Just do what makes you happy. Follow your passion. If you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life again …
Haven’t we all heard enough of these sayings? Well, whilst it is the truth, not many wake up one day knowing what their calling is or having someone finding their way.
After having created my roles from the age of 17, changed industry twice since then, gone through 3 different careers myself and having worked with hundreds of people in the last 3 years on identifying their journey, I have found 5 key questions that will help you finding your unique uniqueness easier:
1.) Forget job titles, industries and even money. What is it that you would love to do in an ideal world, from waking up to going to bed?
We often get caught up in climbing the ladder within an organization or industry, chasing the next big thing or earning this much money. In fact, these are all nice to haves that gives you immediate but very short-term satisfaction. Moving all stereotypes aside and thinking of your ideal day will not only open your eyes to new opportunities but also activate your brain for way more inspiration than you could have ever imagined.
Start by thinking about the environment you want to be in: is it inside or outside, behind a computer or in front of a crowd, working as individual contributor and super star or leading a team, travelling the world or have a routine, …
Those images in our brain evoke emotions, feel-good feelings which release dopamine to the brain. This chemical reaction doesn’t only make us more likely to action due to the rewarding feeling we see coming but also because the brain can’t distinguish between a story that actually happened or one that has been told/told to yourself.
I always wanted to be with people, see their development and improvement, be out and about, talking with and in front of people, doing research and write … you get the gist. It’s about identifying what you want to do, how important each of the aspects are and find the right opportunities that bring you that.
2.) What did you love doing when you were 10 years old?
I don’t mean playing certain games or hiding from doing homework. I mean what could make your day, what did you constantly do and with others?
This wasn’t always clear to me how much of an impact it can make on your adult choices and it came as a surprise to me when I thought how much my childhood actions reflect what I’m doing now.
I always pictured myself doing typical female roles – the classical helping professions: vet, doctor and teacher.
The thing I enjoyed most about all of them was that I could take out the bad things that I always encountered in these areas:
I wasn’t the brightest at school and always wished I had someone who can dumb it down for me so when I ‘taught my friends’, I explained it in a story and broke it down step-by-step as this was the way I could make it understand for me;
I hated to see my dog shaking and shivering when visiting the vet which I also did when I had to go to the doctor. So I always wanted to make the visit an enjoyable experience for both, the humans and the pets by providing so many services around the unpleasant vaccination or treatments that made everyone feel comfortable and don’t want to leave.
3.) What did your parents or grand parents always tell you that maybe never made sense?
Again, it may not always make sense and you may think they are biased and have to tell you that you are the smartest on earth but go beyond that and think about re-occurring statements people in your close surrounding said to you about you. Such a cheeky one, you’re a clown, stress smart…
In my case it was that my grandparents in particular always said: you have the heart on the right spot. When I was a child I couldn’t be bothered anymore about it as it didn’t mean anything to me and I would have rather been the adventurous girl who isn’t afraid of anything.
Well…that wasn’t me but knowing now what I know, I can see that this is probably the biggest strength that I have: I can emphasis with people straight away, it is easy for me to make connections and I enjoy solving other people’s problems.
4.) When do you feel most comfortable and confident?
This question is about identifying not only what draws you in, but also what makes you shine. Asks people and yourself this question also in unlikely settings as it makes you think twice what you are attracted to and what attracts others in you.
Is it presenting in front of people to pass on knowledge the time when you glow or is it when finding hidden and complex data sets to pass on to someone who then presents them and gives you a feeling of accomplishment as you were the initiator of identifying the basics but you would hate to talk about it.
It’s important to think about that time and place where you feel most alive–whether it’s when you’re solving a problem, creating, connecting with someone, traveling. Whatever it is, identify it–and if possible, find a way to do more of it.
5.) What is a movie or a podcast you could not just listen to until the cows come home but also actively participate in?
Thinking about this question will help you figure out what you care about and also passionate about as you can only fake interests for so long. Also get an understanding of its real importance: how likely is it that you would pursue it based on its uniqueness for you.
But if you can find a problem or challenge no one else is tackling the way you do or with your spin on it, you can carve your own niche and create value. That is personal branding and you don’t want to be interchangeably competing with people.
6.) What do your friends constantly come to you with?
This question will give you insights as to what others see in and perceive you as. It may not be always obvious to you but stepping back and look of commonalities also in your friends: do you attract the self-conscious or self-confident ones, the ones who always seek your advice when it comes to business questions or more the love-related problems…once you have some clarities, ask yourself why they would come to you?
Is it the opposite you represent, like do they seek your confidence or your previous experience overcoming this problem… we are attracted to people who seem to be confident in something – especially themselves as we strive to be like that. Gaining more confidence to speak up, getting a more toned body, being able to cold call prospects…
If you have gone through the exercises and have answers but still not sure what to do next, get in touch.
Our passion is finding yours!