Earlier this week, I was reminded several times about how much I enjoy my career. In each instance, the voice in my head said, “That proves this is the right career for me.” Crazy as it sounds, I actually had that thought each time.
You can love what you do and still have some areas you’d like to improve. While I may grumble every now and then about the increasing bureaucracy I have to deal with, I undeniably enjoy what I do. Without improvement, there will be no growth. Without growth, I’d be bored.
Is this the right career for me?
Before, during and maybe even after college, you asked, “Which career is right for me?”
Eventually you landed in what you’re doing now. You decided this job was what you were going to do. It was right for you at the time.
Is your career still right for you?
You probably see co-workers leave for other opportunities all the time. Obviously the career was not right for them. Does that mean you’ve made a bad choice? Should you be taken those opportunities like your friends have?
You won’t change until the pain of change is less than the pain of staying the same.
In other words, until the unknown of that other opportunity is more appealing than the known of your current job, you’re going to stay where you are.
So how can you judge the unknown and the known? That’s really hard to do.
Here’s what I would do instead. Think about the things you like about your current job and decide whether that would also happen or be available in the other opportunity. Also, you’ll want to figure out what would be better in the new opportunity than in the current. Be sure about it.
Let’s look at the positive side of that equation. What do you enjoy about your current job that would make you say, “This is the right career for me.”
The Right Career List
Complete the following sentence in as many ways as possible and write them down.
This is the right career for me because…
Below are several of the reasons I’ve come up with for my career. Some of them might mirror your ideas. Maybe you’ve never even thought of them and now you realize you do enjoy that aspect.
This is the right career for me because:
- My clients view me as their trusted advisor.
- It makes me smile to talk with certain clients.
- I consider most of my clients as friends.
- Instead of shaking hands, my clients give me hugs.
- It makes me feel good to help my clients solve problems.
- It makes me feel good to help my clients brainstorm new ideas.
- My clients’ families feel like members of my family.
- I’m good at what I do.
- I enjoy what I do.
- I enjoy experiences here another opportunity could not guarantee.
- I get to help others learn.
- Leadership opportunities present themselves frequently.
- Building relationships is at the heart of my job.
- I get opportunities to speak.
- I get opportunities to write.
- I get to work with different people.
- I get to work in different places.
- I have a lot of flexibility in my schedule.
- I get to travel.
- I work with people smarter than me.
- I get to work out of my comfort zone which helps me grow.
- It allows me to learn new things frequently.
- There is no opportunity for boredom.
- It pays well so I am able to provide for my family.
- Something good happens every day.
- I thrive under pressure.
- It allows my Christian virtues to shine through.
- I impact others’ lives.
- I choose to make it that way.
Of course there are things I don’t like about my job too (a.k.a bureaucracy) but they do not outweigh what I love about my job. Some of the things I like are also things I don’t like.
For example, traveling is a fun part of my job. However, it’s difficult traveling like I do because it takes me away from my wife and daughters. I like it but I don’t too.
Stop Straddling the Fence
If you are on the fence and keep looking to the other side and all you see is green pasture, remember than it will be green wherever it is watered. Start watering your side of the fence and see how green it can get.
Today, I want to challenge you to critically think about the good parts of your job. Make a list similar to what is above. Determine now if you’re in the right career for you. Don’t wait.
Life is too short to waste our time in the wrong career. It’s too short to not be happy. You need to work to provide. You probably even want to work. So why not do it and say, “I’ve found the right career for me.”