Are you still wondering what you’d like to be when you grow up? Believe me, many people are! As a career coach I am often asked to help adult clients to find the answer to this question, or at least what they want to do next.
This used to be my least favourite type of work but I’ve realised that’s changing with experience and achieving some great outcomes with clients – I’m often now excited about going on a journey with clients to discover more about who they are, what excites them and what next career steps they want to explore.
Usually when working with a career change client we are able to draw out a lot of valuable information through conversation and some questions. We can all get so many valuable insights from our everyday lives. On the weekend I was camping with a friend who is wondering what occupations might suit her. I asked her what she had wanted to be when she was a child? What had been easy for her that others found difficult? What held her attention? When she said she had no recollection, I suggested she speak to those who were around at the time – parents, siblings, friends, etc.
Over the course of the weekend she spoke to a chef friend of ours and talked about her love of food – saying how she ‘gets food’. Her face lit up when she spoke. I asked her what her feelings had been towards cooking when she was young and she replied “OMG that’s it, isn’t it – it’s food”. I think she would have worked it out when she reflected upon her childhood but those moments of inspiration and insight can come at any time and in many different contexts and it’s about recognising them when we see them.
Have you ever experienced a strong pull to a particular activity in either your private or work life? I once went to a story telling event at the Woodford Folk Festival and walked away saying to friends that I needed to tell a story. It was the strongest compulsion and in the next few months I spoke at three story telling events and realised how much public speaking excites and energises me. One of our CareerSmart Mums guest speakers shared her experience of immediately recognising that she wanted to be a Lifeline counsellor when she heard a radio advertisement for them – bounding out of her car to write the number down. While not everyone might experience such moments, I suspect it happens much more than we recognise or act upon. Tune in to your intuition.
If you’re still wondering what to do when you grow up, a good starting point might be:
- Think about what energises or engages you to the point that you don’t notice time passing
- Consider what you wanted to be as a child
- Be open to, and seek out, the clues around you
- Reflect on what everyone has always said you are good at
- Seek out new experiences, learn a new skill, be curious
If you need some help or inspiration, contact Donna on 0419 120 601 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Life’s too short to not love what you do.