Career Questions to Ask Yourself
Imagine that you had 3 separate lifetimes to live - what would you do with your time? Write about your vision. Don’t limit yourself to occupational titles or career fields; instead, provide detailed descriptions of what you’d like to be doing, where you’d like to live, who you’d like to spend time with, and what special skills, training or interests you would hope to explore and develop
Finding the right career, and sticking to career choices that satisfy and challenge you is a process that involves a lot of self-exploration and self-awareness. No matter where you are in your career journey, it’s crucial to keep that self-awareness.
You don’t have to reserve self-reflection for New Year’s Eve, though. It’s great to ask yourself important career questions at critical moments such as getting a new job, leaving a job, getting a promotion, or any other significant point in your career.
Think of these five questions as a self-performance review, the purpose of which is to get you on the right path and keep you happy and satisfied, no matter what you’re doing! They’re also great for career planning and development, both of which are key to driving success.
1. What is my career vision? Having a vision is key to driving career fulfillment and success. The average American will spend about 90,000 hours at work over a lifetime… that’s a serious amount of hours! You want to make sure you’re spending that time wisely, working constantly toward a vision you know will satisfy you. Reflect on what your vision is for your career and jot it down in Career Companion’s FREE reflection module, so you can look back at the end of each year and make sure you’re still on the path to that vision.
2. What energizes me? Have you ever had that moment where you get so absorbed by your work you lose all sense of self and time? That’s called flow, and it actually releases a hit of dopamine that floods the pleasure center of your brain. Besides keeping you happy, dopamine also keeps you focused and working toward your goals. If you’re in flow, that’s a good sign that you’ve found something that energizes you. And what energizes you drive you to succeed. Consider what gets you inflow, or simply what gets you excited when it comes to your work.
3. What does success mean to me? Success means different things for different people. It could mean having a lot of money, a strong work-life balance, or even that you work with certain people. Maybe success to you simply means happiness and satisfaction in your career. Your success might not look the same as your coworker’s, and that’s okay! All that’s important is that you key into what matters to you, and to make sure you’re following that passion.
4. What am I really good at? Your skills and gifts make you feel proud and accomplished. If you’re using yourself to the best of your ability (like when you’re doing things that energize and excite you), you’re going to work harder and get even closer to your personal goals. Think not just about what you’re good at… think about what you excel at, what you consistently perform well at. Of course, you can be good at things you dislike. The key is to focus on your strengths, the things you’re excellent at that also energize you. This will keep you productive and even irreplaceable or desirable to employers.
5. What bores me? Take the time to examine not only the things that excite you, but also the things that bore you about your current situation. Doing tasks that bore you will cut your satisfaction. Look at how you answered what energizes you — chances are, that answer is going to line up with the complete opposite of what bores you.
Your day-to-day can get so busy that it’s hard to find time to keep asking yourself the important questions that impact your career path. It’s easy to get so wrapped up in following the career path that you forget to check in with yourself to make sure that the path you’re on is actually the right one!
Use Career Companion: Q&A to answer career questions about yourself. All your questions and answers are available for you anytime and anywhere.
Keep track of your answers and answer new ones or revisit ones you have already answered with a new perspective.
Evaluate your progress, ambitions, and what simply isn’t working. You might just find yourself realizing a new vision for your future.