You’ve done well in school. You’re successful in your work. You’re a talented and capable person.
So why are you having so much trouble figuring out what you want to be doing with your life?
You might be surprised to learn that your talent may actually be your Achilles heel when it comes to finding career clarity.
Here are 3 ways being smart can backfire as you’re trying to find your purpose.
1. An Over-Reliance on Your Brain
Our education system is primarily focused on the development of our mental intelligence. As a result, when we have a problem, our go-to strategy is to turn to our brains to solve it. This works out beautifully for many of the situations we encounter in our day-to-day lives and at work.
However, choosing a career direction is a problem that doesn’t match up well with a purely analytical approach. Our hearts, our values, our experiences, our desires, and our intrinsic interests all factor in.
We need to solve a human problem with an approach that takes into account the whole human in question. That means paying attention to more than our brains.
2. Unintentionally Working the Wrong Problem
When trying to find our personal career path, we may accidentally wind up solving for what the people around us want us to do with our careers.
For example, you may come from a long line of doctors, and that’s the family expectation of what you should be doing. Or you’re aware that being a lawyer carries a certain amount of prestige, so you’re drawn to it even though you aren’t sure what the job actually entails.
It’s your career, which is why it’s important to step outside the social influences and expectations in order to solve for a career path that you actually want rather than one that you think you should want.
3. Banging Your Head Against an Incomplete Data Set
When you’re looking for career clarity, you’re likely sifting through the different career-related ideas and experiences you’ve had to date. What often happens is people get stuck in this introspection. They’re looking for an answer within familiar contexts. When they come up empty, there are feelings of frustration and disappointment.
Career clarity often involves making a career change. And career changes usually involve going somewhere that you haven’t been before.
What if what you’re looking for is outside of your current experience? You’ll never find it by sorting through the familiar, but that is where we wind up looking when we try to solve this problem.
There you have it. You are talented professional, and your brain is a wonderful instrument. It’s just prone to errors and not completely sufficient to figure out your career direction.
If you’d like support with gaining clarity around what would be a good career fit for you, apply for one of signature Career CLARITY coaching programs today! We’d love to support you and your capable brain with getting this solved.