Growing up, we all aspired to a career doing something great: President of the United States, entertainer, rapper, dancer, actor, police officer, doctor, lawyer, fire fighter, corporate CEO, millionaire, astronaut, dentist, plastic surgeon – you get my drift? If somebody asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up, your response shot out loud like a firecracker. You exuded a great sense of joy and hope for the future. The sky was the limit to what you could become. But then life happened.
You progressed through school – elementary, high school, for some college, the military or maybe you dropped out of school altogether. But one thing is sure, time continued on. Before long, you were 25 years old and filled with uncertainty about your career goals and life’s purpose.
What happened? How did you go from “I could do anything” to settling for “this is my life right now”? I’ll tell you what happened: life got the best of you and you stopped believing. But it’s never too late to start believing again.
If you are serious about identifying your ideal career and life’s purpose, then realize that it will take commitment on your part to finish the journey you have started. You owe it to yourself to be happy in your career while fulfilling your life’s purpose. Need a little help with getting started? Below are twelve self-discovery questions. Be open and honest in your responses:
- What types of activities or hobbies were you passionate about when growing up? And how did they make you feel?
- Are your childhood activities or hobbies still relevant in your life today? If not, explain why.
- Write down the names of five people who have had the greatest influence on your decision-making and describe how their input affects your decisions.
- What resources do you feel you need right now to make your ideal career a reality?
- In your adult life, what hobbies or interests bring you the greatest joy and fulfillment?
- Explain what is stopping you from pursuing a career in these areas. It’s important for you to know.
- Is there anything missing in your life right now that could hinder you from moving forward? If yes, explain what that is and what role it plays in your moving forward.
- How have you handled rejection in the past? What impact did it have on you?
- Name 10 things that make you awesome. (Need help? Ask others who know you.)
- What makes you happy?
- Think about your life, experiences, and lessons you’ve learned along the way and draft a short value statement. (This statement will become your personal brand and will be the message you share with others about you.) Tip: Search for “value statements“.
- Finally, use your smartphone voice/video recorder to express verbally what this self-discovery assignment meant to you. Did it challenge you? Did it make you uncomfortable? Talk about why it made you feel a certain way. End your recording with how you were empowered.
At the conclusion of this exercise, a short story will have unfolded – your story. From this point, you can add to your story with each goal you achieve. Be sure to keep all your notes and recordings along the way as they will serve as a personal motivational tool to keep you focused and on course to identifying your ideal career and life’s purpose.