Many of our clients hit a point in their work life when they question their choice of career. This happens for a number of perfectly sensible reasons but it can leave them feeling foolish and asking, “How can I be this old and not know what I want to do when I grow up?” We remind them that the question, when asked of a child, was meant to be answered with a simple and static answer: “I want to be a ____ (fill in the blank).”
The nature of working in an increasingly complex workplace, challenging economy, and highly demanding world has left many people not sure whether what they have been doing is what they want to be doing going forward. This time of uncertainty represents an important opportunity. A chance to pause and reflect on your current circumstances—your age, relationships, commitments, joys, health, etc.—and explore if the work you are doing continues to enhance the whole of your life. If not, you may need to tweak it somewhat or you may need to overhaul it entirely.
Take some time this week and think about the whole of your life. What brings you joy and connection? Where do you go for a sense of competence and pride? Who is in your world that you can talk with about the range of challenges you are facing? And, when are you most satisfied? If work shows up as an answer to some of those questions—you may not need to do anything different. But if it was nowhere in your answers, spend some time thinking about how you most enjoy spending your time. Asking yourself, what do I want to do with my moments going forward? is the grown-up version of, what do I want to be when I grow up? and it is a question that can facilitate your best thinking.