The process of figuring out what we want to do when we grow up lasts our whole life long. That’s partly because building a career is something you should (and enjoy) over time, and partly because it’s so easy to get lost along the way. No matter where you are in your work journey, it’s a good idea to check in from time to time, to see if you’re still heading in the right direction.
(Photo Credit: lululemon athletica/Flickr)
Andrea Balt of Rebelle Society recently published an amazing post on the questions we should be asking ourselves, in order to make sure we’re living life to the fullest. “30 Questions to Ask Before You Die” is worth a read in its entirety, whether or not you’re currently having any sort of life or career crisis. But even if your bucket list is sufficiently buffed and polished, it’s worth pondering these career-related questions:
1. What do you love doing that you’re not doing right now?
“Furthermore, how could you get paid for doing what you love?” Balt asks. “Let’s brainstorm. It’s your right to be alive every second of the day. You’re not supposed to spend 8 hours in chains and the remaining 4 getting high on mental and physical distraction to cope with the depression of not doing what you should, what you want, what you need to be doing.”
If you’re like most responsible adults, this will seem revolutionary, almost scandalous. Do what we love? The idea! But as long as we’re not walking off our jobs without a plan or cashing out our 401ks to move to an island, it’s a perfectly valid question. It’s hard to recognize the opportunity to make a change if we never think about what we’d like to be doing.
2. Where do you want to live?
This question is almost more about people than about place. Do you have opportunities where you are, both to develop the kind of career you want to have and to be surrounded by the kinds of people who understand your goals?
3. What’s your motivation?
There’s no right or wrong answer. You might be motivated by money or art or the ability to play video games for an hour a day. Whatever your priorities are, it’s important to be honest about them, especially with yourself.
4. What kind of life would make you jealous?
Don’t let yourself be limited by fear or artificial ideas about when you’re supposed to do X, Y, and Z. If you had to start over again, what would you do?
5. What are you most proud of, so far?
Stop comparing yourself to others and appreciate everything you’ve done so far. Think about why those accomplishments are so important to you. Let yourself be proud.
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