When asked what your career goal is, the most frequent answer I get back is “I don’t know”. Figuring out your career endgame is an endeavour that stumps many of us. But it doesn’t have to. The best way to approach this is to ask these three questions instead that are much easier to answer.
The question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” is a fun game to play with kids, but not so fun when you’re 35 years old and still clueless as to the answer. Google this question, and you’ll get 744 million hits. Clearly, it’s a topic on many of our minds.
There’s often a perception that successful people have it all figured out. However, the opposite is true in my experience. Success can create a fear of making the wrong choice when it comes to your career goal. A choice that could potentially upend this beautifully crafted life you spent years creating for yourself.
So why is this question so hard to answer? One reason could be that it forces us to take responsibility for our choices. It’s so much easier to stick our heads in the sand and blame someone else for our job woes.
But is our desire to avoid hard decisions really the reason why we have difficulty figuring out our career goal? I don’t believe so. I think the issue is that the question is too weighty to handle at one go. It needs to be chunked down and tackled in smaller steps.
Here’s how I do it with the folks I work with to map out their careers. Most don’t have any hesitations answering the following questions-
- What energies you at work?
- What are your unique talents and gifts?
- What do you know?
These questions are good starting points to uncover insights into Your Core Values, Your Core Talents and Your Core Expertise.
Identify work that intersects these three areas, and you’ll also discover how to get paid for doing meaningful work that you love and are good at.
Now wouldn’t that be a great career goal to shoot for?