At an Awards Ceremony recently Lucy Pearson, Head of Cheadle Hulme School, challenged pupils and parents alike to “find their spark”. She encouraged us all to identify what inspires and motivates us, what is our passion. What are our goals?

Heading out of the auditorium I heard lots of people questioning themselves, muttering about not knowing what their spark was nor how they would find it. Many of you may be sharing the same dilemma so I thought it would be useful to provide some suggestions to help you “find your spark”.

What did you aspire to be when you were a teenager?
Very often we had some great ideas and instincts about what would suit us in our teenage years. These are often embryonic ideas that you can reconnect back to now as a career goal. For instance, I wanted to be a radio broadcaster as a teenager and I have a goal now to produce my own podcasts to fulfil that “spark”.

Alternatively think about if you won the lottery, what would you be doing?
Most people’s initial reaction is to say “I’d do nothing.” However, after a little more reflection they realise that they would need some type of challenge, or way of finding fulfilment and motivation.

Another thought provoking question for you would be, what would you like to be written on your epitaph or have people say about you when you are no longer here?
That might sound a bit morbid but it starts to help you think about what you want to be known for, and what you might want to have achieved by then. Life is too short and we need to start reflecting on these goals right now.

Brainstorm a list of everything that you are interested in. Include things that you enjoyed doing as a child or teenager because often our interests can go dormant but rarely stop completely. Circle your Top 3 interests which are the ones you are most drawn to. What proportion of your current life is taken up with these interests? If you are not giving time to these interests, then potentially here is your spark that you need to focus on. Begin to do activities which relate to your interest areas. Initially this might be in your personal rather than work time – attend a course, do some on-line learning, volunteer. Ideally in the longer term the more that your work can be focused on something you are interested in, the more motivated and satisfied you will be. That’s why you hear many who are self-employed say that their job feels like a hobby.

Once you’ve worked through these questions to ignite your spark you should try to write down your ideas no matter how vague they might be. Putting things in writing helps to clarify your thoughts and often triggers additional inspiration.

If you would like help to find your spark and ignite your fire then get in touch with sally@swcareercoaching.com and we can arrange a meeting together.

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