Your... professional... wish list


Author: Bérénice Kimpe (Head of International Department)

The "Wish list" is a book by Grégoire Delacourt, magnificently adapted to the theatre. It tells the story of a mercy woman from Arras (Northern France) who wins 18 million euros in the lottery and thinks, among other things, about how to spend this sum. What particularly moved me was to see the evolution of her thinking, from a simple list of needs to a list of follies, but also (and perhaps above all) to witness the implementation of her latest list. And I said to myself: why wouldn't we do the same with our career plans?

When Jocelyne, the heroine of the book, discovers that she has hit the jackpot, she gets dizzy and finds herself confused: what to do with the money? We have all asked ourselves this question in relation to our professional wealth, made up of our training, our experience, our skills and our personality: how can we put it to good use? It's not easy when you can't see all the possibilities. 

In the book, Jocelyne decides to proceed in a pragmatic way: drawing up a list of what she could offer herself. In the course of the story, three types of lists will emerge: the first one, very reasonable, corresponds to her needs. The second one integrates her desires. The third is that of her follies in which she dares and frees herself from her inhibitions. You too can follow her example and create your own lists which you will fill in according to what you have experienced so far, how you look into the future and what you dream without really admitting it or without really believing that you could do it.

1. The list of your needs

This list is certainly the simplest to make because it is by identifying the elements of satisfaction and dissatisfaction for each of your experiences that you will be able to verbalize what is essential to you. This concerns your environment (international context for example), your personality (allergy to routine) or your values (such as respect and trust for example).

2. The list of your desires

For some of us, it is all very well to function according to our desires, but thinking about our professional desires is not as obvious as one might think. For this requires us to project ourselves into the unknown: and how, then, to formulate what we do not know? To help you see more clearly, you can rely on what already exists, in all its forms: it means imagining, on the one hand, what the extension or development of oneof your current activities could look like (going from the development of a network to its facilitation); it also means knowing how to identify, with the help of a skills portfolio or job profiles, the skills that seem important to you and that youdo not yet have (for example, team management); finally, meeting people with a job you don’t know so much about will enable you to check whether or not the representation you have of it is close to reality and whether or not it is a job in which you could feel good.

Diving into the unknown is not the only difficulty to face: the degree of influence of our professional and family environment can distort the list of our desires, as can the limits we impose on ourselves. Your desires are yours and no one else's! Does the desire to take over the family business really come from you or is it your parents' wish that you have interpreted as one of your desires? Be clear with yourself and free yourself from these influences, you won't regret it!

As we have just seen, those around you may try to impose wishes on you. It can also inhibit your real desires: if you want to become a sculptor and you come from a family of graduates of prestigious schools, you may not dare to express this desire. And this is the point of the third list: your madness!

3. The list of your follies

What's great about this list is that you can afford and dare to do anything: take away the fears, pressures, limits... and let your imagination run wild! By filling out this list, you will realize that some of your follies are not so crazy and that they are within reach, in the medium or even long term. It's up to you to determine the different steps to take to get there and to properly assess the risks.

Drawing up a list of your needs, desires and follies implies a freedom of mind and time. Enjoy the pleasure of thinking about it and come back to it as soon as you have a new idea. These are evolving lists that should help you navigate your career: just think about checking from time to time that you are staying on track!