How to Figure Out What You Should Do With Your Life

Job satisfaction: We all want it, but we're not exactly sure how to secure it.

Partially, that's because we believe our satisfaction is dependent on factors we don't control, like the work/life balance at our current organization, the way a manager chooses to motivate us, or the specific tasks our supervisors delegate to us. And while it is true that some of the job satisfaction factors are outside our control, that doesn't mean we have no control at all!

Not satisfied in your job? Can't quite put your finger on why? Here's a quick exercise many career coaches use to help you get to the core of what it is you should be doing with your life:

What Drives You?

What did you dream about doing when you were a kid?

What would you do if you didn't have to worry about making money?

Make a list of the above. You should start to see commonalities in terms of general skills. It should come as no surprise, but those general skills will probably be related to your biggest strengths.

What Are Your Natural Talents?

What do people most appreciate about you and what you do?

What are the unique skills you have that people comment on at work or at home?

What areas do you excel in? For example, are you always being thanked for your insight, objectivity, organizational skills, etc.?

What Are Your Work Values?

What do you value in your work?

Do you appreciate the ability to work independently, or is a team environment something you value more?

Do you prefer constantly learning new skills, or do you value having the opportunity to really fine-tune one particular skill?

Your combined answers to the questions above can guide you in your job search and will help you figure out if you're on the right path or way off course.

The good news is that even if you discover you've gone astray, you'll now have a roadmap to get you back on track.

A version of this article originally appeared on the Atrium Staffing blog.

Michele Mavi is Atrium Staffing's resident career expert.