Are You on the Right Career Path?
If you are unhappy with your job chances are your career focus needs adjusting. Whether you’ve worked in your field for 20 years or five, anyone can find themselves on a career path that leads to dissatisfaction, frustration and less-than-adequate earnings. If this is you, it’s time to ask yourself some leading questions to help point you in the right direction.
First you must decide if your job dissatisfaction is your work or the environment in which you work. It is important to think about your work separately from the issues of your boss and your company. Start by asking yourself the following:
Would I be happy working for my boss in a different capacity or a different company?
Would I be happy working for my company in a different role?
Would I be happy working for my company under a different boss?
If your answers to these indicate that your problem is indeed the tasks you perform then it’s easy to conclude that your problem is your career direction. Let’s move on to other questions that will help lead the way toward a better career path.
1. What challenges did you enjoy?
Everyone faces challenges on the job. Some make us cringe while others energize us to action. Take time to catalog your challenges and look back on how you have handled them. When did you enjoy coming up with solutions? When did you rise to the occasion and champion the way to excellence? What problems were you able to understand before everyone else? What accomplishments are you most proud of? What skills did you use in solving those challenges? Once you’ve thought through these issues you’ll begin to see a continuity of skills you’ve enjoyed using to solve problems.
2. What responsibilities do you enjoy performing?
Ideally you want you next position to involve responsibilities that you enjoy. To make sure you are moving in that direction take a good look at what you do every day and decide what to avoid next time around. In general, most responsibilities are either tactical or strategic. We are either planning work for others or performing that work ourselves. Most people’s likes fall into either the strategic or tactic functions. Understanding that for yourself is a good way to move toward the right direction in your next career move.
3. What are the skills you’ll need to perform in your job of choice three years out?
Career management is all about being ready for the next move. It is important to be in a job that allows you to grow into skills you’ll need three to five years out. Look ahead and decide what you need to develop in order to grow professionally. How will you gain those skills? If your current position is stagnant in skills development, make sure your next position allows you to stretch in the direction of your career path.
Once you have a better picture of your ideal career path it’s time to adjust your resume to fit your career focus. Remember, if your resume hasn’t been strategically planned it will not attract the right employers and the right jobs. The first resume rule is that it must reflect your career focus so that others will know exactly what you are looking for. With a clear idea of your next best job and a resume that supports your focus you’ll be on your way to a better career and a better life.
Deborah Walker, Certified Career Management Coach has a 13-year successful track record of helping job seekers win their next job through better resume, interview and salary negotiation skills. Her career advice is used by professionals coast to coast in a wide range of industries and occupations. Read more career tips and see sample resumes at: http://www.AlphaAdvantage.com