“What do I want to do in life” is a question that keeps many people awake at night. Regardless of whether you are just writing an exam, defending your master’s thesis or whether you already have several years of professional experience, you may face the same dilemma – which direction to go next? What do I actually want to do in life? My today’s post will help you outline the general direction of your further professional life, and perhaps even solve some professional dilemmas!
Do only the lucky ones know what they want to do in life?
When you meet someone who does what they love, you can sometimes think “wow, this one is lucky”. As he talks about his work, his eyes sparkle, his mouth stretches from ear to ear, and his voice rises in excitement. Is this feeling reserved only for a few?
For over a dozen years, we have been told that we need to go to college (those after which “there is a job”), study diligently for 5 years, and the labor market will be open to us and cheerfully wave its hand full of offers. You have to grab one such offer and thank God that you managed to get a “secure” job. And once you get hooked in a good company, you have to sit there and slap your own, because why change – maybe for the worse?
And many people realize this scenario, enjoying what they have and never even think about whether they can have more. Reflection comes only when it may be too late – when professional burnout leads to severe depression – or when they suddenly realize that they do not want to continue doing what they are doing.
I dream of a world where people have the courage to do what they really like. Unfortunately, sometimes we are held back by “good advisors” who may actually mean good for us, but just don’t always know what’s really good for us.
So if you are just about to choose a career path or you know that the one you are following is not entirely for you, I have some tips and exercises that will help you. How to discover what you want to do in life?
Complete these 4 puzzles to discover what you want to do in life:
Deciding what to do in life is so difficult because we think we should choose one career path for the rest of our lives. The choice is difficult because it seems final. However, working life lasts about 40, maybe even 50 years. Do you really think you’ll be doing the same job for so many years? It was possible in the generation of our grandparents, maybe parents. But right now the world is changing so fast that it’s crazy to think you’ll be doing the same thing all your life.
You don’t have to choose one profession for life, but that doesn’t mean that you have to choose the first one right now. No, no – you want a fulfilling professional life, don’t you? That’s why you need to put together these 4 puzzles that make up the Perfect Fit Model.
Know your strengths
Often when you think about your strengths, you answer without thinking: “none”! Think again and after a while you will realize that you have billions of talents!
This is one of the most important elements when you are looking for an answer to the question “what to do in life”. Therefore, apply yourself hard to find the answer.
Answer yourself honestly, without undue modesty,
- What are you really good at?
- What are you praised for?
- What tasks do not cause you problems, and which others need a lot of time and energy?
- What subjects did you like at school?
Don’t give up on your dreams
Although it seems that dreams are good for children, I advise you well: if you want to know what to do in life, discover your dreams! More precisely: design a vision of your life. What do you want your life to look like in 5 or 10 years? Where you will be? who will you be Who will you be with? Think in a completely non-professional context. It is this vision that will allow you to answer the question later: ok, what do I have to do to make this vision come true?
Know your values
Values are a compass that guides us through life. It shows us what is really important to us. The conflict of values is one of the most common causes of dissatisfaction and joy from work. If your value is your family, how can you enjoy the fact that you earn a lot, if you spend several hours a day at work, barely seeing your loved ones?
When you answer the question: What is really important to me in life, it will be much easier for you to match it with the right occupation.
Find your mission
This is the hardest piece of the puzzle, but when you find it, you’ll wonder why it wasn’t clear to you before. Your mission is the reason you came into this world. I believe that each of us is in this world for something. It’s not necessarily part of some greater divine plan set X centuries ago – I feel more like that each of us can find our right place, something that will motivate and inspire us to act despite adversity.
How to discover your mission?
There are many roads. Sometimes it comes suddenly, hitting us like a batter hits the ball in a baseball game. This usually happens when we are doing some activity related to this mission. Suddenly we feel: eureka, this is it! Sometimes a mission comes in a dream. Do you remember that feeling when you wake up in the morning with a ready solution to a problem? Discovering the mission will feel the same, only times a million. It can also come to you during deep relaxation. And sometimes it’s enough to answer a few questions, for example: What would you do with your life if money didn’t matter?
