Navigating your career when you don’t know where to start.

Earlier this week, I was facilitating one of our Mini Pivot Journeys Workshops online and someone asked a great question:

What advice do you have for someone who doesn’t even know what they’re interested in and what kinds of jobs might be appealing?”

It was such a simple, and yet incredibly big question.

Sometimes it takes a lot of reflection and time to sift through what you like, what you don’t like, what sounds cool, and what kinds of qualities are important to you.

Marinating on them often takes a lot of time and some dedicated mental space to think through them.

If you don’t have that luxury and want something concrete to start with, I always tell people this:

Start with your Bright Spot.

Think of a time at work where you really loved what you were doing. (And if you can’t think of anything you loved, think about something you enjoyed for the most part.)

Your ‘Bright Spot,’ as we call it during a Pivot Journey, is a time you felt really jazzed about what you were doing.

Whatever and whenever it was, this was a moment you felt like you were doing your best work and you had found your sweet spot.

Maybe it was….

  • A project you were working on and made you feel really accomplished;
  • A meeting you were in where you were brainstorming ideas and got really excited by the process;
  • A report/memo/paper you put together that you enjoyed writing;
  • An event you were running or in charge of that you totally owned;
  • A client meeting where you closed a sale or got a donation.

Once you’ve got that Bright Spot, it’s super handy to use and come back to as you think through and map out where you want to go in your career.

Need an example to tell someone about the type of thing you’re good at or really enjoy doing? That’s what your Bright Spot is!

Want clarity on what your unique strengths are? Your Bright Spot holds the answers.

Need to understand where your motivations lie? Your Bright Spot is an example of you as your most motivated self!

Dan and Chip Heath, co-authors of Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard, write about how companies should approach creating and implementing difficult changes in the workplace.

They argue that in order to create positive changes for companies, teams need to analyze their successes just as much as their failures because these successes, or 'Bright Spots' as they call them, hold the answers for how to move forward.

It’s the same in mapping out your career.

Look for the successes because they hold the answers for the beginning s of the recipe for being happier.

So ask yourself, what works? When do you feel the most happy and accomplished? What’s the common thread among your various successes?

When all else feels overwhelming and you don’t know where to start, follow that Bright Spot that sticks out from your past. It’s sure to guide you to others in the future.

Want some guidance finding it? Check out our Find Your Career Direction online workshop, or an upcoming Career Mapping workshop.