The Answer May Be In Pieces

As I coach people, speak, or just help people out, I encounter a similar theme over and over again: people are A) not sure of what they want in life or a career, and B) usually aren't sure "who" they are.

This sounds a bit oddly touchy-feely, but it's important to have an idea of who you are and what you want (Babylon 5 jokes aside of course).  When you're positive on who you are and what you want, you're active, focused, enjoying life because you're living it in that moment.  Without it you're sort of meandering.

As I said, I encounter this a LOT.

Many people go in search of the answer, and I'm of course bang along side that.  Mental exercises, job search books, etc. are all good and often helpful.  However, I find that many times the answer in what you want in your life and career is closer than you think.

The problem is what you want in your life and career is, often like identity, broken into a lot of tiny bits and pieces.  People aren't always looking for a Big Picture on their career or who they are – they really need to glue a lot of pieces together.

People often go looking for one answer for their life and career, but in many cases I think they need to look at the various aspects of their lives, because the answer may be there – in pieces:

  • What gets you energized and feels correct?  What doesn't?
  • What do you do that you really care for and believe in?  What do you do that you don't care for – or that feels wrong?

And finally

  • Do these good moments and cares and concerns happen together, or are they scattered throughout your life?  Do you hate your job but like the company you work for?  Do you love art – but keep it confined to fan art?  What pieces do you have?

For fans and progeeks this is important since we often engage in a variety of creative activities, interesting jobs, and both.  Our passions are often very obvious as our our skills and abilities – but we may not see them because it's too close to us.

I have found that taking inventory of whats important in my life, what I like to do, looking over ALL of my life, is very useful.  Then I like to review what I do and what it tells me about myself – and how it can reinforce what is important to me in my life and to who I am.  I even draw diagrams of how different parts of my life interact – or should.

So your answer to your career and your job may be right in front of you – its just not in one piece.  But if you can collect the pieces and figure out how they do or can hang together . . .

– Steven Savage