UltiCareer is a database dedicated to helping people answer the question “what do you want to be when you grow up?” In other words, a place to research various career options to find one they wish to pursue. Many of us, especially young people, struggle with identifying what career or careers they may wish to consider. I deliberately said careers because you don’t have to assume that there is only one career for you. There can be a variety of choices that could be pursued. With that in mind, how do you go about deciding what it is you may want to do? What’s going to make you happy? There isn’t an easy answer to that, and the answer could very well vary not only from person to person, but from time to time within one person’s life. You’re being naïve if you think that your priorities will remain the same throughout your life.
If you’re struggling with how to start considering what you’d like to do, just start with the end in mind. Start with the concept of listening to someone intoning, “Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to say our final farewells and last respects…” Yes, you got it; this is your funeral, someone is delivering your eulogy. What would you like them to be saying about you at this point? Who would you like to have gathered at this somber occasion? Do you have a sense of what you would like people to be saying about you at this point in time? That gives you a good reflection on at least your current thinking of what your priorities are. Notice, I emphasized your current thinking because this is an exercise you would want to do annually or at least once every couple of years because our priorities and objectives in life will change over time. It’s human nature.
As you reflect upon what you would like people to be saying about you, start thinking about what can you do to make that reality. This simple exercise gives insight into your priorities. From there you can start thinking about what you can be doing in your life to realize them.
If you want people at your eulogy to be saying that you found the cure for the common cold, well clearly you’re going to want to pursue a career in science and specifically virology. If you want people to say you were a great parent who is loved by their family, you may wish to consider opportunities that provide time to spend with your family, like working close to home, or even from home with flexible hours and generous vacation time.
It’s a bit nebulous to say your objective is to be remembered for making the world a better place. Now you have to start thinking a bit harder. What would you like to have accomplished to have that statement be true? Is it simply treating your fellow inhabitants of this earth with respect? Is it helping solve some social ills? Is it helping to improve education? Is it helping to solve energy concerns? Reduce pollution? Address environmental concerns? Start thinking about it. There are a variety of different topics and perhaps one of those will click and you’ll think, “Yes! This resonates with me.”
Remember, just because it resonates with you today doesn’t mean it’s going to resonate with you 5-10 years from now. But we all need to start somewhere.
So start thinking about the end. Then backtrack to where you are today. What can you do today to help realize your vision of the end?
Do you have clear goals? Have you spent time considering what’s really important to you? Share your insights on UltiCareer about the different jobs you’ve held over the years to help other people discover what it’s really like in various positions.
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