Whether a new role catches the eye or we’re just feeling a little tired of our current one, we all have moments where we wonder whether we’re in the right job. If you’re feeling unsure, the Christmas break can be a good time to check in with how you’re feeling and whether it might be time to take a different path – especially with the New Year giving you the opportunity for a fresh start.
That being said, idle wondering isn’t going to help you change your situation; to really get an idea of where you’re at and what a change might mean for you, here are the key questions you need to be asking yourself:
Do I get anything out of my job besides money?
While salary is undoubtedly a big factor in where we choose to work, most people will inevitably feel some level of dissatisfaction with their job if they’re only in it for the money. If you’ve been feeling like a move but don’t want to give up a good salary, try to work out if you get anything else out of your job besides a paycheck If not, work out whether you’d be willing to take a pay cut in order to do something which gives you more job satisfaction. Remember to stay optimistic; it might be that you could earn an equal or even better salary doing something you enjoy!
Am I just focussing on the negative?
Too often when we talk about our jobs, we tend to focus on the negative. Venting about the rubbish bits of your working day can be be a good stress-reliever but, if you feel really unhappy in your work, it could be that this negative reinforcement is tarnishing your view of your career. Try to, objectively as possible, look at how much of your career you actually enjoy or dislike. An easy way to do this is to make a list of the sort of tasks/work you regularly do and separate them into positive and negative columns. If after this you find that you are not enjoying more than 50% of the things you have to do as part of your job, it might be time to move on.
Is my job the best fit for my skills?
Dissatisfaction with our careers can range from finding our jobs too challenging to not challenging enough. If you find your job a genuine struggle on a daily basis, it’s worth looking at whether your role is the best fit for your skillset. Are you better working in a team but find yourself more often working alone? Do you prefer to work autonomously but find yourself being over-managed? Work out your unique skillset and compare it to your current responsibilities; if there’s no match, you might be better suited to a different position.
Am I appreciated?
Sometimes our job descriptions can be perfect but our feelings about our job quashed by the attitudes of those around us. If you find that the way you are treated is disappointing you more than the actual job itself, it could be that you don’t need a complete career overhaul – just a new setting.
Is my dream career realistic?
Unless you’re lucky enough to be working in your dream industry right now, you might be considering a job change in order to chase a lifelong passion. Before you do though, it’s worth doing a lot of research to make sure that your expectations of the ‘dream’ career match up to reality. The majority of the most seemingly desirable jobs tend to come with a lot of hard work or sacrifice; yes that vet’s Instagram account you follow might feature a lot of cute animal pictures but it probably won’t show the intensive veterinary training required to get there or the long, unsociable hours required by the job. Make sure you have a full understanding of the industry into which you want to move before you go, it might require sacrifices you don’t want to make.