3 Ways to Know You Chose the Right Career
There are so many available jobs to choose from, how do you know if you’re in the right career? We all try to climb the ladder of success, but can you see yourself reaching the top and being satisfied with the kind of work you’re doing? Here are a few ways to know that you’ve chosen the right career for you.
1. Are you happy?
It sounds like such a simple question, but it is such an important one to ask yourself. Maybe we aren’t always satisfied with the position we being in, but does the environment and the industry make you happy? Are you happy with what you’re contributing back to the world? Is your happiness driven by content or money?
These are all valid questions to ask yourself when analyzing your position. Think about your mornings—are you energized and ready to start a new day or are you dragging yourself out of bed and dreading all the meetings and projects that you have on your desk that day?
I worked at a position in Los Angeles where I woke up every morning feeling anxious about beating the traffic to get to my job on time, where no one offered any version of “good morning,” but surely spoke up when you were one minute late. I sat at my desk day after day listening to one of my co-workers rant about how Tiger Woods was such a wonderful man and the poor guy didn’t know any better when cheating on his wife….really?
Even though I contributed my best effort towards the company, I left each day exhausted and angry at the traffic that I had to sit through to get back home to my mediocre apartment. I was not happy and was not in the right job. I quit after 3 months when I realized that I was allowing my health and happiness to go down the drain. The moment I quit, I felt a revived energy and couldn’t help feeling elated, even though I wasn’t sure about what I was going to venture to next.
If you’re not happy…quit!
2. Do you feel valued?
In the job position mentioned above, I never felt valuable to the company. I felt like I could be replaced in an instant and no one would blink an eye. I was never asked to join for lunch when a large group planned an outing, I wasn’t told that I was doing a good job, but only when I was doing something wrong. My questions were met with sarcastic and judgmental answers, and I was blamed for leaving my dishes in the sink. (I never brought dishes to work…)
In your current job, do you feel like you are a part of the team working towards a larger goal? If the answer is no, then you’re skills and value are not being appreciated…get out! Yes, some jobs are more mundane than others and society might rank certain positions above others, but if your job wasn’t important, then the position wouldn’t exist. You’re so important! The team needs you to keep it’s wheels turning. Never let anyone make you feel like you aren’t contributing or that your work isn’t important.
3. What are your long term goals?
Goals differ for each person. My long term goal for a career was to feel as though I was really helping others with what I was doing. Money was never a huge factor for me. As long as I could sustain and support myself, I didn’t really care about the paycheck.
My husband, on the other hand, is driven by monetary success. Though he loves what he does, one of his main objectives is to make a lot of money. (He knows that most of the money he will make will probably be given back to charities by me).
Ask yourself what your ultimate goal is in your career and then think about whether that goal can eventually be accomplished in the job that you currently hold. If you can’t see yourself at the top, feeling fulfilled, you’re not in the right job. Think of each job as a stepping stone to where you ultimately want to be – there are multiple paths to take, but decide whether you’re on a straight path to your own success.