Read my career planning for doctors's blog
I often come across people who... despite their obvious desire to be developing their career in some way or changing their career - will simply not state what it is they want. There is something holding them back.
This is a very interesting dynamic and when I ask why they wont say what they want or are finding fault with every options that emerges from our conversations.....some will say "but that is why I have got in touch".
However, it is not my job to tell you what you want ( I say) - it is my job to help you do things like:
explore your options
find out why the current career has not met your expectations
uncover what will truly motivate you - your career dream or a new passion or focus
feel more empowered to state what it is you want
but not to tell you what you want.
I think there is a misconception that career guidance is about providing a shortlist of options from which you merely have to pick. This is the "career shelf" system so often used in schools ( my school had a careers library room with books on a shelf). Anyway - after 30 years plus of talking to people about their careers - this is simply not my style - because.... it doesn't work. In fact it often leads to disappointment, dead ends, plateaus or frank mismatch.
There is a place for provisional shortlisting of sorts - but I believe this has to be a starting point for discussion and further explorations. A career needs to fit someone and it needs to be researched, to evolve and grow in order to fit and so merely picking off a shelf is not a helpful start.
Some people however are very very uncomfortable stating what it is they want. And I know they have good reasons. The reasons are potentially multiple and it is complex so I am writing a short course on this . It afflicts so many and understanding why a person is unable to say will help a them move from "but i don't know what I want" to " I'd love to do x y x ..... I now know how to take that forwards, what I have to offer it and how it matches my needs. Far from picking an option from a list or.. a shelf.