You may not think that you are doing what you want when it comes to your career. You may have taken the first job that was offered to you in the hopes you would find your way towards doing something you loved. You may have gotten a job and been so successful making great money but woke up one day to discover that you really can’t stand all of the corporate politics you’ve had to put up with over the years. It may be that you have been doing the same job for so long you forgot what really made you happy and engaged in your work? When it comes to digging deep into your career choices, there are a few simple truths that you need to explore in order to ensure you are on the right path for you.
- Am I happy? First question you should ask yourself is if you are happy going to work every day and if so, make an inventory of what it is that makes you happy about your job. If the answer is that you are not happy, make the same list of items that are challenges for you in your job and see how you might be able to reflect on why those particular issues are coming up for you now.
- Do I feel like I am making a difference? Whether you are just starting out in your career or are a senior leader in an organization, there comes a time in anyone’s career where you wonder whether all of your hard work can make an impact on you, your company and the people you support. When your work no longer holds meaning and you can no longer make a difference, then it’s time to re-examine just what you want from your job.
- Am I motivated by my work? You may be motivated by the paycheck, or the year-end bonus or just being part of the creative and collaborative process at work that you don’t need much else to get you going. Whatever motivates you in your job, take stock in it and be honest about your intentions. It’s okay if money is your motivator. No one is judging you. Being honest about what drives you at work and this simple truth will help you achieve happiness in your job.
- Do I care what others think? Making sure you are picking a job and sticking with it based on what you feel is important for you and not what your spouse, parent, sibling or peer thinks is crucial if you are wondering whether you are in the right place. Doing anything because you are doing it for someone else denies you the happiness you seek if what you are doing is not what you love.
- What will I want my career tombstone to read? When it’s all said and done, how would you like your career epithet to read? Does it read, “Great worker, always showed up to work on time and was responsible” or, should it read, “Great innovator who followed his/her dreams through creativity and joy.” Remember how you write the end of your story has as much to do with how you will live the rest of your career life and how you will be remembered for your accomplishments long after your career is over.
We all have truths we live by but knowing how to use them to help guide you and keep in you check about your career choices is taking the next step towards being honest with yourself.
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