Have you ever questioned whether you are in the right career? We're taught to get an education, secure a good job, and grow within an industry - but what if we make the wrong choice? It's a question that many people struggle with. At some point, the attractive lure of a new position fades away and becomes, "just a job". Sunday nights often bring an unsettling feeling of anxiety and Monday mornings become a daunting event. This cycle repeats weekly. If this is how you've been feeling about your work lately, it may be time to ask yourself, "Am I in the right career?"
The risk, time and energy that are required to make a change are all valid concerns, but should not stop you in your pursuit to do something fulfilling! Before you make a move, you should ask yourself the following questions:
1) How Often Do You Think About Work Outside of Work?
Not just the ongoings of events at work, but the work itself. If you are an accountant, are you obsessed with numbers? If you're an engineer, do you think about the problems you're solving outside of your 9-5? Doing something you love means that you think about it all the time, without trying. When you find something that you are passionate about doing, there is rarely a distinction between what is work and what is pleasure. Work isn't viewed so much as work, but as part of life. No matter what you are doing, you should be excited to wake up and do it every morning! The day when that stops happening should be a trigger for you to start re-evaluating your situation.
2) What does the future look like in your current position?
Look at those who are senior to you in your current role and if there is no one that you aspire to be like, it could be time to leave. Do you want to eventually want to do what they are doing? Do they enjoy their job and seem happy with their position? By asking these questions you can start thinking about the type of role you'd like to be in 5-10 years down the road.
Having a long-term view on your career is critical because many jobs change as you advance. If you are not in love with your current job, that's okay. Sometimes it's essential for us to do something we don't want to do for a short period of time to develop the skills that are required to transition to a role that is a better fit and ultimately where you want to be. Never despise opportunity to learn or grow.
If you are not sure about what the future could look like in your current company, consider asking people what they like about their current job and start exploring different career paths. Sometimes, a small change in position at the same company could be enough to radically change your satisfaction levels.
3) Are you growing professionally?
It is critical to understand what you are good at doing, what you are aspiring to accomplish, and what the market will compensate you for. As you reflect on your own experience in your current career, make sure that you are growing in all three of these areas. If you're not growing your skillset, working towards what you ultimately want to be doing, or increasing your compensation, then it may be time to reconsider your current position.
Determining whether to make a career move or keep the status quo is no small task, but asking yourself these questions will help make your decision an informed one. Making a career change can significantly alter the trajectory of your entire life, so it is a choice that should not be taken likely. In some cases, it might be valuable to enlist the help of a trusted advisor - like a career coach or talk therapist. These professionals can help work with you to help you navigate the decision and your own emotional framework. If you'd like to talk to someone about your career endeavors we can help (click here)!