No matter if you started your career two months ago or twenty years ago, you might at some point wondering if you are doing what the right job for yourself. It’s perfectly normal to doubt your career choice. In fact, studies showed that people may still be torn with what they want to do at 40 years of age.
So, how do you know if you’re in the right place (at least for now)? Ask yourself these questions to reassure yourself you’re on the right path:
1. Am I good at what I do?
This may seem like a common-sense question, but you’d be surprised to know that not many people do a job that actually suit their skills. How to know if you’re good at your job? According to The Muse, there are a few key signs that can indicate you’re exceeding expectations.
- You’re getting more feedback
- You’re the go-to person for questions
- Your boss depends on you
- You’re in charge of your own work
If you’re nodding while going to the bullet points above, you’re most likely to be good at what you do. However, if you struggle to perform in your role and can’t seem to get things done right, then it might be a sign that you should find something else.
2. Is there room for growth?
You could be enjoying your job, but you still get the feeling that there is little to no room for advancement – it means there is no way for you to get that upper-level position. Yes, sadly, even good jobs can be dead-end jobs. Maybe it’s because you don’t have the skills, or maybe you’re stuck in your role because your immediate superior is stuck in theirs. Either way, it’s a frustrating situation to be in. Try to ask your superior for more responsibilities or volunteer to join any relevant training to improve your skills. And if you still can’t see a future in your role or in the company at all, maybe it’s time to leave.
3. Do I feel fulfilled?
Do you feel fulfilled with your work? Do you find what you’re doing meaningful? Or are you sitting at a desk all day typing on a keyboard? These are some key questions you should ask yourself to know if you’re on the right track.
Many people get a job because the reality demands them to have money to pay for food, shelter, bills, etc. However, it’s important to know that not everyone is blessed with the luck to find a fulfilling job straight out of college. As you grow in your career, so do your opportunities to choose the role that suits your desires best. When you’re still new in the workforce, you have much less leverage to pick what you want. Whereas for those who are experienced enough to choose, ask yourself what do you find meaningful and see if it’s viable to make a living out of it. For example, you love working with animals and find great purpose in doing so, try looking for a role in the pet industry.
It’s important to live a fulfilled life and your job should contributes to that, but you should count it a small factor as there are many other aspects in life that brings fulfillment.
4. Can I connect with the mission (of the company, of the industry)
Some people don’t have great jobs, but what keeps them there is the mission of the company that they can proudly say “I love what they stand for”. If you can connect with what the company is working towards to or the whole industry at large, you won’t mind the long hours and, below average salary. People who in the social welfare sector often feel that way about their work because of the bigger social cause behind it.
If you struggle to relate to the mission of the company or of the industry that you’re in, maybe it’s time to question yourself if your career choice is in line with what you want in life.
5. Am I being paid enough?
We can talk about dreams and passion all day long but when the harsh reality strikes, we all have to work for money in order to survive in today’s world. So asking yourself the question, “Are you being paid enough for the hours and effort you’ve put in?” is really important. By comparing the hours and effort you’re putting with the compensation you’re getting, you can gauge if you’re getting paid for what you’re worth, or not.
Of course, it’s not always easy to be objective about your worth in the company. So, try to gather some feedback from your colleagues or superiors to find out where you stand. Based on the feedback, manage your expectations if they think you can do more or negotiate for a better package if the feedback is optimistic.