Considering Your Career

 

I love working but I also love summer. It’s full of lazy days, lying in a hammock and sunbathing. Right? Yes okay, as a working mum your summer months are probably not filled with ice creams and beach days. But for many of us summer is a quieter time, people are away on holidays, clients are not quite as demanding and the pace can slow down a little. So this makes summer a perfect time to stop, take a breath and think about your career. Ask yourself some questions:

Why do I work?

“I work because I have to, I need to cover the mortgage and put food on the table.”

If you ‘have to’ work, that’s fine, lots of us don’t have the option not to work. But there is a difference between having to work at a job you love and having to work at a job you hate. So stop and think about whether you actually like your job, or if you’re just doing it as a means to an end. Enjoying your job can change your entire life, your happiness both at home and in the office, your relationships and your mental health.  If you work because you choose to work, then it’s still a good idea to take a moment to think about what you do and why you do it. Many of us enter a career in our early twenties and stay in that  job for many years. But are you still happy? Are you still following your chosen path? Does your work still excite you? Getting up and going to work quickly becomes a habit that we don’t really think about, so take a moment to assess your current position and ask yourself:

Do I like my job?

“Do something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”. 

Work is work, even if it’s a job you like, you probably don’t want to do it on your day off. However enjoying your job can impact every aspect of your life, so it is important to think about how much you actually like doing what you do. If you don’t enjoy your job than maybe it’s time to think about changing your position, either within your company or by moving elsewhere. If you aren’t enjoying your job because of an issue in the office or the team, (perhaps you are being bullied by a colleague, you are under too much pressure or you need more support), then this is a good time to think about how you can solve it. Take a moment to think about why you don’t like your job. Ask yourself:

Is my job fulfilling?

“We confuse the idea of having a job with fulfilling our purpose.”

In order to be happy in your work a job needs to do more than just pay the bills. You spend the majority of your week working, so it can’t all be about the money, it has to be something that you find fulfilling, satisfying or a challenge. There is nothing less motivating than a boring job, so think about why you chose this career, what attracted you to this position in the first place? Is this job living up to your expectations? Does it  grab your attention? Does it make you think? Do you feel satisfied at the end of a successful working day? If the answer is no, then what can you do to change that? Would you like to upskill to change position, put yourself forward for a promotion or speak to your manager about starting a new project? A new challenge or a new skill can really revitalise your career, but remember if you are putting your skills and hard work into your company than you need to be compensated in return. So ask yourself:

Am I getting paid enough?

“Money isn’t everything, but everything needs money.”

You work hard and you deserve to be paid well for it. This is a great time to stop and think about how much money you are bringing into the house and whether you feel that you are earning enough for what you do. If you think that you are not earning enough then it’s time to think about your career path. Is this job a stepping stone to a better position and a bigger salary? Are you on a path that will one day lead you to earn more money? Do you love your job enough that you are willing to pass over a position that may pay more, but will not be something you enjoy? Do you earn enough to have financial freedom or are your struggling each month to cover the bills? If you feel that you are not earning enough, then you need to look at ways to address your financial issues. Can you chase a promotion within your company? Do you need to look at changing jobs? Or is there a simpler answer? Can you reassess your spending, change your saving habits and manage within your budget?

 

At the end of the day there are no right or wrong answers to these questions, there are only your own answers, how you feel, what you want and what you need. But taking some time to take stock of your career and thinking about where you are now and where you want to be in the future is important. None of us want to wake up in our 60s and think “I should have done..” So take some time to assess your career and then make a plan that will help you to get where you want to go. If you’d like more information, guidance or advice then you’re welcome to come and talk to us at The Careerclub. This month we’re focusing on careers and our experts and mentors are working together with our Work and Career Questionnaire, to help our members to get clarity, focus and the most from what they do.