How to Start Listening to What YOU Want in Your Career

Tara Klein
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More than ever, people want to find careers and work that they are passionate about. You know how the saying goes: Find a job you love, and you will never work a day in your life. Sounds easy enough, right? But figuring out what you want in your career is not an easy feat for many people. Many people spend their entire careers in jobs they aren’t passionate about and with companies where they don’t fit. If you are working full time, this is a good portion of your life to spend unhappy. So, what can we do to ensure we aren’t doomed to jobs we don’t want?

The only way to create a career you love is by understanding what you want and then figuring out how to get on the way there. It seems like a simple idea, but most people are falling short of listening to their own hearts. It important to check in on yourself every now and then to ask yourself a few questions to help you start listening to what YOU want in your career.

What do I like about my current job?

There may be parts of the current job that you do LOVE. If you can identify some of the tasks you enjoy doing or aspects of the job that you care about, you have a good foundation for what you know will make you happy in a career. Thinking about those moments in your current job that make you feel empowered and proud can give you some direction to where you want to be. If you really enjoyed working on a group project, you may thrive with a team and with short term completable goals. Maybe this doesn’t require a career change, but simply more involvement in those projects can add some passion and value to your current career. In order to figure out what you want, you need to know what you enjoy doing and there is no better way then looking at your current role.

Am I learning and growing?

People get bored, quickly. Especially in the modern world with the immediate satisfaction that comes from the internet at our fingertips and packages on our doorsteps 24 hours after hitting the order button. That feeling of being stuck can cause you to feel unhappy or dissatisfied with your current path. It is important to feel like you are progressing and that feeling will come from learning new skills, meeting new people, and challenging yourself. If that is not the case, you may need to seek those opportunities out at your current job or look for a position or company that aligns with that. It is so important to feeling like we are moving forward and not standing still.

Is what I am doing now leading me to where I want to be?

If you know or don’t know what you want to be doing, is where you are now helping that cause? Your dream career will most likely not just knock on your door one day. You must make sure the things you are doing today are setting you up for success tomorrow. If your current job and situation are not driving you towards what you want it might be time to reconsider. You have to do things that both help you figure out what you want and also help you down the path towards a career that embodies what you love.

We spend a significant portion of our time at work so finding a career you care about is so important to your overall happiness. Don’t spend your weeks wishing away hours and days on a job that is dissatisfying. Pay attention to the things you enjoy and what gets you excited. Once you have an idea of what makes you tick, make the effort to ask yourself if you’re on the way there. Check in with yourself and make what you want a priority. 

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  • Rich M.
    Rich M.

    At this point, you have to. And if it was meant to be, it's meant to be. In the meantime, I just keep plugging away. Thank Nancy, you're alright in my book.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Rich M thanks for your comment. Let us know how your leap of faith works out! The assessment tests can be quite interesting. Sometimes what we think we want and what the tests show can be completely different. Have you found that to me true? Anyone else find that what they think they want is not what they are suited for? Do you still take that leap of faith?

  • Rich M.
    Rich M.

    I did have a job that I loved, but unfortunately they sent it overseas. I have been laid off since. However, I have taken a ton of assessment test on Indeed and have done quite well on some of them. As a matter of fact, quite a few of them I have gotten from proficient to expert on them. It's all basically common sense. So I guess I have taken the leap of faith as well. I do agree with James and sometimes you have to do that.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    Thanks for the comments. @James Greene Sr - good for you. Not very many people are willing to take that leap of faith! @Paul M - you know what makes you happy - that would be your passion. You can take assessment tests to find out what jobs might be a good fit for you. Try some and see if you can't find your passion. When you find it, you will be anxious to get started - excited to get up and go to work in the morning. That's when you know you have found your passion. Best of luck.

  • James Greene Sr
    James Greene Sr

    I took a leap of faith and really gave my passion in work. I think in order to succeed we have to make big sacrifices.

  • Paul M.
    Paul M.

    Any suggestions regarding how to find that job that you live when you are burned out?

  • Derrick N.
    Derrick N.

    I Live by that Motto.

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