Knowing What Career is Right for You

Nancy Anderson
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Sometimes, it's important to step back and take an objective look at your career to determine if it's truly right for you. A good income, job security and a solid retirement plan were once primary goals for most people; however, things have changed. Career fulfillment, happiness and a good work-life balance are just as important, especially to millennials. Ask yourself these four questions to help you determine if you're in the right career.

1. How Important Is Income?

Many people are willing to sacrifice their dream jobs for a high income, especially if the job offering the higher income potential isn't too stressful. If earning the highest income possible is your primary goal, be honest about it. Perhaps you want to travel the world, live in a wealthy community or drive a luxury vehicle. Or, maybe you need to support a sick relative or a very large family. If you're earning much less income than you want or need, it might be time to consider changing your career.

2. Is My Career a Good Match for My Personality?

If your career is not a good match for your personality, it might be difficult to thrive within your industry. For example, if you're an outgoing people person with a fun, likable personality and wonderful sense of humor, conducting research, programming computers or writing articles all day long might make you miserable. On the other hand, if you're a person who enjoys solitude and prefers working alone, these jobs might fit the bill. Assess your personality honestly, and then decide if you want your career to align with your clearly identifiable personality traits.

3. Is My Career Rewarding?

Many people choose careers that will never make them wealthy but allow them to help others or make a difference. Industries such as education, social work and even health care are filled with such workers. It's also common for job seekers to shun certain industries completely because their business practices don't align with their core values. For example, a person might turn down a lucrative job offer with a company that tests products on animals. If you value helping others or supporting great causes more than anything, a career that aligns with those values will likely make you quite happy.

4. Would I Prefer Entrepreneurship?

For other people, starting a new career means starting their own businesses. If you're someone with an entrepreneurial spirit who can't imagine spending your entire career working for anyone other than yourself, you'll likely never be satisfied with a traditional job. If you're an innovative, action-oriented individual who doesn't require micromanaging and isn't afraid to take risks, the perfect career for you might be the one you build from the ground up.

Conducting an honest and thorough career assessment is the best way to figure out if your career is right for you. Don't wait too late to assess your career, as you might miss a prime opportunity to work for a company you really love or start a groundbreaking business.


Photo courtesy of Finance Blue at Flickr.com

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