Find Out What Career In Tech is The Right Fit For You (Part 1 of 3) | Life In Tech by Bessy Tam

Find Out What Career In Tech is The Right Fit For You (Part 1 of 3)

Published on 19 January 2020 by Bessy Tam | Filed in Career

Step 1:  Find Out What You Want

I didn't always know what I wanted

Especially when I felt stuck and dissatisfied in marketing and went to random Google events like in the picture.

By the way, none of the events I went to led to my job at Google. So if you're going to events to try to get a job.. stop!

The people on my team were very status quo. Instead of following along, I felt frustrated. I remember vividly, I was at my desk in the office, facing the front door watching people walk around while I built spreadsheets on my computer. 

I felt lost. Instead of working on strategic projects and collaborating with others from start to finish, everyone worked at their own desks.

I didn't even know whether what I worked on was impactful, I was just told what to do. And I would look at my desk everyday, wondering why there were processes like this? And why do things have to go through 10 chains of command?

Worst of all, I felt like it was my fault - maybe I wasn't good enough to be strategic,. 

I knew I couldn't keep going like this -  Just peaks and troughs, peaks and troughs. But I didn't know what job I could do nor what I wanted. But what I did know was that I didn't want that. 

That if I continued on, I would have been very depressed.

How I Found Out What I Wanted

So I went on a journey.

Instead of being complacent, I tried to talk to people, and find out what I really want to be doing. After talking to so many people, all I knew I just didn't want a career in traditional marketing or sales  but I didn't know what I wanted!

I felt like a master of none but didn't want to pigeon hole myself in something and regret it later on.

After so many months of figuring things out, reading books and talking to experts in the field who truly loved their careers, I realized no one was going to tell you what you want.

The answer is within everyone -  And I found the every first step that got me to figure out what I wanted was asking myself  5 questions.

NOTE: No one ever handed me these 5 questions - It took me 10 months of reading 30+ books, watching tons of videos, and meeting 300+ people (8 people I met and 70 people I spoke with on Tinder) to put the pieces together and attribute my success back to these 5 specific questions

That's why I wanted to share it with you!

So get a pen and paper with a timer for 5-10 mins (or leverage Microsoft/Google Docs!) and follow the video!

This is 1st of a 3-PART SERIES to Find Out What Job is The Right Fit For You (Part 1 of 3).

  1. Finding out what you want to do (this video/article)
  2.  Bringing out your strengths
  3.  Leveraging your current assets and experiences 

PS if you don't want to follow the video, you can keep scrolling down to read it in article form

5 Groundbreaking Questions to Find Out What You Want

Your Career is Like a Jungle Gym

Before I step into the core component of this video, I wanted to talk a little bit more about the two specific objectives.

First is having, knowing what you want to do is not actually about having one career but many careers. So Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook famously said that you should think of your career not as a ladder, but as a jungle gym.

Different jobs or different careers should, should link up together in many different ways so that you can connect the dots and see a bigger picture that ladders fours what you want to do.

It's the Non-Negotiables that Matter

Second of all, it's the non-negotiables that matter.

So, these are things that are traits of your life instead of just the job itself.

These are, you know, relationships, a workplace balance, lifestyle. Ask yourself, what are your nonnegotiables when it comes to a dream job?

  • ​Are you traveling?
  • How many people are you working with?
  • How does health or the environment play into this?
  • What does the support you get from your career, mentorship, etc look like?

So these are not necessarily the core of what you want to do, but are  supporting factors towards what your life should look like.

That's what we want to cover today, especially in the 5 different questions you should ask yourself in order to find out what you want to do.

How to Make the Most Out of These 5 Questions

Before I ask these five questions, I would love for you to take a notebook and pen out so that you can write out the question, but also your answer to it.

Your answers should be as thorough as you can - Whether it's one full page, bullet points or even five pages of just notes. I usually like to have some calming music behind the scenes as well so that I can kind of think through my answers and be able to visualize and be able to answer my questions for me.

The set a timer of maybe 5 minutes per question where you can answer it thoroughly before you jump to the next question.

Question 1: What would you be doing if fear was not a factor?

 A lot of times we lead our life with fear.

  • What would people think?
  • what would people say?
  •  I'm not right for this. I'm not ready for this.

But if there was not a factor, what would you be doing

Would you be...:

  • Doing more speaker events?
  • Would you be coaching more people and mentoring people, whether they're in high school, college or people in your company?
  • Would you be leading a specific project that you wanted to leave but didn't have the courage say "Yes!" to?

For me, the fact that I'm here filming this video and writing this article) is really scary to me. What if there's people who say that my video is not good?

However, I know that I need to share my message more with people out in the world because everything that I share with you are tools that I've used in order to help me with my career.

Question 2: Who do I want to be like when I grow up?

