Transitioning from any position into a new one, unless you are going to be doing exactly the same thing, requires getting this question answered first. Spend time figuring out who you are before you start looking for that next great career step and you will be much happier during the search and especially afterwards. Yes, being unemployed is an awful feeling, however nowhere as bad as how you could feel if you jump into a job you really don’t want. Here are four tasks that will help you answer the question, “Who am I?”
Task # 1 – Dream.
There is no better time to dream about new ideas, new places, new ways to make money or creating a business. Find a quiet space, relax, let your mind wander and dream. Dream about wild, different, interesting, enjoyable things in life. Don’t focus on a job or how to make money, just dream far and wide. Write down every idea you come up with while you dream. Don’t discount any idea, don’t think about money, vacation time or benefits. And don’t worry about what people will say about your ideas, this is all about you. Write them all down, say them out loud, imagine yourself doing what you dream of. Don’t stop after four or five ideas. Keep going. It will take more time to find an idea you have not imagined yet and which could be the coolest thing ever. You’re entering a phase of your life where what you do is your choice, NOT the service’s.
Task # 2 – Talk with your friends and family.
Don’t talk with them about a job or a company. Instead let them know that you are working to figure out truly who you are, what you could do in the future. Let them know you respect and need their ideas. Let them know that you are dreaming (you can use the word “thinking” if you like) about different ideas, places, ways to be happy in life and to create revenue. Don’t talk about specific jobs, companies or money. Listen to their ideas, write them down, say them out loud and imagine yourself doing the activities they bring up. And don’t, I repeat – DON’T, discount anything they say. Let them ask questions and share new ideas. Remember, write it all down and say it all out loud. Circle back to some of the folks who want to help as you hear and dream up even more ideas. Continue to share some of your dreams and ideas others bring up. Get wild, interesting and push yourself to think way different than you have every thought before.
Task # 3 – Look at what you have done in life.
Don’t look at your past jobs titles, companies or industries. Instead dig deeper and broader. As you start listing these activities, turn them into PAR Statements. PAR Statements are used in resumes and LinkedIn Profiles, but their value is far greater in the “Who Am I?” discussions. PAR Statements are the “Problems/Projects” you were involved in, your “Actions” used to resolve or complete them and the positive Results your actions created for you or others. When you start writing PAR statements relevant to what you have done in life, community and business, you’ll start to see trends of the activities that you were (are) good at doing and most importantly, enjoyed. Work to write dozens of PAR statements and what you will discover could be very interesting and rewarding.
Task #4 – Look at everything you have written down and said out loud.
Take a look at the dreams you’ve write down, the ideas your friends and family share with you and all the many different things you have done in life. If you invest enough time and imagination in this process it is not unlikely your next career move will be nothing like your last job, and far more rewarding and successful than your past.
There is no better job to be looking for than the one that you really want and is most relevant to who you are. Answer the question, “Who Am I?” and you will be far more successful in your career transition. Watch this video to get some more insights into Dreaming into your next great career move.