Feel stuck or unhappy in your job, yet uncertain how or where to move to the next step on your career path? Ready to look beyond getting a job, to discovering your true work? Dissatisfied with the many career questionnaires that tell you what you already know? Let’s look at some ways to go deeper, to discover work that is both satisfying to you, and meets your financial goals.
To discover your true vocation it is useful to reflect upon several important questions: What do you feel to be your life purpose? What are your key values? What motivates you? What are your major knowledges, skills, and abilities? What work and volunteer experiences do you have? What career goals are important to you? What type of work environment do you value? What is economically viable for you?
To begin, reflect back on the past five years of your life and make a list of your most fulfilling situations and peak moments. Include experiences from your work life, volunteer efforts, educational and enrichment activities. What made those experiences memorable to you? What were the qualities that came together in those situations that made them special for you? Make a list of those experiences, and beside each one create a list of its special qualities. Don’t stop with just two or three situations, try to generate as long of a list as you can. Then examine the details behind each of the experiences and see what commonalities you find. Many people find themes such as helping other people, working outdoors, creating new ideas, analyzing situations, travel, or meeting new people. I suggest examining the previous five years, for everyone changes over time, and what excites and stimulates us will change as well. As part of the coaching process we explore your stories and experiences, as I help you discover qualities of work that are most important to you and why. This helps you to begin to describe the ideal career opportunity that will be both fulfilling and rewarding to you.
Many people will find it helpful to perform informational interviews with people who are working in fields that interest them as career possibilities. In these interviews you are not directly pursuing a position, and instead seek insight into the field, what it is really like, whether you would find it satisfying, and the possible employment options. With each informational interview one is also building up a professional network of people in the field who know your qualities, interests, qualifications, and your interest in working in the field. Through informational interviewing and analyzing your findings with a career coach, you narrow your career search to specific positions and employers. Some may find that they need to add to their qualifications through additional training and volunteer experience. Others may discover new career options they had never considered.
These are just a few of the key components of discovering your true vocation and finding your ideal work. Working with a career coach will give you focus, and keep you on track as your work through a systematic process that explores your options, and identifies the career choices that will be the most fulfilling and rewarding for you. Don’t settle for just a job, discover your true calling!