What about that dream job? Do you have to postpone it because of the corona virus? If you decide to put it off, you’ll be restless on Sunday nights and unhappy on Monday morning.
This time of working remotely and sheltering-in-place introduces a unique opportunity for self-reflection and the chance to define what you truly want to do.
Think about your ideal situation: can you describe it? Or is it just a desire to get away from your current situation into something else.
To find out, you first need to look inward. Think about the things you like to do; what inspires you. What drives you to spend all day working on a project or favorite task?
Try to describe your ideal job, the job that is your ikigai1, your reason to get up in the morning. Create a list of your values and the things you like to do, the things you’re good at. The cross section of these three lists is your ikigai.
What do these say about you? Listing them will help you identify what kind of organization you want to join, discovering one that embraces your values. Making this connection between your values and a corresponding organization or company points to what you want and clarifies which one will fulfill these aspirations for you.
Take the time to describe responsibilities that you envision would be part of your job. List out the tasks in which you see yourself making decisions, managing projects and team members. Do you want to manage people? You may not. If this is important to you, register that consideration in your search.
Writing these down into a two-column table that includes things you like to do in the left column and how you envision achieving them in the right hand column will help you see the relationship between what you like and what it will take to achieve what you want.
Think about a time when you were happy in your professional life. What job was it and where were you? What did you like about the job? Add these observations to the left column of your two-column table. Is there a thread that connects from the left to the right hand column?
You may need to step out of your comfort zone as you explore the two columns. Be honest with yourself – this is for you. The self-discovery exercise may reveal new areas for you to explore. You may need to rethink what you think you know.
This is the beginning of your journey.
1Ikigai is a Japanese concept that means “a reason for being”. It is similar to the French “raison d’etre”.
(Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life Might Just Help You live a More Fulfilling Life)