It may seem like a no-brainer, but I’ve seen it many times–people who are certain they hate their career, everything about the line of work they are in. They come to class or to coaching looking for a new passionate career. And then find out their passion leads them to the same career.
I’ve seen people ranging from nurses to construction workers start fighting their own conclusions as they realize that what they really want to do is exactly what they’ve been doing. After all, they know they are unhappy at work. What’s going on?
Usually, it’s because they are stressed over a bad boss or being overworked or not challenged in new ways. The career is fine, the particular job or work enviornment is not.
So how can you distinguish between needing a new career or a new job? Here are 3 quick, basic questions that can help.
1. When you think of staying in your current job, but in ideal circumstance in terms of bosses and pay and appreciation (the work environment and culture), how do you feel on a scale of 1—10?
2. What are the 3 best things about your current job?
3. What’s the 3 worst things about your current job?
Review your results and
1. If your ideal version of your current job is less than a 7, then your career and not just the job may be the problem.
2. If the best thing about your current job has nothing to do with the actual work and results but with things like “the coffee breaks” or “the person in the next cubicle” or “the benefits”
3. AND if the worst things are all about what you actually are supposed to be spending your time doing, then your career may be the deeper problem.
By contrast, if your ideal version of the current job is 8, 9, or 10, the best thing about the job are job activities themselves, and the worst things are all about how your boss treats you or the pay or hours—then it’s probably not about your career. It’s about your current work environment, so don’t rush off into another field, at least not until you first try to do something about your environment. If that fails, look to another job, but not another career.
A career coach can help with career or job issues, but whether you work on your own to figure this out or with a coach, you need to identify the specific, ongoing things that are making you feel like you need to leave—your job or your career.
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