For one reason or the other, at some point in our lives we will all come across the big “career change” dilemma. The typical solution path includes using the standard cost benefit analysis equation which has happiness and profit on one side with tolerance and expenses on the other. If the happiness and income we are gaining isn’t covering the pain and expenses we are willing to tolerate, then we circle back to the same question, “what do I want to do next?”
I meet people who tell me what they are doing. When I ask them “why?” I almost never get an answer. If you don’t know why you are doing what you are doing, then happiness+profit > tolerance+expenses. If this equation is out of balance, which generally happens after the “career honeymoon phase”, you will always end up back at “what do I want to do next?”
To get to the “why” of “what I’m doing” starts with discovering personal interests. I’ll say it another way, the most important thing to identify is your interests. This will lead you to your “why.” And if you have your “why” you will always find satisfaction.
Here’s a playbook-First start by listing out all your interests. Then look for opportunities that satisfy the most interests. Don’t start typing your list, I want you to take a sheet of paper and actually write down your list. After you write down your list, I want you to start circling and drawing lines through interests that intersect (just like we did back in elementary school). What you’ll discover is that you can satisfy multiple interests at the same time. For example, let’s say one of your interests is teaching and another item on your list is cars. What if you could teach race car drivers? All of a sudden you’ve satisfied 2 of your interests. Let’s say another interest is to cook. Now you could teach driving and cooking. The more interests you can satisfy, the happier you will be. You will effectively have changed your COB equation all together. It will look something like this:
The way to find the answer to “why” is to uncover real interests. Start by listing out your interests. Then look for opportunities that satisfy the most interests.