Everyone sometimes stops and wonders if they are in the right career and if they are doing things right. This questioning mostly happens when you are going through challenges in your role, you’re having a bad day at work or you realize how well people you know seem to have their careers figured out. Questioning is healthy as questioning is what brings about discovery, assurance or decisions and change.
Before you make any hasty decisions that you might regret, it is important to ascertain whether or not you made the right career choices and that your career is on the right track. Here is how to know you made the right career choices;
You Love What You Do, Even on Bad Days
You spend most of your waking hours in the workplace Loving what you do is, therefore, key. Do you feel energized to wake up and rush to the office to finish up on a task you started yesterday? Are problems more of challenges to overcome in your role? Do you like working for your employer? This is because you may have a role that you adore but your boss is getting on your nerves. You might also love what you do very much, but your workplace is too toxic for you. Either way, do not allow a situation in the workplace influence what you feel about your role. Separate the two and understand where the issue is.
You are Giving Your Best (and Feeling Good About it)
When your career path is right and you have made the right career choices, there is a conviction within you that this is what you want to do and you give your best. Click To Tweet While some people are natural high performers even when they’re in the wrong place, you will not feel contented. Remember career choices are more than your current employer. They are more about what you do. If you are a great salesperson, you can sell anything regardless of industry and hitting sales targets is what makes you feel alive. If you still don’t feel good about what you do, it’s time you looked around you.
You Desire to Grow in Your Role
An ideal role should provide opportunity for you to acquire new skills and grow in terms of responsibilities and tasks. If you desire and look forward to this growth, you are in the right place. Keep at it. If you don’t see yourself on the next level in that role, maybe it is time to rethink your career choices and redefine who you are.
You Have a Fair Share of Criticism and Recognition
The right career or you will not be a smooth sail into the sunset. You will encounter challenges and overcome them. When you fail criticism might come your way and if you are in the right place, you will view it positively. Positive criticism only works if the recipient has the right attitude. A right attitude comes when you are convinced what you are doing is right and you love it. Once you overcome challenges, there will be recognition for your work because you love what you do so much you go above and beyond your ordinary call of duty.
You Have Little Victories Regularly (and Big Ones Sometimes)
You are excited when you discover something new related to your role or when you innovate a solution that helps improve performance in your department. If this defines you, you are on the right track. Your love for what you do drives you to discover better ways of doing things and you discover new solutions. These to you are small victories that give you a high. On the other hand, if nothing excites you in your role, you need to change what you do or your environment.
You Learn from Mistakes
Mistakes or shortcomings are opportunities to learn and grow your muscle. While how you react to failure mostly depends on your attitude, it also has a lot to do with where your heart is. If you love what you do, mistakes and failure are only challenges that give you the impetus to try harder and do better. If you don’t like what you do or are in the wrong career, you will view mistakes as signs that you shouldn’t be there. You will start making up excuses of why you should leave. Pay attention to how you feel about set backs in your role.
So What if You Discover you Didn’t Make the Right Career Choices?
Are you self-aware? Knowing what you want, what you are good a and what makes you happy is one of the most important discoveries you will ever make. A self-aware person can thrive in any environment because they know their value, their strengths and limits. Every successful person is consciously self-aware. Ask yourself questions like;
- Do I know what I want my career to be like?
- Do I know my skills and qualifications?
- Do I know the industry I would want to work in?
- Am I aware of the current trends in my career of choice?
- Will that career path make me happy?
Make Your Move
Once you are sure you would rather be elsewhere, start planning your exit immediately. Identify what is needed for you to make the shift then begin working on it. Procrastination is the enemy of any sort of progress and you shouldn’t spend more time at something you don’t want to be doing. Even if the shift takes longer than expected, let it be due to external factors, not because you procrastinated. The more time you waste, the longer you will be at a role that makes you miserable.
Speak to Your Mentor
Sometimes all you need to get a clear bigger picture is speaking to someone with more experience than you do. Your mentor might have gone through the same experience and they probably have valuable insights to offer. Ensure you have a grasp of the issues arising in your career so that you paint a clear picture of your situation.
Be Willing to Sacrifice
Sometimes, making a career change means you becoming a beginner in your next role. You have to be willing to retrace your steps so that you can make better career choices. This is a small sacrifice really when you look at the bigger picture. Plus you may find that you have some transferable skills that are relevant in your new career. Do not be afraid to move back, be afraid of moving on with something you don’t like.