We never know what the world will be like in the future. That’s particularly true as we emerge from the pandemic that has accelerated change.
Along with wondering and speculating about what the world will be like, questions about work begin to create a riptide that threatens to take us under emotionally and professionally.
I see and hear reactions that range from denial to dread.
How do you deal with the uncertainty and take control of your emotions? One of the best ways is to have a fixed point of reference. You can think of it as the Pole Star or North Star for your career.
When ancient mariners navigated through unfamiliar waters, they relied on the Pole Star or North Star as a reference point. Composed of a cluster of stars, the North Star is a fixed point above the horizon that allowed sailors to know their position and plan the travel.
Think about it: You can’t get to where you want to go unless you know where you are and where you want to go. Location and destination go hand in hand.
Just as the Pole Star or North Star in the heavens is not one star but several, your career equivalent must be composed of four questions. If you can answer all four questions, you can find your way.
If you can’t find the answer to even one of the four questions, your career journey faces peril. That means, of course, we need to give serious thought to how we answer these questions. The discovery questions are surprisingly simple. That simplicity masks the rigorous challenge finding the answers will require.
The four questions are in no order of importance. Yet, when authentically answered, they will create the tiny light on the horizon that shows us the way and enlightens our choices:
First, what am I or could I be extremely good at doing?
Second, what work and activities do I love?
Third, what does the world (i.e., people or businesses or both) need?
Fourth, what might I be paid to do?
As deceptively simple as the four questions are, when you find an overlap of the answers to all four, you will have your North Star! You will be able to find your way.
Just as a North Star is a sailor’s frame of reference for making choices and course corrections, your North Star will allow you to move ahead confidently.
My challenge to you is to find a career and job that would be an ideal fit for you.
Helping people find their way, whether C-suite executives or high potentials, is what we do at CWA.
If you need help, we are a text, email, or call away.
Be safe and courageous,
(from Between the Two Horizons)
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