Post Date: December 14th, 2012

The Most Overlooked Question

A resume won’t get you a job. You are the only person capable of getting yourself a job. A resume is only a tool we use that assists us in securing an interview with a company.

Today, we need to work smarter and harder to find great jobs. Before we find them, we have to search within ourselves to understand what makes a job right for us?

There are many ways to look at a job. A job can be thought of as a means to an end – a way to get income for the work you do every day. A job can be your way of contributing to the world around us. A job can be something that fulfills you every day and adds value to your life. Regardless of how you look at your job, notice that there are multiple ways to perceive it as it relates to your life.

How can we look at our jobs differently?

I’ll often hear people mix up the use of these words. Could, should, and want. I’ll ask:

“What kind of job do you want?”  and people will often respond saying:

“Well, I could do….this, or that…” or “I should be an (insert profession) because I went to school for it.”

Here is my advice: Make certain it’s a job you “want” not a job you “could” or “should” do.

Read that sentence again and focus on the words “want,” “could,” and “should.” Notice the subtle, but important difference between the words. If you didn’t notice it right away, this might help:

  • I could be a policy analyst.
  • I should keep my job because it’s a secure paycheque.
  • I want to work for a non-profit agency.

Did you notice it?

The first (could) implies that it is possible to be a policy analyst, however, not necessarily desirable.

The second (should) implies it would be sensible to keep the job, but again, not necessarily desirable.

The third (want) is different because it is what you desire. What you want or choose to do.

When was the last time you had the freedom to sit and reflect on what you really want?

Challenge your usual thinking here. Turn off the voice in your head that says you can’t do what you want because you should or could do something else. Instead, allow yourself to say out loud:

What I really want to do is ______________________________________.

If you don’t know how to complete this sentence, that’s OK. You have plenty of time over the next few weeks to think about what you want. Think on this for hours, days, weeks, until you arrive at an answer. If you are stuck and need some one-on-one attention, let me know.

In the meantime, here is a three-minute video that I hope stimulates your thinking about your career and your life. I believe it is a good investment of your time.

“What do you desire?”

“What would you like to do if money were no object?

How would you really enjoy your life?”

Related Categories: Career Development