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A Career Changer's Checklist - 12 Common-Sense Questions to Find Your Career: What Do You Like to Do? (Pleasure and Passion!)

In this second question in his Career Changers’ Checklist, Warren Wyrostek helps you probe what you are passionate about and what pleases you as he asks the question: What do you like to do? It is critical to come to terms with what you want to do AND what you like to do. Be ready for one of those aha! moments when considering this important diagnostic question as you move toward your ideal IT career choice.
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Welcome to the second question in the Career Changer's Checklist series. So far we have discussed why this series is being written in Genesis, and the first of 12–13 diagnostic questions in What Do You Want to Do? (Goals!)

To briefly recap (in case you have not read one or both of the first two articles), the purpose of this series of articles is to help you through a series of diagnostic questions that identify career options you might not have thought of and hopefully move you in a direction that will open career doors for you.

Because it is presented through an IT outlet, the main audience and focus for this series are those folks interested in IT careers. But these articles are just as relevant to all the current market sectors.

Next we looked at the first question (what do you want to do?) and took a hard look at life and job goals—and how defining those goals might help you determine what you want to do.

In this article, I want to go a step further and ask the following:

  • What do you like to do?
  • What gives you pleasure?
  • What are you passionate about?

What Do You Like to Do?

There can definitely be a difference between wanting to do XYZ and liking to do XYZ. That might seem odd or contradictory, but think about it. You might want to build a deck for your home, but do you necessarily like to build decks out in the elements? Or is building decks just something you want to do?

And to take the question a bit farther, does doing XYZ give you pleasure and are you passionate about it?

When students have come to me over the years looking for career advice, I always tell them the same thing, which has not changed in 30 years: Find something you love to do that will also allow you to make the income you need to live the life you want. This advice is based on the following concepts:

  • You can be happy and financially struggling
  • You can be miserable and financially struggling
  • You can be miserable and financially comfortable
  • You can be happy and financially comfortable

Which option would you choose? Obviously you want to be happy and financially comfortable. So you need to choose a career option that you want, but also one that gives you pleasure and the necessary financial resources. If you don't love your career choice, no matter if you want to do it, you might see it through for awhile, but odds are you will drop it along the way. You have to love what you're doing.

That being said, what do you like to do generically, for recreation, for a career? Is there really a difference? NO!!!! You have to laundry list what you like to do. You may be surprised what you write down.

Just take a look at how many folks have established billion-dollar enterprises because of something they simply liked to do. Not just wanted to do, but loved to do. Does the name Bill Gates ring any bells? What about Michael Dell? Be like Julie Andrews, who in the Sound of Music sang the song My Favorite Things. What are your favorite things? Write them down.

Wanting to do something often comes after you have identified what you like to do. In the first diagnostic question in this series, you identified what you want to do. This might seem that I am presenting these two questions out of order. What you like to do comes second in this series because this is the process that many in the current market use.

We don't first identify what we like; instead we identify what we want. This can be both good and bad. So to keep with the current market concepts, I asked you to first identify what you want and now to identify what you like. 

But as you consider what you like to do, you have to also ask yourself why you like it.

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