#TOOLTIME What I use for soul-searching

image of Apollo's statue (reference to the Delphi's temple's saying "know thyself")

In this period of uncertainty (regarding both our career and personal lives), I thought I’d share with you some of the tools I use when in need of introspection

I’ll update it as I go


The way we conceive orientation today is not based on exploring our aspirations. Choosing a career path is often objective, based on data (our grades) and the social perception we have of some jobs. If you’re a straight A student, you’ll be encouraged to pursue scientific studies in high school. If you score high here as well, you’ll be advised to aim for a prestigious school and degree “because you can”. But capacity doesn’t rime with desire.¬†

On the same note, we relate success ‚Äď and at times, happiness ‚Äď to scoring high in terms of earnings & social status. I’ve even watched some talks¬†recommending us to throw off balance in our 20s for work, identify what we’ve good at to become the best in our pool to eventually see this talent transform into a passion. But what about purpose-finding and fulfilment?¬†

Today’s narratives are still linked to yesterday’s codes: fulfilment lies into work. But I feel like our generations are trying to shift it, one change at a time.

For some of us, it’s only after 5, 10, 20 years of working that we realise we’re not in phase with our job, take a pause and switch. Some are even able to compose with this without asking themselves the question… until they are to leave the workplace and reinvent themselves. This can also come with a strong self-questioning period. But we shouldn’t have to switch so late in our lives. What if we could explore our aspirations from a younger age?


Pauline Laigneau, founder of Gemmyo and producer of the french podcast “Le Gratin” describes the time she finds the most precious as:

“Taking time to stepback is essential. My academic background is very classic, I went through high school without any problem, I have a masters degree… and I didn’t ask myself any questions. I didn’t take time to sit and stepback until I was 25. That’s why it’s so precious to do this.”


I know I tend to compare everything to design but hear me out. Have you ever seen the Design Squiggle?

This illustration represents the creative process that is design. Most precisely, it aims to represent the feelings we go through during the creative process. The first phases are exploratory, hence the apparent chaos we experience. Then comes the first solution drafts, allowing us to test & learn about our creations (and ourselves in the case of vocational orientation). It’s the combination between those constant tests & research which makes the final solution emerge and consolidate.

Feels familiar yet?

The design squiggle illustration

¬†¬ę The journey of researching, uncovering insights, generating creative concepts, iteration of prototypes and eventually concluding in one single designed solution. It is intended to convey the feeling of the journey.

Beginning on the left with mess and uncertainty and ending on the right in a single point of focus: the design. ¬Ľ The Design Squiggle

Very much like life transitions, there are certain steps to undergo before creating the perfect solution. Takes time.

This toolbox aims to help you do just that: take a step-back on your orientation. Maybe it won’t change your path for now, but at least you’ll have some material to initiate the reflection process.


“Personality test” are quite common. Even though they exist in a billion different form, their objective is similar: helping you understand the way you function.

Personality tests are in no way a tool to categorise yourself (and they shouldn’t be used as such). I like to think of them as our astral themes: everything isn’t right but there are some points that are interesting to take into account.


hand clicking on mouse



  • when you have all day/night: TED¬†and its infinite source of speeches
  • Michelle Obama’s book Becoming, where she sometimes states how lost she was regarding her own career orientation
  • to¬†listen to¬†(french only): Les gens qui doutent, Nouvelle √Čcole


relax x 5




  • because¬†nothing tops burpees for a good reset: Freeletics
  • if you’re in need of a pause: Petit Bambou for guided meditations

Feel free to add your own resources in the comments!

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