5 Questions to Help Identify Your Dream Career

5 Questions to Help Identify Your Dream Career

The new year is officially underway which typically brings mixed feelings of excitement but also stress. A fresh start invokes the sense that we have to “have it all figured out” especially when it comes to our career. Many are working on setting goals for the year ahead but what happens if you’re not quite sure where you’re going? Although having a clear direction is vital to reaching goals, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when that direction isn’t clear.

Before finalizing your 2019 goals, take this time to pause and ask yourself these five questions to help you identify what is most important to you in your career. Think of this as a precursor exercise to outlining the exact steps to reaching your dream career. Put in the work now to answer these questions and it will help to illuminate which path you need to be on. Take a deep breath, grab a cup of coffee or kombucha (if that’s more your thing) and get ready to do some soul searching.

1 - What parts of your current job do you excel at and enjoy?

This question is the most practical because it forces you to stay in the present with your current job. However, it also encourages you to look at what’s working and what’s not in your situation. What tasks come easy to you and which ones do you actually enjoy? Even if it’s not a specific task you like, perhaps it’s a skill set. You might be extremely organized at setting up systems and processes to solve a complex issue. Or maybe you really like strategically trying to solve a business objective. Notice these skill sets and apply them to your future job description.

2 - Who are the people you most admire? What is it about them or their careers that attract you to them?

We all have those people we admire and respect in our lives. But have you ever thought about exactly why you respect them? It could be that they have a steady, high-powered government job, or they took a leap of faith on an entrepreneurial endeavor. Perhaps they balance a corporate job working 9-5 while raising a family of four. Whatever it is, get really clear on what you admire about them.

3 - If you had no financial demands and all your bills were paid, how would you want to spend your days?

Although a very aspirational question, this one is equally important. When dreaming up the very best professional situation for yourself, you’ve got to THINK BIG! Nothing should be off-limits in this exercise.

4 - Do you have a special gift or talent? How can you share this with the world and make it part of your career?

Do you love to sing? Do yoga? Tell jokes? How can these important parts of you be integrated into your work? Your passions and talents don’t have to be separate from your 9-5. The world needs you to be living out your dream every day, not just on the weekends.

5 - Imagine yourself in the future at a point in which you have achieved great success. What is it that you have accomplished? What does your life look like?

When you’re looking to retire, what are you going to remember about your career and what you accomplished? What’s going to make you feel fulfilled and proud of the way you lived your life? Be flexible with your answer here as it might change over the years and that’s okay. None of these answers to these questions have to be set in stone. They should evolve just like you’re going to evolve through your career.

Once you feel satisfied with your answers above, then it’s time to move into goal-setting. Trust me, putting in the work upfront by answering these questions is going to make outlining your path to your dream career so much easier.

This is a guest blog post by Lauren Ellis. Lauren serves as the 2019 Communications Chair for Metro EDGE. In her day-to-day she is a Senior Communications Specialist at VSP.