How to Identify What You Want in a Career

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Figuring out what you want in a career can be an incredibly difficult task. If you’re like most people, you want a combination of things. Discovering what all of them are and prioritizing them can be paralyzing, enough so that many people end up spending years working in jobs they dislike while they try to figure out what to do next. If that sounds like you, try the following to figure out what you really want:

– Try the “G+P+V=C” method. One well-established career counselor uses an easy formula to help people get a basic idea of what they want. He instructs people to start out by writing down their gifts – the “G” in his formula. Then he has them write down their passions and their values. In his opinion, most people find their calling when they discover a way to use their gifts by doing something they’re passionate about in a way that aligns with their values.

– Challenge your assumptions. Many people end up feeling trapped in their careers due to assumptions, conscious or unconscious. They may be assuming things about themselves, like that they’re incapable of succeeding in a field they’d like to try, or they may be assuming things about others, such as that nobody will value their contributions or that their families won’t support them in making a career move. Figure out what your assumptions are and then test them in order to find out if they’re true.

– Ask for help. Engage people who care about you, whether they’re friends, family members, mentors, or some combination of the above, in your search for a meaningful career. Figuring out what you really want to do professionally isn’t an easy task, and it’s even more difficult if you try to do it by yourself.

– Research. Career coaches and counselors have written a lot of useful books on how to find what you want in a career. Take some time to read their advice, as it may lead you to places you wouldn’t have found on your own.

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