5 questions to ask yourself for a more fulfilling career
‘The great resignation is coming according to Anthony Klotz, an associate professor of management at Texas A&M University, who told Bloomberg Businessweek. Many workers are considering a job change as pandemic restrictions ease and companies call employees back to the office. But in the past year, Klotz says there’s been an accumulation of stalled resignations, realisations about work-life balance and new passion projects — all incentives for workers to exit the 9-to-5 office grind.’
Does this resonate with you?
If you are thinking of a change it’s really important to get clarity on what career fulfilment looks like for you. Jumping straight into CV prep, a rabbit hole of online job searching or setting up your new business website without clarity will take you to a place where you might not want to end up!
I use a five-point career blueprint approach with my clients when we’re working on getting clarity.
1. What do you enjoy?
This question is number one because often our careers are shaped by what we're good at, not necessarily what we enjoy.
It's important to think about what activities give you energy and which drain your energy: what gives you 'fire in your belly' or makes time whiz by.
And these can be work activities or things you do outside of work. The important thing is to break down the activity so you can pinpoint exactly what is it that creates fulfilment.
2. What are you good at?
With this question, it's important to think not just about your technical skills but also the human qualities that you have and can flourish in the workplace.
Dig deep in your career experience and identify not just what you achieved in your roles but how did you achieve it. What specifically did you do to make that task, project or collaboration a success? What strengths are unique to you as a person - we're not all the same! If you were to ask 10 people that know you to describe your key strengths what would they say? Try it!
3. How do you want to work?
Our 'how' of work may well have changed over these past 18 months. Questions to ask yourself here include the environment you want to work in; home, office, outdoors, on the road? Do you want fixed hours, shift work or flexible? Do you want to work with people or alone - or a mix?! Do you want to travel - be customer-facing - part of a large organisation or a smaller one? Being clear on what you want and don't want here is key to designing your career.
4. Who do you want to work with?
This question is often overlooked unless we have a particular passion to say work with children or animals or another strong 'calling'. It's worth spending some time thinking about the type of people you'd like to surround yourself with as colleagues, customers or end-users.
5. Why do you want to work?
Finally, explore why you want to work. I can hear a lot of people shouting 'to get paid'! Yes, financial stability is the driver for why most people work. However, what is second on your list of why you want to work? This question aligns closely with our values and our beliefs.
What's important about what you give and get out of work? Are you passionate about problem-solving, helping people, making the complex simple? Do you have a particular cause that you want to support, a change to an industry you want to be part of or a desire to improve our environmental footprint? What career goals would you love to achieve - this is why you work.
You now have a career blueprint - or an ideal job description... just without the role title. Once you have clarity you can update your CV, social media profiles and job search to align with your career blueprint.
It might take you a couple of 'stepping stone' job moves to get to your perfect career but with time invested at the start on being sure you know what you want, you've got more chance of getting there.... and being fulfiled when you do!