Why do you do what you do?
That’s an important question. Whether it’s a job, a career, a passion, or a mix, you need to know why you do what you do.
Maybe it’s just for the paycheck. There’s nothing wrong with that.
Maybe you love your job (and it’s a surprise) and it’s turned into a career.
Good for you!
Too many people hate their jobs, and then try to punish those around them who love their jobs.
But take responsibility for the “why” of what you do. That gives you a great deal of freedom.
Now, then, what do you WANT to do?
Maybe you’re doing what you want, and that’s wonderful.
Maybe your current job is a steppingstone to what you want.
If they are different, don’t lose sight of what you want because you’re either too comfortable in what you’re doing, or too afraid of change. If the pandemic taught us anything, it was how much misplaced loyalty most workers gave their companies, who thought nothing of throwing them away at the first sign of trouble. Which is why workers went off and started doing their own thing instead of going back to being treated like crap for subpar wages.
If you are not doing what you want to be doing, try this:
Take a piece of paper. Landscape orientation works better than portrait orientation for this exercise, and I suggest doing it by hand, not on screen.
On the far left, write what you do.
On the far right, write what you want to do.
On the page, they are relatively far apart.
How far apart are they in reality?
In the middle, jot a bunch of steps to take you from one to the other. Don’t do them linearly. Just jot them all over the middle of the page, squiggly, sideways, upside down, whatever. Write them down as you think of them, in no particular order. Take your time.
Go back and take a look at what you’ve written. It doesn’t have to be right away. Sometimes, it’s a good idea to put something aside for a bit, and then take another look.
Now number the steps, so there’s a sense of order (even though the steps are all over the page).
Take a different colored pen and draw a line from where you are to each step, in turn, to where you want to be. There will (and should) be criss-crossing lines, because creativity is not linear. The best journeys have tangents, while still driving to their destination.
How can you take that first step?
More importantly, WHEN will you take that first step?
Put the first step into your calendar.
Look at the page and do one step at a time. Regularly reassess to see if your needs, interests, and goals have shifted. This is a roadmap, not a prison. You can take other exits as you wish.
But you need to start.