Once you have all the pieces of the puzzle, you will be able to set your life goals, and based on them, your career goals. This road can be long, but it’s really worth it to not spend 1/3 of your day in a place you hate.
Think about your passions
It is said that 2,500 years ago, Confucius said, “Choose a job you love and you won’t have to work a day in your life.”
- What’s your favorite thing to do after hours?
- What areas of information do you absorb like a sponge?
- What pages do you have in your Favorites?
- What are your hobbies?
- What do you spend your free time on?
Combining work with passion is a dream of many people. However, before you drop everything to follow your passion, think about it – is it possible to earn money from this passion? And if so, can I sell it? Working with passion does not always mean having your own business! If you are passionate about flowers, you don’t have to open your own flower shop – first, get a job with someone, get to know this business from the inside, and then – if you feel like an entrepreneur – open something of your own. But you do not have to. Working for someone else is also fun, and for some it’s definitely safer.
What are your competencies?
Competencies are the sum of your knowledge, skills and attitudes. It’s all you know, what you can do and how you behave. What do you already have? What formal and informal education did you get? What courses have you completed? What practical lessons have you learned so far? What can you do so well that you could instruct others? What knowledge could you share with others? What positively distinguishes you from others in your behavior?
If you dutifully answered all of the above questions, you should have a list of your resources, that is, all the good that is in you. At this point, you may have already cleared your mind about your dream job. Or maybe you suddenly had a specific idea! However, if you still don’t know what to do next with this list, let’s move on.
What are your friends doing?
Don’t know what you want to do in life? What are your friends doing? When we meet new people, one of the first things we give or receive is what we do. The work we do defines us in a way, becomes part of our identity. Remind yourself what your friends are doing. When was the last time you reacted to a story about your friend’s work “wow, cool, I envy!”? What did you like so much about his work? What were the elements that particularly interested you?
When you meet a new person, ask what they do. Play some detective and ask how she got to this place and what she likes about her job. Or maybe you are impressed by the work of a famous person? Try to contact her and ask similar questions. What bad can happen? He won’t write you back. Also read biographies and memories of different people, maybe you will find inspiration for yourself.
What have you really always wanted to do in life?
Almost all of us have something that we have always wanted to do – maybe even since childhood. But dreams to themselves, and life to itself. Life, social norms, teachers, parents, “shoulds” and dreams are swept under the carpet. Lift the rug and see what’s there. Is it still your dream? Do you want to pick them up?
Remember, however, to approach your dreams rationally – as if you were a passion. If you always wanted to open a cafe, but you have no idea about brewing coffee or managing gastronomy, don’t take a hoe to the sun and don’t take a loan to renovate this place that you recently saw and would be perfect. First get a job in a cafe, take courses, read books, sign up for workshops. Get the necessary knowledge. If this is really your dream, you won’t mind that you have to learn something all over again, that you start “from scratch” and “you didn’t study at the university for 5 years to make coffee now”.
Browse job offers
Go to the job advertisement portal and browse the current job offers in your region or even throughout country. See what is happening on the labor market. Check what are the requirements for the positions that seem interesting to you. Try to find blogs about working in a given profession and see if it’s really as cool as you think. Maybe you want to retrain?
In the age of the Internet, acquiring new competences is really not difficult and sometimes it is even free! The offers of postgraduate studies, training and courses are so rich that you will grab your head in surprise: “this is what you can study ??
Read the post about online free courses
When you have done all the above exercises conscientiously, you may already have a plan or … confusion in your head (don’t worry about this feeling, confusion in the head does not mean anything bad, on the contrary, you can really start creating your life from this). Regardless of your condition, it is worth consulting a specialist, such as a career coach. Such a person will help you organize your existing competences, prepare a plan to acquire new ones and help you believe that you can really change something in your professional life.
“What do I want to do with my life” is a difficult question. Did my tips help you?
I hope this post will help you start thinking about your development and what you want.