A friend recently contacted me saying that she was trying to make a decision about what direction to take work wise and had been inspired to give it more consideration to ensure she was doing something she was really passionate about. It got me thinking, how do you work out what your ideal career is, when you are caught up in your current job? How do you decide whether you need a change? How do you know whether you are really getting the most from your career? How do you decide what might fulfill you more? I’m in the lucky position that I love my job. When I was deciding what I wanted to do, I thought through the 21 questions below. If you answer these questions honestly, it should help you understand what you want to do and whether you need a change from what you are doing now.
1) Do you dread going to work in the morning? Why?
2) What was your best job to date? Why? What elements of it did you enjoy?
3) What was your worst job to date? Why? What elements of it did you not enjoy?
4) Who was your best manager to date? Why?
5) Who was your worst manager to date? Why?
6) If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?
7) What is stopping you from doing that? Are there any more suitable alternatives?
8) What practical considerations are there in terms of what job you can do?
9) What barriers are you putting in your own way?
10) How much money do you need to make?
11) How much money do you want to make?
12) What hours do you want to work?
13) What environment do you want to work in?
14) What would you like to tell your grandkids you have done for a career?
15) What do you want to be known for?
16) What are you great at?
17) What do you want to be remembered for?
18) What motivates you?
19) What bores you?
20) What would inspire you to get up in the morning?
21) What value do you want to bring to the world?
If you answer all these questions, you will hopefully have come up with some ideas about what you would like to do and equally importantly, what you don’t want to do. It may involve making some changes in your current role so you are more satisfied, or seeing if you can move within your company, or it may be thinking about a total change in career. Knowing what you want to aim for is the first step, and is an extremely important one. If you know what you want, you can focus all your efforts into achieving it. If you don’t know what you want, how do you reach the final destination?
I’d love to know if you have made a change in career and how you made the decision about what to change to or if you are thinking of making a change and whether these questions help.