Last week I met with an MBA student who was trying to figure out what she wanted to do when she graduated. I seem to have these conversations frequently. Perhaps it is because I am an entrepreneur and people romanticize the idea of owning a business.
As we spoke, she mentioned different companies and industries which drew her interest. I must have surprised her as I re-framed her perspective on looking for a career. Instead of applying to a specific company I asked her to consider the following:
- Where did she want to live in 5-years?
- Did she want to have children?
- Is traveling multiple days a week desirable or did she want to work in one location?
- How much money did she want to make a year?
- Did she want to work 30- or 70-hours a week?
Notice how the above have nothing to do with a specific company? I asked her these questions because knowing the answers allows her to reverse-engineer her career options. Then she can look for a company which meets her desires.
If you have a job now or are looking, I recommend answering questions relating to what you want out of life before looking for your "dream job." Don't fantasize about a company you imagine is your ideal place to work, instead, take the time to think before making a strategic effort to go for the job which matches what you want in life.
For more detailed questions, view our free e-guide on identifying your professional purpose.