Nine Tough, Necessary Questions To Answer Before You Start Your Career

By 1stFive Archives
Cover image for  article: Nine Tough, Necessary Questions To Answer Before You Start Your Career

The process of finding and forming your personal brand is tough. It's not a quick, multiple-choice assessment that spits out an answer that says, "Thanks for taking our test, Sydney! Here's your personal brand!"

I wish it were that easy.

This morning, I stumbled upon Kathy Caprino's 2013 Forbes article titled, "A Surefire Plan to Figure Out What You Really Want." I highly recommend reading it, as well as Kathy's other posts. They're incredibly insightful, thought provoking and necessary to help you figure out exactly what you want and don't want in life.

In order to find what you want, however, you have to really know yourself. And this, my friends, is by no means a quick assessment. It's a process where you should be fully transparent and honest with yourself, which for many of us can be one of the toughest things to do.

Here are nine questions you need to answer to find out who you really are in order to figure out what you really want:

  1. What am I known for and fabulous at?
  2. What do I offer and do that is significantly different from what the best in your field do?
  3. What was I noticed for back when I was a teen and young adult?
  4. What skills, talents, abilities make me stand out?
  5. What life experiences have shaped me in special ways?
  6. What are my life intentions?
  7. What are my core values: the non-negotiables I need in life to be happy and fulfilled?
  8. Whom do I love to serve and support, and why?
  9. When I’m 90 years old and looking back, what do I want to have given, contributed, stood for and achieved?

I could totally see these as being pageant questions with 50 percent of the answers being world peace. But seriously, these questions are so important to ask yourself. I don't care what age you are or where you are in your career—if you cannot answer all nine of these, you still have some self-assessing to do.

Take today to start thinking about it. Start a list, share these questions with others that know you well, and get their feedback too. You don't need to stress over finding the answers right away if you don't know them. Acknowledge the answers you do know and ones you need to think more about. That’s already a huge step forward.

And if any of you are wondering ... No, I do not have all nine answers yet. But am I working on them? You bet -- every single day.

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