We live in a world with endless career options, and it can be daunting to decide which one is right for you. If you find yourself listing out “options” around what you could do next in your career, and still feel stuck, I suggest you take a step back and get some perspective. It’s easy to get tangled up in the “details” of job titles, industries, and traditional or generic career paths. As result, we can forget to take a look at the bigger picture around what we want out of life, how we want our careers to play a role in our lives, and what is our personal definition of success. Here are three questions to help you take a step back and get that big picture perspective:
What do you want your ideal day to look like?
This is prompt is about visioning how your work fits into your life. Your work should integrate into your life in a way that is sustainable and energizing for you. When you’re visualizing your “ideal day”, include not only the work activities you’re doing, but also the personal activities you’re doing as well, such as dinner with friends after work, or an afternoon work-out. Don’t worry too much about the specifics when it comes to your work activities. You can keep those general – such as, “virtual meetings with a team” or “working independently”. Paint a picture of your day that excites you and is your own personal epitome of work-life balance & integration.
How do you want to feel in your work?
Write down all the different ways you want to feel in your work. Is it peaceful? Expansive? Simple? Write down these feelings without judgement. If you know how you want to feel in your work, it gives you a guiding force when making decisions simply because we can ask ourselves: would this create more <<insert feeling>> in my life?
Hold Your Vision
Now, write a journal entry one year from now, as if you are documenting your day in the future. Bring in all the feelings, the structure of your day. Write down everything you know, and leave what you don’t know open and general. Hold this as your vision, and run every single decision you make around your career through this vision by asking yourself: does this align with my vision?
Now, what’s one step you can take that will bring you closer to this vision?