It’s time for us all to admit that the world of work has shifted. It’s still shifting, and I don’t think anyone’s entirely sure where it will land. And yet, we still have to figure out how to navigate our career and move forward. So I thought I’d share some of the questions I’m asking people as they figure out who they want to be in this ambiguous future.
1. What does success look like for you?
We often assume that success is a promotion or some other metric of success. You’re the boss of your life and your career adventure. Based on what’s going on in YOUR life, what would great feel like?
2. What could you be this time next year?
Every executive I know has talked to me about how they’ve pivoted their companies. They have new goals, new deliverables, often a whole new direction. The pivots started with the question “What could we be?” and went from there. A shorter timeline might help define and focus your scope.
3. What is it you’d like to learn?
We’re ALL going to have to learn all sorts of new things. We’ve already had a mountain of lessons over the last six months. Is there an opportunity for you to take agency over that learning process? And no, it doesn’t need to be a new skill. It could be a new thinking model or new technology. I experienced some dramatic changes in my life when I got curious about 3D printing. I didn’t have an agenda; I just wanted to learn.
4. What kind of working structure would work best for me?
Your boss tossed the rule book of the office out the window the day they asked you to start working from home, or worse, gave you the bad news that your role no longer existed. NO ONE has new rules yet. Take a look at a week and start to think about what’s working and what isn’t. When you understand the best structure for you, you can ask for it.
5. How do I need to evolve how I’m building relationships with others?
This question might take a while, so don’t rush to answer. Every person I speak with talks about the vibrant, trusting, and collaborative relationships they have with their co-workers and customers. Relationships are built over time, layer by layer. You’ve heard me say this before. Every decision made about you and your opportunities is made in a room you’re not in. Before the decision, there’s a conversation, and before the conversation, there’s someone who knows why you’re awesome. All this means you have built a vibrant, trusting, and collaborative relationship with this person. Relationships, the good ones, take work.
I get it, your list of things to do is ridiculously long right now. I also have no idea what the additional stressors are in your life. But I’m still asking you to take some time — even if it’s only 30 mins initially — to start thinking about the Future You.
This is your adventure, your life, your future. In this rule-book-less world, you have the opportunity to ask for anything. So what is it you want?
PS. Imagine you had these conversations with your team. What nuggets might you uncover what opportunities? It’s well worth a chat, and, of course, we’ve got some suggestions.