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It’s a New Year. Time for a New Career?

New Career:  The Question

“How long does it take to realize you’re in the wrong job?” This is a question I came across yesterday on Quora. I’ll share my response with you. But first, I want to ask, are you also wondering if you’re in the wrong job? Or is it already clear you are? Could it be time for a new career for you? It’s a new year, so why not a new career, especially if you already know you’re in the wrong job?

New Career:  The Answer

While the question posed isn’t, “How do you know you’re in the wrong job?” but instead “How long does it take to realize it?”, my response answers both questions:

The quick way to figure this out:

It doesn’t take long if you spend a few minutes taking some personal (and honest) inventory. Here’s an exercise that tends to work much better than a traditional pros and cons list:

  1. Take a sheet of paper and divide it into three columns. The first column should be the things you must have in a job (your “dealbreakers”). The second column should include the things you’re willing to compromise on. The third column should be “icing on the cake” things (things you would LOVE to have in a job, but don’t necessarily need to be content).
  2. Now compare your list to your current job. Does your current job have at least 60% of the things listed on your sheet of paper? Or at least 60% of the things from the “must have” column?
  3. If not, it’s time to start looking for the right job.

I say this because I always tell my clients you should love at least 60% of your job. Nobody loves 100% of their job 100% of the time, but if it’s less than 60%, you’re in the wrong job or career. This helps you stay realistic when considering different opportunities.

I’ve personally found this exercise to be more helpful than a pros and cons list when it comes to big life decisions. It also helps with analysis paralysis and keeps you from overthinking or second-guessing your decisions.

The more in depth way to figure this out:

Another thing that’s helped me personally and also helps my clients is to spend some time coming up with your own personal mission statement. This may take a little time to nail down, but it’s well worth it. Why? Because you can use it as a filter for your decisions.

For instance, my personal mission statement is: “To boldly pursue my passions and purpose, and to teach, encourage, and inspire others to do the same, resulting in lives overflowing with joy, peace, and fulfillment.”

When I’m faced with a difficult decision, I look to see if the choice in front of me supports my mission statement or not. If it doesn’t, I don’t select that choice. This helps me to live authentically and be true to my purpose.

One of the things I do with my clients is take them through a program I call Personal Branding: How to Know What Makes You YOUnique and AWEthentic. Part of that program includes teaching you how to write your own vision statement, mission statement, and unique differentiators, which also prepares you for the interview for the right job!

New Career:  The Time to Decide

So where are YOU in this all-important decision? If you know it’s time for a new career, we can help you figure out your options and how to make the transition. Don’t wait until the end of 2017 where you’ll find yourself in the same situation. Shoot me an email today and we can set up an initial consultation to help you get unstuck and start moving into the right career! 

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