4 Essential questions to ask yourself when looking for a new job or changing careers.
There are many reasons for leaving a job or changing careers:
When seeking a job or contemplating a new career, ask yourself these four critical questions:
What do you want? It seems like a simple question, but it’s anything but. It is critical to understand what is important to you. You may value a flexible schedule over salary; a sense of purpose over job title; or leadership opportunities over company culture. There is no right or wrong; it’s about what your career goals are at this time of your life.
Prioritize what you value and determine the things that you require verses the things that would be nice.
If you’re unsure of what aspects of your job you value most, here are some things to consider:
How much do you need to earn to support your life?
Describe your ideal work environment
What do/did you like least about your current or last job
What is most important about your day-to-day work and company culture?
What does work-life balance mean to you?
What does success mean for you?
What does meaningful work look like?
What do you want to be doing in 2 years, 5 years?
2. What are you good at? List all skills you have. Include those that you use at work, at home, and in your hobbies and interests. Perform a skills assessment; there are many available for free on-line: https://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/best-free-career-assessment-tools
Think of all of your experiences; what you enjoyed and in what areas you excelled. Describe successful work experiences and see which of your abilities were utilized.
3. Do you have the necessary skills for the job you want? Look at employment sites for work that excites you. Do you have the skills that are required for that type of employment? Think about how your existing skills/experiences are transferable. If you are lacking in anything that you need in order to be successful in a future job, determine how to acquire the skills or experiences you will need. There are plenty of online courses, adult education classes, volunteering, and internships that can be helpful in filling that gap.
4. What could you do to make your current situation better? As you evaluate your values and priorities, sometimes you realize that your current situation is not so bad after all.
Assess where your dissatisfaction is coming from. Is it from your supervisor or fellow workers; not being challenged enough; or the office culture?
What could you do to address the issue? Sometimes it is worth fixing a problem if it is actionable. Brainstorm ways to improve your situation and create an action plan that you can implement, whether it’s talking to your supervisor about your work environment or pursuing opportunities in other areas/departments.
Consider your priorities, necessities and skills (those that you have or can obtain) when seeking new opportunities. Figuring out what you want to do and how to go about doing it is demanding and time-consuming. It requires that you ask yourself some difficult questions about your values and goals, but the benefits are well worth the effort. You spend most of your waking hours at work. Your work may even be a big part of who you are. Take the time and energy to create the best work life possible - one that excites, motivates and gives you a sense of purpose.