Regardless of where you are in your career, there may come a time when you question if what you’re doing is what you really want to be doing. If you can relate, it’s natural to feel a little stressed. However, we’re here to tell you that it’s okay; this is a challenge that many, if not most, professionals will face during their career.
So if you aren’t sure whether or not your current career is still the right fit for you, how do you go about finding what is? If you’re struggling to figure this out, the following self-reflective questions can help put you on the right track:
If I were to go back to school, what would I choose to study?
Let’s start off by going back to square one. If you are currently reevaluating your career, begin by questioning whether your uncertainty has something to do with what you studied in college. Your major may have been what you loved and were passionate about at the time, but is that still the case now that you have graduated and been in the workforce for several years?
To figure out if you would choose the same course of study if you were to re-enroll in school, ask yourself if you would go back and sign up for the same classes. Would you enjoy the work and topics themselves, or are you finding that what you actually enjoyed was instruction from a particular professor, or the people who you studied with? If it’s the former, try to find ways to revive your love for your work. If it’s the latter, start exploring new career opportunities that would interest you.
Which of my friends’ jobs excites me the most?
Perhaps the reason you’re questioning your choice of career is because you know someone with a job that you’re envious of. If you find yourself wishing that you and a friend could switch jobs for a day (or forever), it might mean it’s time for a career change.
If you ultimately decide to make a career change, think about your friends and which one you think has the most interesting career. However, be realistic and try to ensure your current skills can translate. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your friend and voice your feelings; they could encourage you to pursue a career in their field and even help you network and find a new role.
What about my current job do I like and dislike?
If you feel stagnant in your current career, take some time to evaluate your current work situation. Draft a list of what you like about your current role and what you could do without. Ask yourself whether it’s the actual role and the work you’re doing that you dislike, or if what’s making you unhappy has more to do with the company, your colleagues, and the work environment you’re in. If it’s the former, consider a new career opportunity that will leave you more satisfied. If it’s the latter, take comfort in knowing you are still on the right path for you and your career, but do think about finding a work environment that is better suited to your strengths.
If I were my supervisor, what kind of work would I assign myself?
If the problem that you’re running into is that you’re unsatisfied with your current responsibilities, put yourself in your supervisor’s shoes. If it were on you, what work do you believe would make you happiest? If there is something you could reasonably take on, talk to your supervisor about possibly adding it your current set of responsibilities. Though it may be intimidating at first, adding on new responsibilities that challenge you could ultimately help you fall back in love with your current career.