What we do for work has a long-lasting impact on the overall quality of our life and wellbeing. Since we spend over one third (⅓) of our entire lifetime at work it is important for us to from time to time critically ask ourselves some important questions about our career to ensure it is in alignment with where we want to go, what we want to do, who we want to become and the legacy we want to live behind.
Whatever stage you are in your career, here a list of 7 important questions to ask yourself that can help you crush your career and life goals. So let’s get into it
What is my vision for my career? Do I have one?
A clear vision is what will keep you striving for progress even when it seems far fetched. If you have no vision of where your career and work-life is leading to; you will find yourself working aimlessly with no direction and eventually no fulfilment. Thus consider the following: Ask yourself who am I ? what kind of work do I want to do? What do I enjoy doing? What am I passionate about? How does that align with my personal and lifestyle goals? What work will allow me to be the best version of myself? To nurture my creativity and talents? What work will make me feel fulfilled?
It is important to define what success in your career means to you. You need to know what you want, the kind of work you want to do, what you want to get out of it and how you can design that, to embody who you are and the life you want to live. The absence of this or simply focusing on what societies expectation for you is would only lead to confusion, lack of happiness and fulfilment in your work life.
Am I satisfied and fulfilled with my job?
If yes, amazing! Keep getting better at it. If no, ask yourself how can you do better at this job to build your character for future opportunities? Be sure to not get complacent by simply accepting your reality and not thinking beyond your current hurdle to tap into the feeling of when your vision materializes. Make a plan to exit or transition into a more fulfilling role, company, job or even your own business; it is possible but only if you take action.
Do I feel challenged and excited about my work?
If your answer is yes: congratulations you’ve found a good position and profession. Be wary to not stay mundane though; keep seeking opportunities for growth.
However, if your answer is no, ask yourself; what task/habit/assignment can you request to take up within your current role to feel more challenged? What books can you read? What programs can you attend, what podcast can you listen to, can you find a mentor? and how can you apply the information you will obtain to develop a system within or outside your job to give you that sense of challenge and engagement? Once you find some answers, make the ask, take the initiative and get started with that which you identify with.
In what way do I want to advance my career this year?
You cannot get what you don’t know you want! So be intentional about how you want to make progress in your career this year and at every point in time. Ask yourself Do you want to pay raise, a promotion, a change of role, a change of company? Or do you even want to leap to start your own business, social enterprise or do you want to move industry? If you are an entrepreneur, what is your KPI? How would you measure growth and improvement? Simply What do you want? What impact do you want your work to have and on who? For how long? Ask yourself this question about how you want to advance your career this year, this month, this week, this day? And then analyse what skills, competences and resources you need to make that happen; do you have that? If no, where can you get them? Then get to work! Commit to becoming better.
How can I add more value to my current work
Whatever the situation is, whether you are happy with your job or not, you feel challenged by it or not, you want to move roles, change company or even transition into a new field; ask yourself what can you do in your current circumstances to add more value to yourself, your employer, your customers, your colleagues and your immediate environment. When you start operating from a place of personal responsibility on how you feel about your career; you will recognize your power to make a change despite the hurdles you face from the external. Even if you have a terrible boss, work within an unhealthy culture, an underpaid job, Look at your job as an opportunity to serve and a period of developing your character; while you plan your exit.
What can do I need to do to be more relevant and competitive in the future of work in my field?
Are you a business owner, government agency or an international organization? How can you innovate in your service or product proposition to continue to add more value to your customers? What policies and organizational culture can you develop to attract and retain the best talent? How can you be more sustainable in your line of work with the environment and the community you serve or do business in?
Are you an employee, a freelancer or consultant? Ask yourself what can you do to advance your skills and expertise to continue to be relevant in today’s digital and technological dynamic marketplace?
Arriving at the top is an illusion; today, the majority of companies who were the largest by market value 15 years ago are no longer at that List. Thus when you think you have arrived; you realise that the bar either doesn’t exist or just got set even higher. Continuous innovation and life long learning are key to becoming more competitive and relevant to the future of work. So ask yourself regularly this important question.
Could I have more balance?
Work is important, even more so is your health (mental and physical wellbeing), your relationships, your experiences of the world, your spirituality and your passion! It’s okay if you are occasionally working overtime and if it’s worth it. However, the goal should be to live a holistic life that is in alignment with nurturing your holistic well being, a life that allows you to nurture your creativity, your love for adventure, to spend time with and doing other things that are most important to you. So ask yourself how can you create and have more balance?
There you have it, queens and kings! I hope that these questions trigger within you the need to critically analyze your work life and find ways to do better and take care of the aspect that you may have neglected. Let me know which of the questions you found most intriguing and useful reminder at this moment, What else do you think should be added to the list?
If you found this useful, be sure to share with others to help them crush not only their career goals but their life goals in the years ahead!