10 prompts to help you figure out your career


Once upon a time as a child, someone asked you: “What are you going to be when you grow up?”
And maybe you had an idea. But it was just that – an idea. Nothing fully formed nor informed for that matter.

And when you were asked, you were busy. Busy being in the now. You didn’t differentiate between your doing and being. You knew you were just one whole.

But in that moment, when you were asked that question, something happened. You kind of knew it then, but now you know for sure: Your concept of the present was interrupted. And you came to realize that the adults in your life didn’t live in the now like you did. The question that seemed innocent enough in the first place, was really a curse that was passed on.

Over time, the adults in your life persisted to ask and maybe even added: “Last time, I thought you said you wanted to be a [nurse]. What happened?”

The curse took hold and you learned that you were never where you had to be and you still aren’t where you need to be. And now you’re the one asking yourself: ‘What happened to my career?’

Your attention was drawn away from the now and it has yet to return. You give more attention to the planning of your next vacation (and maybe even the one after that) than you’ve ever given to how you want to be in your life and what career suits you.

You grew up believing that you had to know what you wanted to be first and then fit yourself into that. Every effort since has felt like an accumulation of futile attemps to feel at home in your body doing work that you could call your very own.

All you know right now is that something is amiss when you hide under the covers in the morning when the alarm calls you to rise. Or maybe you hide from your work – either in the bathroom (many people admit to this) or by busying yourself with tasks that try to keep the now away.

Even though the wise part of you knows differently. That it doesn’t have to be this way.

You find yourself wondering when something is going to shift to make the pain go away – whether it’s your perspective, a perception or a movement beneath at the level of the tectonic plates maintaining your world.

Don’t wait. Simply because you don’t have to. Start now. Do this –

Pick a prompt and write for five minutes. No more. Set a timer to help. See what comes out. Really. See. Just write and don’t stop to think. Then try it again with another prompt. And another prompt. And another …

This is how you start to have a real conversation with yourself. You might at first feel annoyed to be asked, but when you’re done, take a break (make some tea?) and then read the clues lying all over your life. What’s under the facade is what’s really craving expression in your life. I know it’s beautiful because it’s your light.

Try all the prompts and see what happens. Go:

:: I stand for …

:: The best moment at work was when …

:: I dream of …

:: The contribution that I’ve made in my life that means the most to me is …

:: The most amazing thank you I ever received was … it was for … it was so meaningful was because (name all the reasons) …

:: If I could see one thing be different in the world, it would be …. because (name all the reasons) …

:: I believe in …

:: I have thrived in the face of …

:: I get the most joy from working with …

:: I am beautiful because …

:: If I imagine that I’m a child again and someone asked me ‘how’ I want to be when I grew up, I’d tell them …

What did you see in your answers?

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