An important career question — and why your answer matters

Like most people, you’re probably eager to make progress in your career. But sometimes, as you acquire more experience and take on additional responsibilities, you become so incredibly busy you lose track of why you’re working so hard in the first place. And given your efforts, you might wonder why you’re not moving closer to your goals.

Before spending another minute on your to-do list, it’s imperative that you pause and ask yourself one simple yet important question: Why am I doing this?

And by “this,” I mean each activity, behavior, and environment you choose to engage in. Consider every aspect of your professional world: your job, role and responsibilities, industry, how and with whom you spend your time, and when, where, and how you work.

Though asking yourself that question might seem silly initially, your answer matters because it can help you gain more awareness about your actions and understand whether you’re making the right decisions to move you closer to your goals.

Ideally, your answer to the question is:

  • Because it gives me knowledge

  • Because it provides income

  • Because it fulfills me, and

  • Because it aligns with and supports my goals.

But, if your answer is:

  • Because I’ve always done it

  • Because someone else expects me to, or

  • I’m not sure


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