8 Important Career Questions to Ask Yourself

It has been said that it’s normal to switch careers a handful of times before you find the job of your dreams. If you’ve recently found yourself pondering the meaning of life, feeling unhappy at work, or itching to make a professional change, then this is the perfect post for you. These eight questions won’t keep you guessing about what you’re meant to do. Take out a pen and paper, quiet the noise around you, and begin.

1. What do I enjoy doing?

Answers to this question can come in the form of hobbies, talents, and even the simple things in life, like going to the beach or having a home cooked meal every night. Give yourself five minutes to jot down everything that comes to mind—whether it seems relevant to a career or not. Let the words flow.

2. What are my talents?

These are things you may be praised for, or perhaps, they come so effortlessly you find yourself frequently winning competitions or high positions due to your skills—like getting the lead role in a play or a solo flute performance at a concert. Take some time to write down the areas you excel in. Don’t be humble here. Think hard about your value, and give yourself credit.

3. If money was no option what would I do?

Many times people have dollars on the brain when they think of work. It’s too often that salary and benefits outweigh happiness and fulfillment. Imagine that you could have no financial worries in life. What would you spend your time doing? Your answers don’t have to sound like work. In fact, I’ve heard the saying that you should find a career doing something you’d do for free. Try to list three things.

4. Who am I supporting?

Are you single, do you have a spouse, or have you cultivated a full family with children? No matter your answer, your dreams are possible. You may feel that your options are limited once you’ve started a family, but it’s all too easy to ignore the consequences of a bad job, like stress and unhappiness. If there are others relying on you, then plan your moves carefully and allow for a financial backup in case of any pitfalls. Don’t stop yourself from achieving your goals. Your family will be proud once you’ve reached them.

5. Where do I see myself in 2 years?

Oftentimes, people are told to think five years in advance. With the way the world is changing, who knows how different life will be in half a decade? Instead, give yourself a two year picture to imagine. Stay true to yourself and be realistic about the changes that can happen in a shorter amount of time. This may also make the future seem less daunting. Think, baby steps and short-term goals. Take as much time as you need to write a description of who you’ll be and what your life will be like.

6. When do I need to make a decision?

Are you considering a big move to coincide with the end of your apartment lease? Were you offered a new job and you’re waiting to give an answer? Try to decide on the best time to move forward. Having a set schedule will help keep you from feeling overwhelmed. I keep a monthly planner so I can easily see what my life will be like for the next few weeks. Whatever your plan, set a date to get started and stick with it.

7. How long will it realistically take me to arrive?

Wishful thinking is one thing, but reality is another. Use time management tips to stay on track and remain efficient at what you do. If money is a factor, then make like a college student and use these free tips to save money. Remember, it’s important to be honest with yourself. Part of what makes a success is knowing how much work one can handle. Don’t compare yourself to others. Everyone is on his or her personal journey.

8. How do I want to feel about my work?

Most people want to be proud of what they do. If you find yourself feeling like a deceptive, untrustworthy person, then you may find that it’s time to rethink your career path. The money may be good now, but life has a funny way of making monetary value lose its appeal once you’ve sacrificed yourself and your credibility.

Take a deep breath and exhale. You’re done and you have a bunch of information about yourself you may not have realized. Now that you have the answers to these questions, you can rest assured that you’re on your way to understanding the path you want to take. Good luck!

For more tips and career advice from Sara Kosmyna.

What other important questions are there? Did any of the answers you came up with help you to realize what you want to do in life? Share below.

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