What floats your boat and what does it mean for your career?

Identifying your key motivations and priorities in life and work is an important step to ensuring you are happy and successful in your next role.  Whether you’re currently out of work or considering a move, it’s a good idea to think about your situation and your goals for the future. 

One way to help the process is to ask yourself some fundamental questions, and think deeply and honestly about the answers.  

1. What makes you happy?

If you have young kids and love spending quality time with them, a demanding, 60-hour-a-week job will not be a good fit. Instead, narrow your search to a job that offers flexible hours or a workload that you can manage while not sacrificing what makes you happy.

On the other hand, if you’re fantasising about the idea of owning that dream home or prestige car, a role that offers a good, consistent income will better enable you to achieve that ambition.

Whatever it is that makes you happy should be your priority, so the earlier you figure out the order of that list, the more targeted you can be in your career strategy.

2. What do you find easy?

Think back to times when you were fully absorbed in a work-related task and ‘in the zone’. You probably felt like everything came naturally and easily.

Recollecting and listing these times of ‘flow’ can reveal where your key skills reside and what you really enjoy doing. If you can identify and secure a financially rewarding role that brings you lots of opportunities to experience this feeling, you have hit the employment jackpot.

3. What do you like talking about?

Do you talk positively about your job to friends or family? If not, chances are you’re barking up the wrong employment tree.

Those who are engaged and passionate about their job typically love to relate good-news stories about it.  If that’s not you, think about the type of work you would rather be doing, and would be proud to share. 

The ‘perfect’ job does not exist – there will always be up’s and down’s in everything you do, but knowing what floats your boat before you launch can make you, the people around you and your future employer a lot happier.