Lots of people we meet on our courses are stuck on one question:
What job do I REALLY want to do?
It’s such a big question, that it becomes a blocker. People get stuck trying to answer it and don’t explore options, believing there is one single ‘right’ answer to find.
The bad news is…..that we don’t think this question is very helpful in finding a happy career. The good news though, is that we have 3 other questions we think will get you a lot closer!
1. What would you do if time/money/experience were no object?
This is important. We often don’t do the things we love because our own assumptions can hold us back. There are many ways these self imposed barriers can be overcome (you can start by reading a previous blog post we’ve written on this) but first you have to be honest with yourself. What is that thing that makes your heart beat faster?
2. When have you been your happiest at work?
You can get lots of insight by looking back at your career. It’s likely that when you’ve been at your happiest you were using your strengths and working in an environment that brought the best out of you. Dwell a bit on those things. What strengths were you getting to use? What was the environment like? Who were you working with? Write these answers down, they’ll become a useful filter for you when you scan future career possibilities.
3. What do you want to be known for?
Knowing the impact we want to have and the impression we want others to take away is a really useful way of surfacing values and ambitions. It doesn’t have to be huge, you might just say “I want to be known for delivering work of a high quality” or mine for example might be “I want to be known for building inspired teams that make good things happen for businesses”. You can use this when you’re looking at roles or interviewing for jobs. You need to know if these things are valued by the company and if they are achievable in the role. Even if you’re being paid a fortune, you wont be happy for long if you’re not getting these deeper needs fulfilled.
It’s in the answers to all of these questions that your happy career may lie. Once you’ve answered them, you need to be really open about the opportunities you’re looking for. Don’t filter quite so hard up front on the business or the job title. Instead, look at lots of possibilities and see how they map against your answers. This will provide you with a happier list of career possibilities to explore.
If you need any more inspiration, take a look at our resources page where you’ll find lots of Free Stuff.