What do you want to do?

Career Tips No.1

If you can't answer the question “What do you want to do?” 

Don't try until you can!


So much about careers advice is rooted in a question that begins each conversation and so often does not yield a useful answer: “What do you want to do?” 

If the client is seeking advice, it’s highly unlikely that they have the answer, but equally, no trained professional is allowed to give one, because the job of the careers advisor or coach is to guide the client into finding their own. 

But why is this question so very difficult to answer, except for the people that have no need of it? It's mainly because the language of the question is embedded with assumed knowledge that makes answering it create, rather than alleviate, pressure.

Let me break it down for you: 


"What" assumes a universe of knowledge about all the careers available to you in the world. More traditional careers, like medicine and law, are often misunderstood, and don't suit as many people as apply for them; but worse, jobs such as animal rearer, or chocolatier, or product manager don't factor into obvious choices because far fewer people have heard of them. Answering this question invites an ill-informed answer, so it's more advisable to start the conversation with an exploration of various jobs, than beginning with the end of the conversation.

"Do You"

This part of the question assumes you know who you are in a careers context. But it's more likely that you have never really worked before, or if you have, and your former role was the wrong fit, then you won't know what it was about it relative to your character that made it a poor match. It takes time to decipher the "agent in a careers context", so using a word like "you" doesn't help us much.

If you would like to learn more about why it is you are struggling to answer the question, "What do you want to do?" watch the video below. 



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