What do you want to be?
What do you want to be? Whether you want to find more fulfilment in your work, or guide a peer (or your children) into great occupations, there are better questions you could be asking…
We all want to do well in life; to be happy, fulfilled and successful. But as we survey the array of endless opportunities, assess the competition, weigh up our own expectations, we can sometimes find that we start to regress. Fears, self-limiting beliefs, a lack of confidence or self-esteem, a loss of energy, zero ambition (where did that come from?) can appear and begin to trip us up and strip us down.
The right questions
There are several questions you could be asking yourself rather that ‘what do I want to be’ at this life stage. The first is” what makes me stand out? What are my unique combination of skills, qualities and motivations that sets me apart? No two people will have the same set of education, plus skills, plus experience, plus circumstances, plus sense of humour, plus… you get the picture.
The second area to focus on should be the quality of your decisions. By knowing yourself more fully, you stand the best change of making better decisions. You will have a stronger idea of what suits you, how you like to work, what builds your energy – and what can deflate it.
At this stage, you might not know what your ‘dream job’ is. You may be at a stage in your life where you want to learn through different experiences and move on to the next thing. So, if you’re really struggling with what to do in life, a breadth of ideas, interests, skills, starting points, aptitudes and personal qualities is what you’re seeking to uncover.
Explore the subject together with someone
With good questions comes the added challenge of how to ask them. Here, you’re faced with three equally valid options: deal with the questions yourself; get in touch with someone in your network to talk to; or ask a career coach to help.
10 useful questions
Without being specific as concerns a precise job, what does work mean to you today? What are your expectations of it? What do you want it to be? What are the words, feelings and success factors?
Who do you know who’s happiest in their work? Why is this?
What are you good at? The object here is to write down a long list. Look at personal circumstances, experiences, even include childhood and part-time jobs if applicable. Cover small qualities as well as things you have a natural aptitude for. With big things, break them down into component parts.
If I knew then what I know now… imaging you’ve been asked for some advice from someone three years younger than yourself. What five points do you want to pass on? We never stop learning, so what have you learnt about yourself in relation to work in the past three years?
What or who gives you energy? Divide this into activities, people, habits and rituals, environments, hobbies, past experiences…
Think of a time when you showed real resilience. What happened? What were the circumstances? Why did you show more resilience and determination in this instance than in others? This is a chance to showcase a story about yourself. Stories can act as ‘evidence’ in an interview. Getting used to telling stories about yourself is important, as it will help you feel confident and be convincing.
How are you learning about yourself? What are you experiencing, currently, that is teaching you about who you are? This could include work or study, hobbies and interests, relationships, social life, experiences, cultural pursuits, sport, etc.
Imaging you have up to 10 people to help you find the job of your dreams. Think of what you need help with. This could be sticking to deadlines, being a bit braver, connecting with strangers, reworking your CV regularly… then match the role you need help with to the best person in your network. Why are they suited to helping you?
What makes you happy? It might be watching your favourite film over and over. Or is it having new experiences and meeting new people? It’s a simple question, but quite a deep one, and the answers tell us something about who you are and what matters to you.
What have you learnt about yourself through these questions? Divide your answers into two columns: new things and things you knew already. Put everything into one or the other. Then ring those words, ideas and activities that, for some reason, give you energy. Call it gut instinct. Don’t think too much about it. Finally, consider whether those things you’ve ringed are part of your current life in some way. If not, what might be a way of connecting to them?
Hopefully going through an exercise like this will help you distance yourself from yourself enough to find some answers to what direction you may want to take.
Whether you are wanting to progress your career, or side-step into a new career. Whether you have always dreamt of working for THAT company or just feeling like you’re not getting anywhere where you are working at the moment. Get in touch. Together we will map out your ideal role, ideal company and location – and we will find it for you and help you get it!