It may be something you think you’ve already done, but the truth is it’s something that you need to think about at least once a year. Goals change, paths change, and if we don’t constantly reevaluate our situation, we may very well be missing out on key opportunities. Ask yourself the following questions to determine your next steps and/or if it’s time for a change in your career.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
This may seem like it’s really far away right now, and it is, but it’s important to make plans in advance. Your goals and plans may change before then, but at least you are guaranteeing that you are on a path and not just floating around until you figure something out. Not having an idea of where you want to be in 10 years may get you stuck somewhere you don’t actually want to be or, possibly even worse, in a job with a dead-end. Don’t just apply to jobs randomly, think logically about what will be best for you in the long term.
Do you like what you’re doing now or what you’ve most recently been doing?
You may have always dreamed of being in the field that you are currently in or trying to get into; however, until you have practical experience within said field, you may very well not realize that you dislike the actual day-to-day work that it requires. Most of us can expect to work full time for over 40 years, don’t back yourself into a corner doing something you don’t even like just because it was the first thing you decided to do. Planning and constantly reevaluating and considering your career are the best ways to avoid ending up in this situation.
What aspects of your current job or field of study do you most like and dislike?
Even if you love what you’ve been doing/studying, I’m sure there are parts of it that are perhaps not your favorite. There are ways to pivot your career to at least aim for something that incorporates more of what you love and less of what you would prefer to avoid. Though this is not to say that it is always possible to find a job without a single thing that you don’t like. There are, however, ways to grow in certain directions within your chosen field that will eliminate some of its less desirable aspects.
You’ll find that many of the people who are happiest in their jobs would have never guessed where they were destined to end up at the start of their careers. It’s important to be flexible and introspective at every stage of your career. We are constantly learning and perfecting our skills and new opportunities are all around us. Don’t shy away from the possibilities. Find what motivates you because this will propel you toward success and satisfaction within your chosen career field.