Updated: Nov 4
Sometimes, when things are going too well, and you find yourself in a routine. You wake up. You get your daily chores done. You work. Your bank balance is comfortable. You manage to have a work-life balance. One day seamlessly blends into the other without you doing anything different.
Does this feel like you are in a rut? Doing the same thing again and again without any relief?
I felt this in my late 30's and knew it was time for a career change when alarm bells rang out loud. And I realized that what I was doing - no matter how successful it was - was NOT something I really wanted to do. That was a rude awakening.
Do you feel the same about your career now ? Do you want to ask yourself some hard career questions, but don't know where to start?
Here are some questions I asked myself when I realized I needed a midcareer transformation :
What do I really want in my career?
How much time will it take me to switch jobs?
Can I manage the pressure of a career change?
Are my finances in order?
What's a good first step I can take?
Who can help me in my career switch journey ?
Sometimes, the best way to understand where you are is to ask yourself some questions. A little introspection brings a lot of perspective to where you wish to go and why. When you have multiple interests, it is hard to pick the one you wish to make a career out of. This is where taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture gives you the distance that you need to decide which path you wish to pursue. And why.
These career change questions will help guide your decision-making process.
Let's take a look at some career questions (and tips to answer these hard questions!) that you can ask yourself today.
5 Hard Career Change Questions To Ask Yourself Today
1. How can I choose a career path that aligns with my values?
Your career should be an extension of who you are and something that closely matches your values. If your current career does not reflect your personal values, then it might be time to make a career change. Figure out what's important to you at work. Is it money, challenges, freedom, security, work-life balance?
2. How can I evaluate the career paths available?
Career assessments like the Myers Briggs Test can help determine which careers are most suited based on personality type (i.e., extroverted vs. introverted), interests (i.e., working alone vs. working in groups), and motivations (i.e., career test for career counseling). Would that make you sleep with a smile?
3. How can I Minimize Career Change Risk?
Educate yourself on the new career path by learning about education requirements, career outlook, salary, etc. Security is critical to a successful career path. If it does not bring a balanced life between personal and professional, it needs a hard look.
4. How can I gather information about career development?
Speak with teachers, career coaches, mentors , friends/family members who have experience in the career field you're interested in pursuing. Set up an informational interview to help you make informed decisions.
5. How can I identify the top 3 careers best suited for me?
Think about what makes you tick at work, what potential career opportunities you can find, which new things you'd like to gain a bit of experience in. Now, look for the overlap of these things that make up your career “sweet spot”. Explore your career options based on your skills and interests, rather than job titles or genres!
Take Action for Career Change
A to-do list is very critical to any plan - be it as small as a birthday party or as big as a career change. Take a look at these action items that would come in handy during your journey to a better you.
Create a list of pros and cons
For each career option, jot down the positive aspects as well as any negative implications that could interfere with your life goals. From here, you might narrow it down even more if there is one career choice that stands out to be better than the others.
Evaluate Positive and Negative Effects of Career Change
Once you have arrived at a career choice that resonates with your career goals, think about whether or not attaining this career goal is realistic given other areas in your life. Consider the positive effects it will have on your career, personal life (i.e., more time to spend with family), physical health (i.e., less stress), mental well-being (i.e., positive self-esteem). Also consider whether there are negative aspects to making this career change such as financial costs involved, time needed, etc.
Hard career change questions are neither easy to ask or answer. But it should be done if you want to make that much-feared move.
Are you ready?