If you want a successful career, not just a “job”, I have the questions you need to ask yourself, from business advice columnist Gil Schwartz:
- What do you want to do when you grow up? It’s amazing how many adults can’t answer this question. If your answer is to make lots of money – that’s not a meaningful answer. You should want to be engaged in things that challenge and satisfy you – and that has nothing to do with money. Understanding your overall mission in life will help you set realistic short and long-term goals.
- Then, what are your strengths and weaknesses? You shouldn’t strive to be the next Justin Timberlake if you can’t sing in tune. Are you in a line of work that speaks to your strengths? Or are you a customer service rep whose weakness is dealing with people? Be truthful with yourself.
- You’ve also gotta ask, are you in the right place to achieve your dreams? If you want to be a writer, you can pretty much live anywhere. But if you want to work for a big software company, you’ll probably need to move to Silicon Valley. So ask yourself if you can achieve your career goal from where you are right now.
- And lastly, ask yourself what are you doing this very minute that you shouldn’t be? If your goal is to impress the boss, why are you surfing the internet, or standing around gossiping in the break room? If you want a promotion, why did you come to work looking like you just rolled out of bed? Do you look and act like someone who deserves a promotion or more responsibility? Take a hard, realistic look at the way you live your life. You can’t achieve your goals if you’re undermining yourself.