Do you love what you do every day? Or is it a grind to just get out of bed and head to the office? Do you get stressed out every Sunday night knowing you have to go back to that terrible job the next morning? The truth is you have a choice in what you do. Most people that I interview don’t consider why they are doing what they are doing. It’s as if they accidentally landed in a job and don’t know how to stop the momentum of the status quo. If this sounds familiar, then check out these tangible steps on how to get off the hamster wheel and to step into the work you love.
1) Become a Student of Yourself: Aristotle once said, “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” To begin, become a student of your skills, gifts, and passions. This requires honest introspection. To get the ideas percolating, I recommend using a solid career assessment tool. (If you want suggestions, then I can share a few of my favorite tools.) Contact me here.
2) Invite Outsiders into the Journey: Next, conduct interviews with your friends, family, and coworkers to see if they have new insights about you. Ask them about your natural gifts, your interests, and suggestions to succeed in your next career move. Your instinct will be to interject and to add feedback. Don’t! Just listen to what they have to say and ponder their answers. Here are a few sample questions: “What do you think I am good at?”, “What career do you see me in?”, “What kind of job do you think fits my personality?”, “What do you think is holding me back right now?”
3) Put Stakes in the Ground: Now that some of the leg work is done, we need to put stakes in the ground. Using the Won’t/Want/Dream exercise, you can establish concrete boundaries to guide your career transition. Take a sheet of paper and divide it into three sections. At the top of each column write “Won’t” “Want” and “Dream”. Fill in each section with what you Won’t do in your next job, what you Want to do, and what you Dream of doing. I have included an example for your convenience. This is a very critical step in the process and helps to build a framework around your career search. Take plenty of time to consider your answers. This process is fluid and should be treated as such. Remember, there are no right or wrong answers; you are simply building a framework for your next career move. See the sample below for ideas.
4) Stay Objective: Use your Won’t/Want/Dream lists to keep your job search focused and objective. I find that many people ignore red flags during the interview process because they are too emotional to think clearly (i.e. excited about a change, miserable in current job, discouraged by lack of job options). Before and after every interview, examine your list closely. If you discover things on the Won’t-Do list during the interview process, then you know that it is not the place for you.
If you want to pursue a career with passion and purpose, then you must begin with an honest evaluation of your priorities and dreams. This takes time, effort, and some serious self-reflection. Most of us don’t take time to dream. Actually, I think a lot of us have forgotten how to dream. This tool gives you permission to dream and dream big. So be bold and don’t hold back. If you have questions or if you would like to dig a little deeper we are here to help.