Do You Have a Career Blueprint?

by Michelle Raz, MEd

 Attention Magazine October 2019

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Live by your purpose and you will create an inner drive and passion to culminate a life and career path uniquely yours—one that brings out the best version of yourself.

Over fifty percent of employees in the current American workforce are unsatisfied with their current employment and career choice. Considering how many hours people spend at work, it would be a good idea to be among the other fifty percent who enjoy what they do for a living!

Choosing a career path that ignites your passion and purpose in life does not only lead to a higher level of success and satisfaction but to fulfillment at work. Research also suggests that it promotes long-term happiness and good health.

For someone with ADHD, however, this may be a daunting and overwhelming task. Many find it easy to discover their mistakes and not their strengths. They may lack confidence in what they can and cannot do with all the struggles and challenges throughout their lives.

By breaking down the components that go into choosing a career and taking a deep look at how successes and personal struggles could serve as a tool for identifying some hidden talents, interests, and skills, you can begin to develop your career path.

This is achievable when you follow a systematic approach to unearth your unique career that works just right for you. Consider it a blueprint to your personal career path.

Develop a blueprint that is authentically yours

A career blueprint for your life will help to create a strong foundation and structure for career happiness. You can compare it to building your dream house. Would you build a house without a well thought out set of blueprints? You might be able to pull it off, but how stable would it be for future additions? You would want to put a lot of thought and time into making sure it was right for you. The structure of the house will determine how well you live your life and the problems you may encounter with it.

Creating a well-designed set of blueprints takes time, energy, and passion. It is crucial to apply this same process to finding a career meant just for you. Without a career blueprint plan, it is difficult to think through possibilities of how your life experiences connect to your goals and how your career could adapt and grow with you over time.

Joe is a good example of someone who benefited from this process. He was a college student who lacked a solid career plan. He was taking classes to satisfy general requirements but did not know where to specialize his interests. After going through this process, he found that his true passion and purpose was not in the engineering program he had originally thought was his path. He was able to identify key elements that were important to him in a career and incorporated that into what he naturally was good at in college. The great part was that it stayed within the engineering department, but shifted to a more environmental focus. It took into account his desire for travel, continual learning, and humanitarian efforts. He was able to design a career blueprint to best set him up for success in this field with strategic action plans and milestones.

Is it too late?

Some people may think it is too late in their career to start creating their blueprint. They may be burned out in their chosen career, but feel they are too old and tired to recreate their life purpose.

It is never too late to start creating a blueprint for your life! And you don’t need to start from ground zero. Through this process, you can see connections that will propel you into your new career direction with your personal history, experiences, and narrative.

Mary was able to rediscover her life’s passion and purpose by using this strategic process. She was a marketing professional who loved her chosen career path. She had felt passion and purpose and never questioned her choices until she left the workforce for twenty years to raise her children. Now an empty nester, she was looking to redefine her life purpose and re-enter the workforce without spending years retraining to gain new skill sets.

Mary dug in deep to look at the blueprint she had created in college, and found that her life experiences as a mom brought new skills, interests, and passion. She was able to find purpose and passion with her experiences that complimented her original career blueprint path. In fact, she ended up feeling more marketable as she made connections in her current life situation to her previous career experience that were very insightful.

The key to finding a career that gets your passion and purpose burning is to look at your life’s What, Why, and How.

The WHAT of your career blueprint

WHAT you want out of life such as interests, values, and personality factor into this equation. You might even find that some of your desires were written by you at a young age. It may be a childhood dream that was imprinted into your mind when you did not have any distractions or life barriers creating doubts that could serve you in choosing the right career path.

Go through these questions and answer them. Writing your answers in a journal will help you see the pattern of your wants.

  • What brings you joy? It is important to take time in finding out who you are, ask yourself some important questions. What makes you unique? There may be a special strength in your uniqueness. What are your values and beliefs? What are your fears? Self-knowledge is a key step in designing a career path that works for you.
  • What motivates and energizes you most? Another key factor in determining your career path in life is knowing what gets you motivated. Anything that gets you motivated and keeps you energized is capable of sustaining you through the mundane or tough times in a career.
  • What are you biggest interests? Knowing your interests is also important while you are developing a career path. Your area of interest would be where your career is focused. You might even find that some of your yearnings and fears were not written by you and don’t suit you now.
  • Is there a major challenge you want to tackle in your life or career that is important to you? For instance: If you knew you only had one year to live, what would you want to do during this time?

By answering these questions, you can start to identify a life pattern that will point you in the direction of a career blueprint meant just for you.

The WHY of your career blueprint

Design a career blueprint by taking proactive steps geared with the self-knowledge of who you are and what your wants are. This will make your journey of planning and decision-making solid and streamlined.

Taking a look at your unique WHY or inner narrative is a good place to start and will deepen your connection of what it is you want.

  • What is the voice inside your head telling you?
  • Why are you the way you are?

Desires, beliefs, values, and fears don’t materialize out of nowhere. Our values and personality are shaped during our lives in several ways. They’re either developed over time by our internal consciousness or as observations made during our life experiences.

The key here is to identify the why and know yourself and how it factors into your career path.

Design a career blueprint by taking proactive steps geared with the self-knowledge of who you are and what your wants are. This will make your journey of planning and decision-making solid and streamlined.

The HOW of your career blueprint

HOW will you pull it together? Once you have a good understanding of your true authentic self, of what you want and why you want it, create your career path. Connect the dots and see the patterns emerge.

Unpack the box of expectations that you grew up with and make connections between values, personality, strengths, and start to identify paths that will relate to your personal dreams and goals. Your career blueprint plan will start to take form and give you clarity and a vision that you can follow.

And for the skeptics

Certainly things could change, and you may need to modify the plans over the years. But with a solid blueprint, the changes can be handled and accommodated and add value and character to your original plan—just as it did for Mary.

Your career path does not need to be a straight path. This thought can leave people feeling panicked when they want to adapt or change their plan. The career stakes become so high and may feel unattainable, which can leave people feeling stuck and confused. It does not have to be this way.

Gone are the days of people choosing one career and never veering off that path. People are creating more portfolios of jobs showing a series of careers. This can be exciting for someone who has a developed passion and a purposeful career blueprint that takes into consideration all the elements. Now more than ever a career path can have many twists and turns that lead to success, fulfillment, and purpose in life.

Use your career blueprint to ignite you!

An ADHD and career services specialist, Michelle Raz, MEd, is a board certified coach, blogger, webinar host, and owner of Raz Coaching. She is the author of Happiness + Passion + Purpose: A Step by Step Guide on How to Nourish the Patterns of Your Life Into the Job You Will Love and Land It! (Independent, 2019). Raz is dedicated to helping people work with their unique challenges, find their true passion in life, find a career they will love, and connect the dots to get there.