas the better!

Michael for example, finds he falls under ‘The Helpers’, ‘The Socialisers’ and ‘The Actives’. He wants a role where he can make a difference on people, making lots of interactions, in a fast-paced and varied environment – so he’s narrowed it down to a call centre customer service role. In this type of work, he’s able to meet his needs for regular socialising, whilst being able to speak to a lot of new people in a busy environment, and ultimately help customers. This keeps him regularly motivated at work, because he genuinely enjoys what he does.

Another example would be Zoe. She has found she falls under ‘The Creatives’ ‘The Influencers’ and ‘The Organisers’. She’s concluded that she’d be suitable for a project manager role. She wants to be able to use her teamwork and influencing skills to drive positive change, whilst having a creative say in her work.

The great thing about doing this type of task, is that you can discover drivers and passions you didn’t even realise you had. You get to know what you like at work better, and you also get to know yourself better.

Now you know where you want to go, it’s time to go and get there. Good luck finding your career drivers and using them to get closer to your dream job! If you do want to find out more, have a try at one of the many tests available online.

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