You did all the right things.
You went to school, got a job with a good company, and set yourself on a career path your parents would be proud of.
Or maybe you just took the first job you could find because those student loans were coming due.
Either way, you took a job and now you hate it.
You wonder how this happened. How did you end up doing something every day that sucks the zest for life out of you?
The problem is you don’t know what to do. You don’t know what else you want to do. Even if you did know, you don’t know how to get there.
The good news is there is hope.
This problem can be resolved by doing some real soul searching and assessing three major areas in your life.
Area 1: Your Strengths and Personality
Who are you? What are you good at? If you answer those two questions accurately more than half the battle will be won. Fortunately you don’t have to figure this out on your own. There are a number of resources to help you answer these questions.
One very good and inexpensive way to determine your strengths is to use the Strengthsfinder 2.0 (not an affiliate link) assessment.
Another more comprehensive tool you can use is the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The MBTI is the most reliable and validated personality assessment on the market. Most Fortune 500 companies provide the MBTI to their employees and I provide the MBTI to all of my coaching clients. I highly recommend it.
Area 2: Skills and Abilities
By the time you are 25 you have likely used hundreds of different types of skills to accomplish something. What have you noticed you are particularly good at doing? Which skills do you enjoy using the most? Is there something you would like to be able to do but have not tried?
However, just because you may be good at something doesn’t necessarily mean you enjoy using that skill. You’ll know you’re on the right career track when you find a skill you also enjoy using.
Area 3: Values, Interests, and Dreams
What is important to you? What do you find yourself doing during your non-work hours?
Some may ask you what your passion is. I say rather than search for the holy grail of passion, take a look at what you are already doing. What types of things do you find yourself drawn toward? Do you enjoy backpacking, blogging, kayaking, data analysis, talking to people, etc. Your interests are the seeds to discovering the kind of thing you would enjoy being paid to do.
Also, when we’re seven years old it’s Ok to say you want to be an astronaut but when we grow up we forget to continue dreaming. You need to tap into your inner seven year old.
What do you find yourself dreaming about during the day? Even if you think it would be irresponsible and impossible to do, the key is to allow yourself the freedom to dream about the job and the life you want.
When you put all of these components together, you should have a pretty good idea of what you would rather be doing. The next step is putting together a plan to get to where you want to go.
You’ll be saying sayonara to that job you hate in no time.
Question: When you were seven years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?
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