When considering a career reinvention, questions life coaches may ask you are, “What brings you joy?” and “What did you love doing as a child?”
For me that’s easy, the two are intertwined.
When I was 12, I loved to ice skate. I would spend hours skating at the rink as if I were a professional. I didn’t care if people were watching me as I did jumps and spins. All I cared about was the joy I felt when dancing on the ice.
Then there are the dance performances I did in high school. I lived in a warmer climate then and ice rinks were less convenient to get to. That didn’t matter. There were lots of opportunities to move to the music.
In the article, “To Find Your Next Act, Look Back To Your Childhood,” author Holly Lawrence says, “If the inevitable “What do I do with the rest of my life?” question has you perplexed, you may benefit from revisiting who you were as a child and what you loved to do.”
Then there’s the flip side to this question, “Are there any difficulties or regrets you have from your childhood?”
Well, dang, how much time do you have?
In a nutshell, I had a difficult childhood. We were raised by a single mother without outside help or a family circle. We moved often and didn’t always have what we needed.
On the bright side, these experiences taught me how to quickly make friends, be self-motivated and flexible.
In the article, “Surprising Benefits For Those Who Had Tough Childhoods,” author Megan Hustad says, “No one covets a stressful childhood. But the later-life benefits of growing up in a tumultuous home are beginning to come to light, upending conventional wisdom in the process.”
So what does childhood have to do with my career choices?
It helps to find those motivations and actions, positive and negative, that are at the core of who I am. And now I get to decide if I pursue these motivations or bid them a fond, intentional farewell.
Mark Twain once said, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”
Reflecting on where you’ve been and where you want to go in your life will help you become more self aware. The motivators you identify help you understand what drives you as you consider reinventing your career.
For the record, I’ve decided not to pursue a career in dancing.
What brings you joy?