The world is your oyster – get creative and uncover exciting possibilities for a new career.

The world is your oyster - get creative and uncover exciting possibilities for a new career. Photo of 2 women sitting on the top of a car with mountains and sky in the background.

I want to share with you an exercise* that is fun, shines a light on what you already have within you and gives you a creative approach to uncovering what you might explore as contenders for your new career.

To get you off the linear path and thinking more expansively about your possibilities I want you to suspend reality for a while and inhabit your imagination – you’re going on an adventure.

What do you love to do?

You have a wealth of interests that I want you to draw on to help you find ALL your passions. These interests are unique to you; as you dig deeper you will discover some interesting clues as to where your new career could lie. Some interests may be present in your life now, others may have been put down long ago – whatever their status, pay attention to all of them in this exercise.

The world is your oyster! 

Step 1 – your interests

Grab some paper. Divide the page into 3 columns: childhood, teenage years and adulthood.

Under each heading write everything you have ever loved doing during that period in your life, whether it’s playing with your cat, going on picnics or collecting stamps – EVERYTHING MATTERS!

Step 2 – where could your interests take you?

Choose one interest/activity from each period. These interests/activities should still inspire you in some way.

I will use the example of camping in the countryside to illustrate how you work through this exercise.

Interest/activity: camping in the countryside

Now you’re going to tap into some memories to recall what you loved most about the interest/activity.  

What I loved most: freedom, feeling independent, having fun with others in the outdoors

Now pull out some themes that capture what you loved doing related to the interest/activity.

Themes: seeing new places, meeting new people

Now let your imagination go wild. Imagine that you have focused your life to date on doing what you loved and you made a fabulous career out of this interest/activity. You are at the top of your profession. So, with the example of camping in the countryside, imagine it has turned into a profession which enables freedom and independence and is highly successful.

My fabulous career: worldwide adventure group leader, regularly exploring different countries, guiding others to remote parts

Now I want you to carry your fabulous career fantasy 5 years into the future and describe where success has taken you.

5 years later: work for top adventure travel company, speak several languages, write an adventure travel guide

Now I want you to jump ahead to a further 5 years later. Imagine you are highly successful at what you do. The world is your oyster. Do you want to continue what you are doing or transform it into something else?

Further 5 years: own my own adventure travel company with offices in London and Nepal, have set up an exciting adventure travel portal website, connecting with lots of people worldwide and linking to an environmental organisation, employ 20 people

Repeat the exercise for the other 2 interests you picked.  

Where has your imagination taken you? 

I’d love to hear how creative you’ve been able to get with your future possibilities.

Obviously there’s a lot of work that comes after this to pull down into reality options that have potential. The key at this stage is to go big so you capture things you may never have regarded as possibilities before.

You may be amazed at what comes up; and a little excited!

*This exercise is based on one from Live the Life You Love by Barbara Sher.

Photo by unknown.