How do I know what’s next for me?
Hi Gina here.
We often hear how difficult it can be to figure out what’s next on your career path and how to get there. With so much noise out there about what you “should” be doing to be successful and fulfilled, you can easily start to doubt yourself. And whether you already have a sense of what’s next or you have absolutely no idea, overwhelm and uncertainty can set in.
Maybe you already have a successful career - you’re making good money, you’ve garnered a couple of promotions, you live comfortably and you are grateful. At the same time, you have this nagging sense there's something deeper and more fulfilling than what’s here now. The thought of figuring out what that might be or how to make it happen is overwhelming so you decide to suck it up and keep going. You tell yourself you’ll get around to figuring it out “one day.” You might have been telling yourself this for years.
If the situation isn’t unsustainable already, it will be soon.
But what about the good old days when a job was just a job? Back when it didn’t have to be our primary source of happiness, passion, self worth and identity. After all, that’s ALOT to require of a j-o-b.
I would agree that it’s not your job’s job to make you happy. It is, in fact, your job to make you happy. What I have learned in my own experience and in my work as a coach is to approach the “What’s Next for Me?” puzzle holistically; to look to all areas of your life as opportunities to satisfy your souls longing.
In a previous article, How I Stumbled into my Dream Job, I share the process I followed to answer the “What’s Next for Me?” question. The number one strategy that led to my own breakthrough (and breakthroughs with my clients) is this:
Stop focusing on what you don’t know and start taking action around what you do know.
As you track - and take action around - what you do know, you’ll discover more things you like, more things you don’t like, and get a clearer picture of what you desire to do and who you desire to become. Note that the opportunities for you to move towards the things you already know you want are available both inside and outside of the work realm. You can look to friendships, romantic partnerships, family, your living environment, health and wellness, and your social life as worthwhile places to start following and acting on what you already know you want.
Knowing what the next step is doesn’t always come in the form of a “Eureka” moment. Often it’s a journey of discovery. Taking action, trying things on, following urges will reveal answers. Mulling ideas around in your head forever leads to indecision and stuck-ness.
When it comes to imagining the biggest, baddassiest version of yourself and your life, courageous inquiry and action is required.
Your internal system will likely throw a temper tantrum about it, telling you all the reasons why you shouldn’t/can’t have a wildly fulfilling life and career.
It. Is. Not. True.
The idea that you can’t have your very own “best case scenario” is a belief… a story… a pretend safety net that keeps us small and settling for less than what we are capable of.
“But what if I don’t know what the hell I want?!”
Take a deep breath.
Here is a simple, 10-question guide to help you uncover what you want so you can make your next move with confidence.
Alicia & Gina