This question allows us to have someone to look forward to who has the traits of a life that we want.

Generally, it's easier for us to identify the things that we want or don't want versus brainstorming it on our own.

For example, I really love the work ethic and passion and enthusiasm and creativity that Beyonce brings (video). 

At the same time, I love the audacity,  the helpfulness, and the caring nature that Oprah brings to the table that allows her to help a lot more people.

Ask yourself:

  • Who do I want to be like?
  • What do they do on a daily basis?
  • What kind of work do they do in order to make them who they are?
  • What do I like about them? What do I not want to take it from them?

So it doesn't have to be one person. It could be many people. The goal is to be able to visualize these are things I really want to do, that I want my lifestyle to be like that.

Question 3: When were you most in the zone? What moment are you most proud of?

So this is a passion or exercise I put into my 7-day free email course as well.

This question is awesome because it will help us understand what makes us really excited in the end.

A career is very, very fulfilling as long as we're excited about it because every day we're at our jobs 8 hours out of the 24 hours in a day.  And of course if you're an entrepreneur it might be more hours  than that

With that in mind, we need to make sure that we are in the zone or doing work that we love and truly enjoy.

For example, I was most in the zone when I was leading my dance team in college. It is a while back, but it's definitely something I think about all the time.

Image may contain: 1 person 

And something I strive for reason was because I was leading an organization of 80 people and was able to sell out all of our shows on a bi-annual basis. Everyone was so amazing and I was able to be creative as well as, uh, holding a managerial position that I can see myself doing in the future.

Question 3a: Ask your colleagues/peers "When did you see me in the zone or in my element the most? What brings it out? "

Another thing that you could do as a subset of this question is actually ask peers, when did you see me in the zone the most or in my element most?

You could ask them, "What are my weaknesses? What would bring it out?"

Feel free to approach it as an ask a part of your new goal or new way of learning  yourself and asking them for advice.

In an email BCC-ing everyone, you could say:

"I need your help! I would love to learn more about myself  this year. Specifically,  be able to hone into my strengths and also develop my weaknesses.


We've worked really closely in the past (or I've known you for X years now) and I truly hold your opinion in the highest regard. It'd be a greatest gift to me if you're able to provide feedback even if it takes you 2-5 minutes.  

When you have moment, are you able to share this insight by replying directly to this email?

  • When have you seen me do my best work or am "in the zone". What brings it out?
  • What are my weaknesses? What brings it out?

I'd really appreciate your feedback and it'd truly be a gift to me!




Question 4: If today were the last day of your life, would you want to do what you are about to do today?

The reason why this question is great is because of the things into perspective. If today were your last day or last 24 hours, you'd be able to understand what is the desired impact you would want to make from your life.

Even if you wanted to impact those around you or the world, it doesn't mean you're going to jump into this job or lifestyle tomorrow.

For example, for the last day of my life, I want to spend time with my family, be able to travel, and be able to impact a lot more people to get their dream jobs.

I may or may not be able to do that today, but it's something that I have in mind to be able to strive for.

Question 5: What does your ideal day look like? 

Let's say  if it was an ideal Saturday or Sunday, what would you doing?

If you weren't watching TV or eating meals or sleeping, what would you be doing that would make that day ideal?

A good exercise is to actually walk through the day from start to finish. 

  • What time would you wake up?
  • Where would you wake up?
  • What does it look like?
  • Who's around you?  Who is with you after you wake up, you know, are you with your family? Are you sending your kids to school?
  • Are you working on key projects, writing a book, reading keynotes?
  • What do your meals look like? Are you cooking them? Do you have a chef, personal chef?
  • Are you flying to different places? Planning for travel?
  • What does your work look like? Are you helping people online? Do you have a team in person? Are you in the office?

I asked this question to one of my students and friends before and she said that her ideal day would be in the office working with her team and actually storyboarding a brand campaign with post-its on the wall.

It's really interesting how everyone's perspectives are very different and she finally understood what she wanted to do!

 But thinking about a typical Saturday would be very helpful so that you can completely visualize that day into your notebook and write it down.


So here are the 5 different questions that you can ask yourself in order to find out what you actually want - make sure you spend 5-10 minutes on each question and type it out/write it in a notebook.

  1. What would you be doing if fear was not a factor?
  2. Who do I want to be like when I grow up?
  3. When was I most in the zone? What moment was I most proud of?
  4. If today were the last day of your life, would you want to do what you are about to do today?
  5. What does your ideal day look like?

Comment below if you liked this video - tell me, what was your favorite question and why? What did you find out?

About the Author

Bessy Tam is a career coach who helps busy professionals get into their dream non-tech job in tech. She’s helped dozens of clients get interviews and offers from companies such as Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Lyft, Amazon, Babbel, & More. She currently works at Google in Chicago.

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