Whether you’re a young adult just starting out or you’ve been in the work force for decades, yet feel unfilled in your current position or role, it can be extremely difficult to figure out what type of work will make you happy. Will make you feel complete.
However, it isn’t impossible either as there are several things you can do to develop a clearer image of where you’d be best suited work-wise. Here are three options to get you started.
Determine Your “Whys” and “Why Nots”
“When it comes to creating a successful life, everyone needs a STRONG why,” says T. Harv, bestselling author and founder of the Peak Potentials Training Programs. This helps you stay motivated and willing to overcome anything that can potentially stop you from achieving whatever you want in your career.
But it’s also equally important to know why you are not doing what you should be doing too says T. Harv. In other words, what is preventing you from having the career you know would satisfy you to your soul? What is keeping you from taking the steps necessary to doing work you love?
To answer these questions, T. Harv recommends making a list of both, using your “why” list to keep you on track and your “why not” list to become clearer about what types of obstacles you need to overcome to get where it is you want to go.
Understand Your Career-Related Motivators
It can also be helpful to understand what it is that motivates you in regard to your career according to Heidi Grant, PhD, Global Director of Research & Development at the NeuroLeadership Institute and Associate Director of Columbia’s Motivation Science Center.
These motivators generally fall along one of two lines. The first involves seeing your career as a way to create a sense of security, making you more prevention-focused because your main strategy is to “avoid danger, fulfill your responsibilities, and be someone people can count on,” says Dr. Grant. People in this category typically like to plan, can think analytically, are good with detail, and are reliable.
The second type is more promotion-focused as it involves using your career to find “opportunities for advancement, achievement and rewards” says Dr. Grant. In this case, you’re constantly thinking about what you can do to keep moving forward, making this a good fit for those are creative, can work quickly, and excel at abstract thinking.
Get Outside Help
Sometimes it can be difficult to see yourself clearly enough to know what type of career suits you best. In times like these, outside help may be just what you need.
This help can come from a career coach, college counselor, or anyone else qualified to advise others on how to pick the right work-related role for them. If this feels too intimidating or you’re not sure who to reach out to, there are also online options that can at least put you on the right track.
For instance, the Australian Government has a quick and easy career quiz you can take. After answering a few questions about which types of job roles you’d prefer most, you’re provided a list of the work styles you’d likely find most satisfying, as well as the careers best matched to your particular interests.
Look over the list and see if any jump out at you. You may find one that you’d never considered, yet now feel may be the perfect fit.
Once you know your “whys” and “why nots,” understand what motivates you in regard to work, and get some outside help if necessary, you’re well on your way to figuring out what type of work you’d love best.