Powerful Questions Podcast: What do you want from your career?
Why is it important to ask yourself this question at all? Some say, work is work. You do it to earn money, and it doesn’t matter so much what it is. Well, if you have a 40-hour work week, than 35% of you week that you spend not sleeping is spent at work. This is a lot! It is definitely important to think how you spend one-third of your life and what you get out of it.
Another number I would like you to think about is 13%. According the research conducted by Gallup, the company that is measuring employee engagement at work, only 13% of employees surveyed across 142 countries are engaged a work. 63% are not engaged, and 24% are even actively disengaged, which means they are acting based on their disengagement. Which one of these categories are you in?
I this podcast episode I share with you a great tool to help you understand what you want professionally in your career. It is a career wheel. It is a very popular tool in coaching and training, and a very simple one. You can download an example of a career wheel below. You can also create your own.
A career wheel is basically a circle with different sections in it. It can have 6, 8, 10 sections – whatever works for you. Different sections of the wheel represent the areas in your career that are important to you. These could be: professional development; your manager; money; team; opportunity for advancement; work-life balance; travel opportunity; match between your work and you personal values; opportunity to be creative or to express yourself. So you can include in your career wheel anything that is important to you in your work life.
As soon as you have created you wheel, there are numerous ways you can work with this instrument. You can work with it to define your career goals, or what it is that you want out of your career. Write down for different areas what it is that you would like to have in this area. You can write down your overall expectations, or think about your wheel within a certain timeframe – 5 years, or 10 years.
What you can also do is define the current state of your career based on your career wheel. For that, you can make notes or write down your thoughts, you can use smileys, you can use scales if you are someone who likes to measure things in numbers. You can evaluate current state based on, for example, 1 to 10 scale or 0 to 100% scale. Do what you are comfortable with.
After you have defined the current state, think about what you can do to improve. Let’s say you have defined professional growth in this moment as 5 out of 10. So what would bring it to 10?
Would you like more feedback from your manager? Do you feel you need to change your scope of responsibilities to something that will challenge you more? Think whether there is an opportunity to take action for you: can you talk to your boss or HR? Can you do a course in your private time that would help you develop?
You can use career wheel as a one-time tool to define what you want if you are uncertain at the moment. Looking at how different options will affect your career wheel will help you make the right decision. You can also go back to your career wheel as often as you like. Use it as a reflection tool on a yearly basis and look at what changes for you: not only in how satisfied you are, but also your goals and expectations. At different stages of your life different things might become more important to you.
Remember: think what is it that you want when you choose and develop your career. Not your parents, not your partner, but YOU!