By Nicole Tinkham
Did you know that 70% of workers don’t like their job (according to Gallup’s 2013 State of the American Workplace study)? Participants of the study reported feeling disengaged from their work. Question: If so many people are unhappy in their career, why are they still doing that particular job? The solution is pretty simple; make a change… but that change can be very scary. Those who are unhappy in their job feel trapped. Maybe they’ve been at that job for awhile and leaving doesn’t seem possible or they don’t think there’s anything else out there for them. These are understandable fears but at the same time, shouldn’t we enjoy what we do for a living? Shouldn’t we all love our jobs and do whatever we can to become excited about going to work each morning? The first thing you have to figure out is what exactly you’re supposed to do with your life and we can help. Here are 5 questions you need to ask yourself to figure out what that thing is.
1. What are 3 things you do extremely well?
Grab a piece of paper and jot down the top 3 things you excel at. These can be tasks that you perform well at in your current position, hobbies in an area you’re particularly talented at, or a skill that comes naturally to you like socializing with other people. Really think about this question as your answer doesn’t only identify your most important skills but it can also reveal what you’re most passionate about. We often enjoy the things we’re good at.
2. What is the one thing that drives you?
In every area of life, there’s something that drives us to do the things we do. What’s the one thing that motivates you to do the three things you listed above and to do them well? Do you genuinely want to help other people? Do you want to make more money so you can enjoy a vacation with your family? Do you want to grow as a leader and run your own business one day? To put all of your effort into your tasks, you must have a why behind it. Why is doing this task so important? What keeps you going when you want to quit?
3. What are your biggest career goals? What’s holding you back from achieving them?
If you don’t already have a vision for yourself, you need to create one. Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years? Don’t say working the same job you’re currently at if you hate it. And don’t use your age as an excuse either. You are never too old to make a career change. Even if you’re only 10 years away from retirement, that’s 10 whole years where you could be doing something you love daily and get paid for it! Dream a little. What would you love to do as a career? Now think about why you aren’t doing that right now. What’s holding you back? Can you make some changes in your life to finally be able to do it?
4. What advice would you give yourself 3 years ago?
If you could go back in time a few years (or even longer), would you make any changes? Would you go back to school or get a degree in something totally different? Would you have taken the dream job that you turned down because you were scared of change? Would you have started up your own business that you never got around to doing? If you were to write a letter to the younger you, what would it say?
5. If you were to work for free for the rest of your life, what would you do?
The main reason why we work is to make an income, but let’s pause and pretend we live in a world without money. If you could do anything with your life, what would it be? Do you want to travel? Create art? Write? The sky’s the limit. You can literally do ANYTHING you want! Grab that pen and paper again. Start making a list of everything you would want to do career wise if money was out of the equation entirely. Now consider how you can turn that into a career in which you can make money.
Maybe you can’t turn your dream job into reality overnight, but anything is possible if you believe and stick to your goals. If it’s something you truly want, you’ll do whatever it takes to get there. But nothing will change if you’re not willing to make a change. You could be clueless right now when it comes to your career, but answering these 5 important questions will give you some clarity as to what you should actually be doing.
Tell us! Did this exercise help you figure out what your calling is? If so, what is that one thing you were born to do and how will you turn it into your career? Let us know in the COMMENTS below or over on our Facebook page!