Are You in the Right Career?

Three questions to help you set a new direction

Posted Jan 04, 2017

Many of us spend the majority of our adult lives at work. Even when we are not actually at work we spend large parts of our evenings and weekends thinking and worrying about work. Put like that, it makes sense that we ought to make sure we are in the right career. We desire jobs that allow us to be ourselves and to be the best versions of ourselves that we can be. Sadly, too few of us end up in careers that really allow us to be our authentic selves.

Think about your answers to each of the following questions. 

1. What are your passions – the things you enjoy doing, that excite you?

2. What is important to you – what are the values you hold and the things you prioritize?

3. What are you good at – your abilities, talents and strengths?

Consider a typical working week. How much of the time are you engaging your passions? How much of the time do you spend on activities that are important to you? How often are you doing things that you are good at and that make the most of your abilities, talents and strengths? Think about those times during the working week when you doing all three things together – when you are engaging your passions on activities that are important to you and fully using your abilities, talents and strengths. For many people this will only account for a small portion of their working week.

If that sounds like you, it may be time to think about how to change that. You may already have dreams of doing something completely different but when you look to the future it seems overwhelming. The journey to get from where you are now to where you want to be seems insurmountable. Or it may be that you don’t know what sort of new career you would aim for and feel lost in knowing how to find the answer. It is easy to feel defeated before you even start. It is at that point that people often feel so stressed by the challenges that they stop thinking about it and just get back to what they were doing.

But the secret to leading a more authentic life is to start now and do whatever you can, no matter how small, and with no other intention than simply to be true to yourself in the moment. You don’t need to know all the steps ahead and have all the answers to get going.

Big changes in life can take time. Like changing the course of a huge ship, it takes you to tilt the rudder only slightly to take you to a very different location. 

Think about the questions above and the ways in which you can add more passion to your work, do things that are more important to you, and use your talents and skills more often, even if only in little ways. Do what you can to add authenticity to your life. It may seem insignificant at first, but little by little you will be redirecting the course of your life.

Find out more in my new book Authentic. How to be yourself and why it matters,