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Your working life: 10 questions to help you reflect
30 June 2015
It is my belief that we should all find our strengths, tap into our passion and get paid for it. Because of this, I’m seeing a lot of unhappy people in Corporate World at the moment – mainstream professionals or executives who feel stifled, trapped by their own success, people who are looking for an exit but aren’t sure where to start.
Here are the preliminary questions I send out to people as a way of starting the process of reflecting on their work. They are a really useful way to step back from your current job for a few minutes, to think about the bigger picture of your working life, to take a sounding of where you are at and where you are headed. There’s a mix of left-brain and right-brain stuff, some detailed questions and some more open-ended big picture ones.
The questions aren’t just for those who are unhappy in their current role – we should all assess our lives from time to time, if only to see what is working well and be grateful for it, to work out what brings us satisfaction, so we can get more of it.
Here they are:
- What have been your 3 best work experiences (be as specific as you can – what project, team, role, activities)?
- What have been your 3 worst work experiences (again, be specific…)?
- What are 3 essential elements of a job for you (things you absolutely must have to be happy at work)?
- What are 3 absolute no-nos in a job (things you could not put up with, no matter how good the job otherwise)?
- What skills, talents, pursuits would you like to have or develop in your life?
- What fires you up, makes you feel excited or gets you hot under the collar – where are your passions?
- What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?
- What is stopping you from having your ideal career? What is in the way?
- When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? (When you were very young, in primary school, a teenager…) It doesn’t matter how strange or unlikely or impossible it seems now (I wanted to be an alien…). Have you lived the fantasy in some way, either as a career, or through a hobby or in another form? What have you let go of…why? Did it seem unattainable, or not sensible enough? Did you get talked out of it, or lose interest? How could you give space to these dreams in your life now?
- List 12 experiences / skills / activities / jobs that you would like to have in this lifetime, but haven’t yet done