It is graduation season, and whether you are finishing off college, high school, or reminiscing about when you did, those many years ago, it is a good time to think about where you want to go next. How are you going to spend your time between birth and eternity? Where do you want your income to come from and what kind of output do you want to contribute to the world?
Begin by imagining which contributions and accomplishments you could achieve while fulfilling your purpose in life. Look at what you enjoy doing for clues by giving thought to the questions below.
- When you daydream, what do you see yourself doing?
- If you had unlimited time and resources, what would you choose to do?
- When you look at your work life, which activities do you consider of greatest worth?
- When you look at your personal life which activities do you consider of greatest worth?
- What do you consider to be your most important future contribution to others?
- What talents do you have?
- Are there are things you feel you should do even though you haven’t yet? What are they?
- What functional areas interest you (i.e. sales, operations, finance, technical, management)?
- Do you have a specific job in mind? What is it?
- What skills will you need?
- What training or additional education will you need?
- Who can help you find out more information?
Dreaming big is good, it is where the art of possibility resides. Now, you have to figure out how to get there. For that, you have to take your head out of the clouds and be honest about your current attributes, skills, and knowledge. You have to ASK yourself questions which will help you organize your thoughts around your career planning objectives, strengths, areas of opportunity and personal development.
- What positions or fields of work interest you?
- Do you want to specialize or generalize?
- Where do you want to be in two years? In five years?
- Are these realistic given your current abilities?
- What do you do well? What evidence supports this?
- What do you not do so well? What evidence supports this?
- What do you enjoy doing?
- What specific work situations help or hinder your productivity?
- Do you consider yourself reasonably qualified for the type of work you’re interested in?
- What training or development do you feel you need to be better prepared?
- What are you currently doing to develop yourself? (i.e. Education, Reading, Professional Associations.)
- What additional knowledge, experience or skills do you need to acquire in order to perform better in your current job and meet your career objectives?
- What can you do to acquire the additional knowledge, experience and skills and is it worth the sacrifice of time and effort?
- Are you willing to move laterally to gather additional experience?
- How could your current manager help in your growth and development?
- How do you feel about moving to another location?
- How much traveling would you be willing to do if required?
There are many questions to contend with. That’s okay; you’re worth it. The answers will give you better direction and focus your thinking toward where you want to go next.