Career is a path each individual takes and walks through learning and work in life.

And during all my professional time, I did not meet many individuals who said that they are not searching for their personal and professional development on their career path. And a lot of satisfaction.

But one thing I have also noticed is that so many professionals out there hardly ever take the time to think about their past career choices. And further on, have no true career clarity on their future career goals and development plan. To reach their career growth and more satisfaction.

Most of us live our careers on autopilot (I know I did for long). Without stopping for a moment and getting clear on what we actually want. To find work and environment that combines using our best capabilities and full potential, personal meaning, continued income, and social impact. 

To live fulfilling and satisfying careers. 

Is it really so hard to decide with confidence on your next career move that will lead to more satisfaction, fulfillment, and success? 

You are the owner of your career path. 

Getting career clarity on your desired future career goal and development plan is your responsibility.  

And it takes a lot of courage to fully acknowledge that you are the owner of your development, growth, and career journey you walk. 

By ownership, I mean that it is you who needs to take active decisions and set your clear career goals, that are your own.

If you don’t like how your career is, change it. It is you who holds the power of choice, and it all begins with it.  

And when it comes to changes and career clarity, let’s be honest – it is easier to state what you don’t want, right? 

Ask yourself these questions

We all get into the moments when we become full of sound and positive intentions to finally take our professional and personal growth back into our hands.  We recognize that it is time to improve our working lives and career, and something needs to be changed. 

This moment is actually an opportunity to step back for a moment. To dig deeper into your inner world and drivers so that you can make a clear and intentional career decision. To ask yourself ‘What is missing in my work and career?’

And to first finally find an honest answer on ‘What do I want’ in my career. 

Career is an individual’s authentic experience, and as everyone is unique, there are as many meaningful and successful careers as there are many human beings. 

Everyone deserves a career that encompasses a sense of meaning, success, and fulfillment.  And you can reach it by an intentional process of reconnecting with your best self and strengths, your true values and your biggest career drivers.  

Positive career change and growth comes out from figuring out what you want from your career and whom do you want to become. As from here on, your conscious career transition will be fueled with motivation.

For that here are the most important questions to start with and gain your career clarity:

1. What are my strengths?

This may seem so obvious. But how well do you truly know and understand yourself? And here I am not only referring to the ‘What am I good at’ point of view.

How many times did you invest your effort and energy to consciously ask yourself what makes you thrive at work and in life? What makes you excel? 

Many professionals still fall for the trap of concentrating on their weaknesses. Sometimes, it is an unconscious habit. Sometimes it is the influence of superiors, co-workers or even family members.

It is not who you are that holds you back. It is who you believe you are not. 

We all have our innate talents. They are already there within us. To be outstanding in your career, you need to leverage your core strengths inside you and stop focusing on improving your weaknesses. That is not energizing. That is not engaging. It is draining.  

Excellence comes from using your strengths. Empowerment comes from living your strengths.  

2. What are my values? What matters most to me?

What is the true definition of career success? It is so arbitrary.  

The only success that matters is the one that is yours. What you might consider successful could not matter less and mean nothing to someone else. 

But many times, our career success is assessed from the objective external metrics,  such as level of pay, position, seniority, prestige. It is a result of a contest, and it is our external environment that defines it.  

So do you live your values and success or somebody’s else? 

It is time to ask yourself: What does career success look like to me? What kind of difference do I want to make? What do I want to be remembered for?

The answer to that question is where your values and your “needs” are hiding out. 

And let me throw a bonus question at you: WHY are those your terms and definition of success? 

3. What do I want from my work-life and career?

Those who are mastering their career growth, tailor their own goals.  

Your decisions and career goals should derive from true reflection of your strengths and full potential, your real career drivers and true success definition, aligned with your values.  

Finding joy in your work and fulfillment in a successful career is nothing more than aligning work with all that. 

It is you who creates meaning for your work, and it is you who decides what a fulfilling and successful career path is. 

Give yourself the permission to get clear on whatever wildly (and many times for your outside world unrealistic or not understandable) desires and goals you have. Ask yourself also ‘What is stopping me and What permissions do I have to give myself to become who I want to?’

And once you know what you are chasing, then you can start to make clear decisions on what is the best plan to achieve it. 

Career clarity is the foundation

Taking ownership to gain your self-awareness and incorporate all that new self-knowledge into the career clarity of what you want from your future career path, is the power to act and grow personally and professionally.  

Because only with that clarity, all the pros for the change you are yearning for can outweigh the fears. And only with this, you will acknowledge your options to act and make a genuine commitment to the career goals you tailored. And are your own.  

The decision for your future career move should begin with true clarity of what and why you really want it. Because you deserve nothing less than to build a career that will be rewarding. In many more ways than just financially. 

And remember, a career is not a thing. It is an always creating and evolving journey, connected to a lot of other aspects of our lives in so many ways. 

As you grow as a person and as a professional, you will have to reconnect and recalibrate with your career clarity and goals many times again. 

Whether we like it or not, we are going to spend the most of our waking hours at work. So we better make sure we have work we enjoy.

I do hope you can use these questions to start getting your clarity when you answer honestly to them. And start chasing your meaningful daily work-life and career.

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