By Linda Van Valkenburgh, MS, CCMC, CJSS, CSMCS, CELDC
There are many careers to choose from, but there may only be a few that will keep you motivated. Finding your perfect career is an exciting process, but it may require some experimentation and soul-searching on your part.
You can watch as others thrive in their career roles, but what is right for you may be different from what is right for them. You must take the time to understand who you are and what you want out of your career long-term to find your perfect career match.
Ask yourself the following questions to help you clarify what opportunities to pursue:
- What Kind Of Work Energizes You Most?
There are many ways of phrasing this question. You could also ask, “What gets me up in the morning?” Or maybe, “What work allows me to make a difference in the world?”
The key here is to think about work that gives you energy, as opposed to work that drains and tires you out.
You will thrive in a position that allows you to be hands-on with projects and causes you care about.
Everyone is motivated by different things. You need to determine what excites you.
- If Money Was Not A Concern, What Would You Be Doing?
The answer to this question speaks volumes about who you are and what you care about.
Imagine being paid to do things you care about enough to do without pay. Think carefully about what your answer would be.
Answering this question for yourself will help you zero in on potential career opportunities. You may be surprised to learn that your dream career exists!
- What Are You Good At?
First, think about what you think you do best. What do you see as your main strengths? In what areas do you consistently perform at a high level?
Next, ask others what they think you do best. Ask people you trust to give you an honest assessment of your skills and experience. What do they see as your strengths? How do they think you could leverage your unique skill set?
You can also consider what areas you have been recognized in before. Have you received awards or been recognized for specific achievements?
Though there is plenty to learn in any career, you will do best in a career that allows you to utilize your gifts.
- What Do You Want To Be Remembered For?
What contribution do you want to make to the world? What mark will you leave?
Your next career may not be what you are remembered most for. But, it could be a stepping stone to greater things.
As an executive, you will be leading others, and you will be involved in making important decisions. You will have significant responsibilities. So, you will be remembered – how you are remembered is up to you.
What would it mean to be remembered in a positive light? What will others be saying about you based on the work you will be doing?
Introspection and reflection are two valuable tools that will help you identify what motivates you. There is a dream job out there for you if you have the right experience and talent. You will be happiest in a career where you can contribute at a high level. Take some time to answer the above questions. You will gain more clarity on opportunities that are matched to your goals and skills.
Let’s get to work!
If you have questions about your executive career search, please contact me at 203-323-9977 or [email protected]