Your career is one of the main roads that dictate the direction of your life. This why the constant evaluation of job satisfaction is always in our minds. We all know one (or more) of those seemingly bright and passionate people who suddenly lose their drive and motivation to work. This sudden loss of enthusiasm probably has to do with a realization that, upon closer inspection, they are not really on their dream career path.
Asking yourself if you are sincerely interested and engaged in work that will lead you to what you desire is the best way to avoid wasting your time. While it is true that it is never too late to change paths, like in most things, the sooner the better. If you are thinking about changing career, here are some things to consider:
Evaluate Your Current Job Satisfaction
Every job has its own challenges, and not every task presented to you is going to bring you endless joy and entertainment, no matter what career path you’re in. However, what makes a difference is whether the completed result of that task gives you satisfaction and a sense of purpose.
If your current job is filled with activities and tasks that you dread and that have absolutely no redeeming aspects to them, that is already a strong indicator that you might be in the wrong career. Like cosmetics export manager turned nutritionist Audrey Lemargue told Forbes magazine, “Trust your gut feeling and follow your instinct. If it doesn’t feel right, it’s because it isn’t.”
Assess Your Interests
Another way of figuring out if the career path you’re on is right for you is to simply compare what you’re currently doing with your interests, but also with your strengths; your reflections on these two things will give you a good and realistic perspective for the future.
If your current career path does not put you in a position to exploit your strengths and interests, this is going to eventually wear you down and eliminate any illusion and passion you might have brought to the table in the first place.
Consider Your Options
Start thinking about alternative job paths, and allow yourself to explore these options with an open mind. Do not rule things out immediately because you do not have the qualifications, contacts, or learnable skills. Anything you set your mind to is possible, and you can build a future in coding or fashion design if that’s what you want and are determined and proactive.
Art Markman, professor of psychology and marketing at the University of Texas, said to the New York Times that we should think of your job title as merely one component of a complex person. Meaning? You can work your way into a new job as you did with your current one, can’t you? So do not simply settle for what you have because you think that you wouldn’t be able to adapt. Everyone’s teachable, and that is the most important thing to keep in mind when you consider alternatives to your current career: nothing is off-limits, and nobody’s a one-trick pony.
Give Other Things a Try
This will allow you to get up close and personal with other fields of interest, and see if the reality aligns with your ideas of them. A way of trying things out is to find volunteer activities, freelance gigs, or online courses. This applies to any career path, you just have to be on the lookout and broaden your horizons. This will also help you get into the scene and thus build a network inside it.
At the end of the day, it is only you who knows how you feel about your current career, but If the thought of changing paths has crossed your mind, it’s in your best interest to evaluate your situation and make changes if necessary. Work takes up a big chunk of our time, and there’s no sense in settling for things that do not meet the expectations of your life; after all, the possibilities are endless.