So you've been hearing that voice again, the one that says you're not doing what you were born to do. That may be true, but how do you figure out what you should be doing?
To begin answering this question, examine whether your current career path matches your core interests, beliefs, values, needs and skills. Professional career counselors usually undertake this strategy when attempting to help clients identify appropriate career directions.
Here's what I ask clients to help them find their core. Ask yourself these questions and record your answers:
- What subjects do you most enjoy reading about?
- What television or radio programs do you most enjoy?
- What are your favorite types of movies?
- What are your favorite hobbies or pastimes?
- What type of volunteer activities do you prefer?
- What subjects do you enjoy discussing with friends?
- What subjects come to mind when you daydream?
- What have been your favorite jobs?
- What were your favorite school subjects?
- What are your pet peeves?
- If you doodle, what do you often draw?
- If you ran the world, what changes would you make?
- If you won a million bucks, what would you do with it?
- What are your favorite kinds of people?
- How would you like to be remembered after your death?
- What are your favorite toys?
- How would you describe your political beliefs?
- Who do you most admire in life and why?
- What tasks have brought you the most success?
- What tasks do you think you could do well that you haven't yet done?
Examine your answers. Do you see a certain behavior or belief in more than one aspect of your life? What information do you see repeated that seems to reveal a behavior pattern? What are your long-lasting interests?
Using this information, paint a self-portrait by completing the following statements:
- I am mainly interested in ...
- I believe most in ...
- I value most ...
- For a good life, I feel I need ...
- I can do the following well ...
Now ask yourself whether your current job helps you achieve these five statements. If it does, you're probably in the right career. Chances are, however, that the nagging voice means your current career is not satisfying your core beliefs. If this is the case, then it's time to find a better fit.
If the right career choice is not obvious from the information you have gathered about yourself, then try reading "What Color Is Your Parachute?" by Richard Nelson Bolles.
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