Julie Jansen's Blog

Julie Jansen

Have You Conducted a Career Check-Up Recently?

It is Monday October 29th and Superstorm Sandy is raging her way up the East coast. All subways, buses and trains are  shut down in NYC and here in Fairfield County, CT the highways are closed as well.

So, I have time on my hands and decided to run a brief article that I wrote several years ago. Enjoy it and if you are in the path of  “Frankenstorm” please be safe!

There is never a bad time to reassess your career and determine if it is where and what you want it to be, and to reflect on your current work situation so that you will make the right choices for the future.

Here are some questions for you to answer which will help you do this.

Career Check-Up Quiz

Write down your answers to these seven questions:

  1. Overall, on a scale of one to ten, how satisfied (one being most satisfied), are you in your career overall (career, not job or work)? If you feel like you just have a job instead of a career, does this matter to you?
  2. If you answered five or higher to question 1, specifically what is it about your career that is not satisfying you? Is it your position, title or status? Is it the kind of projects or tasks you’ve been involved with? What about the kind of people (your boss, colleagues, clients, vendors) you’ve been working with? Are you bored?
  3. Are you compensated fairly? Do you have the benefits (flexibility, time off, insurance, 401k, etc.) that you’d like?
  4. Are you learning? Are you challenged? Have you been doing the same kind of work for more than two years? If so, it may be time to find a new project or shift your work slightly.
  5. Does your work have meaning for you? Do you feel as if you are making a difference in the world, or simply earning a paycheck?
  6. Do you have a dream or fantasy about doing another kind of work, or shifting the way you work (fewer hours, telecommuting, etc.)?
  7. Even if you are satisfied with your career, what is the one thing you would change about it?

In most cases, people don’t stop to assess their careers until they are really unhappy or they are in danger of losing their job. Sadly, we spend more time planning our vacations or what we’re going to do over the weekend, than we do our careers. If you conduct this simple career check-up, once or even twice a year, it will be easier to make changes. Research shows that the average worker in the U.S. spends over 50 hours a week working. Which means you probably spend more than that amount of time working. Why not spend most or all of that time being satisfied and happy?

If you are unsure how to make changes, there are plenty of books available about managing your career. Hire a career coach or find someone in your industry whom you respect, to mentor you. Take a class at a university or college.  Bottom line, we can all use a career tune-up!