Close your eyes for a moment and ask yourself this question: “If I could have any job, what would it be?” In this exercise, you have no educational or financial barriers, so such limits should not factor into your answer. Also, there is no profession too crazy to be considered. As long as it’s a real job that someone has, somewhere in the world, it’s fair game. (This means positions like international spy, fortune-cookie writer, snake milker, professional bridesmaid, and iceberg mover are all on the table.)
Despite the freedom this exercise gives, there’s a chance that you will walk away from it having absolutely no clue what job you want. The fact that you can choose from thousands of potential professions will probably make it ten times harder to choose just one. People in this plight are fully aware and frustrated that they don’t know what it is they want. They wonder if they are doomed to forever feel like a 40-year-old college sophomore with an undeclared major. Does this sound like you?
Figure Out What Job You Want in 3 Steps
It’s compassion-evoking to encounter lost souls who don’t know what they want to do for work. It’s also a little scary. What if they get stuck with jobs they hate simply because they never knew what jobs they might love, and therefore never pursued those careers? That would be insanely unfair. The good news is these folks can figure out what it is they really want by taking the following steps:
1. Know thyself — Do you know what you are really, really good at? You’d be surprised at the number of people who don’t. You won’t know with certainty what it is you want to do until you know what you can do, and do well. Forbes’ contributor Kathy Caprino says that if you can’t answer questions like, “Whom do you love to serve and support and why?” and, “What are you known for, and fabulous at?” then “you won’t figure out what you really want because you just don’t know yourself well enough and others won’t know how to help you.”
2. Enlist the help of a career recruiter – If you don’t know what you want to do next for work, contact a job recruitment agency. The article 5 Ways Your Recruiter Can Be Your Career Coach says, “A recruiter can work as your career coach, providing the information and guidance you need to help make the correct choices and position yourself for success.” Don’t go it alone when a recruiter can help you figure things out.
3. Take a risk — Sometimes, the best thing to do is to take a risk. If you are undecided about what job you want and you get offered an intriguing position that may not have been on your radar, why not take it? Sure, it would be a risk, but you might end up loving it. Don’t allow uncertainty to steal your ability to be decisive and edgy.
If you don’t know what professional field you want to go into, you are not alone. Lots of others are in your shoes. If this is the position you find yourself in, get clear on what you are great at, connect with a career recruiter, and be open to taking a risk. If you keep seeking, eventually you will find the job–and life–you are looking for.
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