3 steps to gain insight into the work you love to do . . .
When you run out of interest in your job, what do you do? Here’s a fun exercise from a career coach that might help.
Have you ever felt . . . tired of your job, burned out or have simply run out of energy for it? You want another job, but need to earn money and feel trapped in your line of work? But it’s hard to imagine any other job you could qualify for. Right?
This is good news! When you loose energy in one direction, it is because it is time to move in another!
So how do you figure out what else you could or want to do?
This is a subject that can be a great focus for coaching (of course) but here are a few things you can do to give yourself some ideas. The only requirements are honesty with yourself and a willingness to deeply explore what makes you tick.
1—Catalog your “Likes”
Write up those aspects of your current and former jobs (keep them brief) that you truly enjoyed. These are the things that bumped up your energy during the day—maybe it’s a sale, a good presentation, an effective meeting, managing clients, organizing, or analyzing. Then dig underneath that “like” and uncover what it was really about. Was it the success of effective communication? The social interaction with like minds? A challenge overcome? Edit the list after going to the heart of the “like”.
2—Detect your “Dislikes”
No one likes every aspect of their job equally. (As an HR professional, I personally disliked keeping up on the ever-changing regulations and paperwork.) So what are the aspects of your current and former jobs that you avoid when you can, put little effort into, delegate/procrastinate when possible, or rationalize why it doesn’t need doing? Write them down. And just like the list above, look underneath that aversion. What is it that you really hate about it? Was it dealing with conflict, detailed research, constant pressure or minutiae?
3—Create your ideal job description
Now you have the information you need to write up your perfect job description. No “shoulds”, limitations or reality checks on this exercise. It does not have to comply with any structured or realistic format you’ve used before. Just take a quiet moment (at least a half hour) and write a real, heartfelt, yet detailed description of what you would want to do on a daily basis. Take time to play with the ideas, let your mind wander and imagine. What are the goals? Do you manage or are you an individual contributor? What’s your environment like? Daily activities? What are you wearing and in what location are you working (remotely, an office, a temporary work space, etc.)?
This is possibly the most important step. What surprised you about these exercises? What did you learn about yourself? How has it changed your perceptions? What looks different now? What do you wish to add? Close your eyes, see yourself in that job. Picture your future self in that role and ask, what would he/she advise me today?
The answers to these questions alone can give you some insight and possibly even motivation to explore further. You have the answer within! Still need help? Why not see what coaching is all about with a free session?