Career Counseling Pt 1: Asking the Right Questions

Random Observation/Comment #336: Do you remember when someone asked you “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  I think we’re always growing up and this question never gets old.

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For some reason, the big talk of people in their 20’s is always around careers and aspirations. We ask people what jobs they have and see how happy they are so we could hopefully do what they do and also be happy too.  I feel like happiness was never any emphasis in our lives while we were aimlessly studying through high school and college. We’d always hope that the classes would give us the answers and always guide us to the next step.

Well, there’s no guide and there’s no time like now to evaluate your life choices.  Some of us are lucky enough to figure out their calling and know what they want to do with themselves for their whole life, but many others are still searching.  If you’re one of us, you’re always wondering about the “what if” and “what could have been” if you’d studied harder or took that different class or met that different person.  I think, for a career, there’s always a time to change and do something else.

Here are a few questions you can answer to start the change:

  • What do you enjoy about your day-to-day? (specifically, which tasks, projects, or interactions). This is to hone what you like to do and also see where your personal rewards lie in your value system

  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years? (occupation or contribution to society or location). This is to see how you’re planning ahead with your life and your personal dreams/ambitions

  • Which industry are you interested in? (Finance? Technology? Marketing/Advertising? Interior design? Cooking?) This is to see if you like the content of the work you’re doing or the contribution.

  • What are your current technical skills? Financial expertise? What can you say you’ve learned in the past 3 years here?  This is to know what other positions you’re eligible for.

  • What do you consider your biggest accomplishment in your personal and professional career? This is a reflection of your achievements and we can see the process you took to get to completion of that project or getting that feeling of success for the brief moment

  • What are your current side projects / hobbies / how do you use your free time? (bike riding? Research in specific fields?)  This is just to see what you like to do when you’re not forced to do it. Your personal drive to complete side projects is very important to a healthy work-life balance. A hobby can also become a career in some cases – it’s never too late to take a leap and change directions

  • Who are your role models? This is to understand who you look up to and where you’d like to be. There must be certain aspects of this role model that you’d like to have yourself.

  • How do you challenge yourself outside of work? Outside of hobbies and fun activities, what do you do to challenge yourself? Do you make up assignments for yourself to complete? What are the subject of these assignments? This is important because this can give you problems to solve and motivation to keep working on something.

If you’re unhappy with where you are, try to answer these questions and evaluate your day-to-day.  Once you know what you’re interested in trying out, the next step will be the main actions you can do to make this happen. Stay tuned for part 2.

~See Lemons Keep Searching