I’ve had some conversations with a few friends recently who are questioning whether they’re in the right job or on the right career path.
It could be related to our age – we’re all in our thirties and are kind of at the point where we’re questioning if our lives are ‘good enough’.
If we’re achieving the things we thought we would – and if we’re going in the right direction.
What is the Right Career for You
When it comes to jobs, I’ve always had one simple view: when you wake up and consistently no longer want to go to work, start looking for something else.
Of course, I know everyone has bad days or even weeks on end where they think their job sucks or they’re sick of working with unbearable colleagues or bad managers. I’ve been there.
What I mean is – when for many weeks, or months on end, you no longer want to go to work, then it’s time to make some changes.
What You Can Change at Work
1. Is a colleague the issue?
Can you talk to the person who you’re not getting along with and resolve the issues?
Or can someone else intervene and help – managers, HR, even another colleague?
2. Is your manager the issue?
Can you talk to your manager about how they might work with you in a different way?
Or, if you cannot speak to them openly, can you move up the chain and get some help?
3. Are you struggling to do your job?
Do you need help in doing your job? Can you ask for assistance or further training?
Is your workload too big, or even too small? Who do you need to talk to about making changes or getting help?
4. Is it time for a promotion?
Have you outgrown your role? Perhaps it’s time to speak to your superior about your path to promotion. Does the possibility of promotion actually exist?
5. Is your job just no longer right for you?
Do you love your company but feel your current role is no longer suitable?
Can you check the internal jobs board to see if another role is more suitable?
It might not be a step up or even sideways. Sometimes moving into a role that pays less but gives you more job satisfaction, experience or skills is something to consider.
6. Or, are you on the wrong career path now?
Whether you’ve been in the same career for one or 30 years, you might just be at the point where it’s no longer right for you.
Perhaps it’s time to reassess and consider what might be more appealing now.
What are your passions, hobbies, interests and what are you good at?
Some people reach the point where they need to make a change and it’s a drastic one. They quit their job with no new one on the horizon.
Personally, I’ve never done this because financially it’s never been possible. However, I have changed career many times – I mean MANY times in the past twenty plus years. (Including over a decade in HR and recruitment).
I’ve found myself unhappy or unfulfilled and wondered what career should I do instead. What job suits me more?
There have been similarities in the jobs I’ve done – working with people, writing, business development. But in terms of ‘careers’, I’ve had more than a few.
And they’ve led me to where I am now and for now, I’m more than happy. I’m not rich, I work long hours sometimes and it isn’t always easy, but I love it. The pros far outweigh the cons and I’m excited to get up every single day to start work.
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There was no ‘how to choose a career’ class at school. Well actually, when I think about it, we did do a weird quick test one day and it said I should be a Librarian. Interesting!
I actually feel it was a last stab at them trying to put us all on a path somewhere. I’m pretty sure no-one in my year ended up doing the thing the test results spat out.
What to do if you’re on the Wrong Career Path
I would suggest that you try and make your current situation better before you take drastic action. Consider the points above and see if you can resolve any issues and make positive changes.
At the end of the day though, if you decide that your current career, job or employer is not right for you, you can take steps to leave. Choosing a career doesn’t commit you for life – unless you love it enough to!
When I talk to my friends now, who are feeling a bit lost in their current career, I always try to find out what they’re passionate about.
It’s a fantastic starting place to uncover what you should be doing next.
Remember, passions wane and change over time sometimes too and you should not feel bad about no longer feeling passionate about the things you used to.
But take some time to consider what interests and excites you.
What do you love to do that you would leap out of bed for in the morning?
Ask yourself: what career suits me better than this one?
Is there a job you could do that involves that one thing?
Do you ever wonder if you’re on the right career path?
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Are you on the right career path?