By Kendra Prospero
CEO, Turning the Corner, LLC
One of the most common phrases we hear during career counseling sessions is, “I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up”. While we are prepared to hear this from people in their 20s, often it is a tongue and cheek comment because the person on the other end is in their 40s, 50s or even 60s. Regardless of the person’s age, it’s a very valid question from someone seeking a deep, meaningful answer.
So how do you figure this out?
Here’s what will point you in the right direction. First of all, most people who ask that question are hurting because they are unhappy in their current job. We have found they’re unhappy because they are being asked to do things they are not naturally good at. Too often we confuse a skill with a strength, but the reality is that just because you have a skill or are good at something, it doesn’t mean that you’re wired to do it.
How do you know what you’re wired for?
Well, in a nutshell, you love it!
Time flies by when you’re doing the activity. You don’t question your ability because you just know that you’re amazing at it. People regularly ask you for help with it. You seek out information about it when you don’t have to – when reading a Facebook feed or skimming the newspaper – you’re drawn to the topic. All of these actions are clues that you are good at something and you are hard-wired for it.
Career Counseling can Uncover Your Hidden Strengths
If you don’t feel like you know what you’re naturally good at, you probably need some career counseling or coaching. This is where someone skilled at seeing your strengths can help you see what you’re good at and how to translate this into meaningful work. They help you go through the process of discovering your strengths and passions and turning them into an actionable plan.
I love my job; I’m just not happy doing it!
If you’re in a job that gives you the above fulfillment, but you are still unhappy or seeking a better opportunity, then the next thing to think about is are you getting what you need from the job. We work with 1000s of people every year and the fundamental question you need to ask yourself is, “What do I need from a job?”
Write down your initial thoughts quickly, but then follow-up the question with, “How do I know I have this?” Write that down too. Then ask “If I have this, what does this do for me? How does it make me feel?” Once you document all these thoughts, filter your current position through the results and you’ll see immediately what is missing for you, and you’ll see exactly why you’re miserable.
Again, if you’re struggling to see the answer, having an objective but caring advisor can provide a ton of insight into your needs.
We want you to Love Your Job
I know this – you deserve to be happy in a job. We give up the best hours of our days and the best years of our lives for our work. We should love our jobs. At least most of the time! If you need help planning your next step give us a call at 720-446-8876 and we can get you moving with career counseling from one of our job search experts. Our main office is in Boulder, but we also have an office in Denver for your convenience. It doesn’t matter if you’re 22, 32 or 52, there is still time to find a job you love. We would love to meet with you and help you find work that strengthens you, brings you happiness and that your truly enjoy.