Find a comfortable place to sit and relax. Now, imagine yourself five years from now. In your ideal world, what does a perfect work day look like? To help you envision this in detail, walk through the following questions:
You wake up.
- What time is it?
- Where are you living?
- What does your living space look like?
- Are you alone or with a partner or family?
You start your normal morning routine.
- What is your normal routine?
- Do you eat breakfast?
- Drink coffee or tea?
- What do you wear when you go to work?
You start switching into work mode.
- Do you travel to work or work from home?
- If you travel to work, how do you get there?
- How long does it take?
- You arrive at work.
- What does your work environment look like?
- Do you work indoors or outdoors?
- Do you have an office?
- Do you have a lot of coworkers or work mostly by yourself?
- You put in a day’s work.
- How long is this day?
- What kinds of tasks are you doing exactly?
- Are you working primarily things, primarily with people, or a combination of both?
- Are you working primarily with ideas, primarily with data, or a combination of both?
- Do you have a lunch break, and do you spend it alone or with coworkers?
- Do you engage with customers of some sort?
- Do you work nonstop or have a lot of breaks?
- By the end of the day do you feel energized or drained?
You end your workday and head back to life at home.
- What does your typical post-work routine look like?
- Do you exercise?
- Eat dinner with friends and/or family?
- Watch TV?
- What time do you go to bed?
Now come back to the present. This day represents one possible image of an ideal fit for what you want out of work. Some career counselors use imagery exercises like this to help you develop a forward-thinking sense of clarity, which can be useful for helping you set more specific goals. If you imagined a day that included using your gifts in ways that aligned with your sense of purpose in life, and that left you with a sense of making the world a better place, this exercise probably gives you a good description of what it might feel like to live out your calling. How does this day match with where you are currently headed with your career? If it doesn’t match well, what kinds of things do you need to change to redirect you toward this vision?