What is truly important to me in my career?

If you are like most of the leaders I meet, this is a question that you have already asked yourself, though you still may be unclear on the answer. Being clear on what is important to you will open the door to the next level of your leadership and in this blog post I will share with you the first step I use in my coaching practice to reach this point of clarity.

If you already know the answer to this question, I will only ask you to examine that telling the story of what is most important to you in your career makes you feel truly energized and enthusiastic. If that is not the case, I encourage you to join our inquiry this month.

The way towards an alignment between your career goals and what is truly important to you starts with a shift in focus.

I experience that most leaders are often very articulate about what they DON’T want and what is not working for them. If this is the case for you, it will be – or possibly already is – a challenge for your career going forward, because you get more of what you focus on. The result could be a career made up of what you don’t want.

When determining what you want from your career you need to start an inquiry about what energizes you, or just what makes you feel good.


The first step is to shift your focus and start noticing things that make you feel good and energized: people, situations, tasks, etc. Take notes on these, preferably on your smart phone. Be detailed and keep it as a diary, ideally for at least 10 days out of the next month. NO judging or analyzing at this point, just raw notes.

Try not to think about what you previously held to be important in your career, simply be curious about what makes you feel energized

A lot of us are very good at making quick decisions and judgments, and while this is a perfectly viable skill, in this exercise it will have to be put on hold. You will need patience in order to collect all of the data that is necessary to move forward.

It is quite common not to know what it is that we value, let alone what makes us actually feel good, because we have spent so many years focusing on the needs of others. If this is the case for you, you will most likely have another access point through the things that irritate you or make you upset in any way.

Things that make you upset are actually great indicators of what you do like. When you are taking notes, simply look at the flipside of these things. For example, if you get irritated about your colleagues being dishonest, that is an indication that honesty is truly important to you. Then the story around honesty should be the note that you make in your smart phone.

In short, here is what to do for this month’s inquiry:

  1. Focus on what makes you feel energized.
  2. Use what you don’t like to determine what you do like
  3. TAKE NOTES – the written process is absolutely crucial.

Good luck with inquiring this month, and remember to be patient with your self. Next month you will be guided on how to find the patterns in your notes in order to start finding your personal values.