How to know for sure that you’re in the right career for YOU

Hey - I'm curious! Can I ask you a question?

If you didn't need the money, would you do your job for free?

It's a good question, isn't it!

If you answered a resounding YES, congratulations!  You are right where you need to be and it's working well for you.

If the answer was NO, it's time to re-evalutate where you are in your career and where you're heading.

Many of us take jobs opportunistically without seeing how good a fit they really are.  We superficially check that the shiny new job offer ticks most of our boxes. We’re prepared to compromise on less important criteria and launch headfirst into a role with high hopes and expectations.

While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it misses a vital step in making a fully informed career decision.

Emotions Rule Career Decisions

We like to think we’re highly rational creatures who make serious decisions by logically weighing up all the pros and cons. But the truth is… final decisions are always based on emotions and feelings.

When my client Andrew was recently offered what appeared to be a fantastic opportunity for a more senior role, it looked like a ‘no brainer’.

The job was leading a new venture in a field he was interested in. He could hand select his team and be autonomous.  The pay was a big increase on his current salary and while it was a role that many would give their eye teeth for, it was only being offered to him so there was no tedious recruitment process to go through.

But when Andrew walked into his career coaching session he threw himself down into the chair, gave an exasperated groan and put his head in his hands! Clearly this wasn’t as easy a decision as it might have been.

As we started to explore what the real dilemma was, it turned out that his family and friends were divided about whether he should take the job or not. While some thought it was a great opportunity for him and he’d be mad not to take it, others were worried it would be too time and energy consuming and high pressured.

Career Change Facts & Feelings

To help him make the right decision, Andrew needed certainty that he’d considered everything so he created a list of all the facts – everything he knew to be true about the role. Next he created a list of all the feelings he associated with the role – what made him anxious and what excited him.

When he put the two lists together, clear themes emerged across both lists.  It was obvious to him that there were far more reasons to take the role than to turn it down.

As he visibly relaxed, and sat quietly pondering the information in front of him, I paused and asked him one final question :

“Hypothetically… if you had plenty of money coming in from somewhere else and didn’t actually need this job, would you do it for free?”

Without hesitation, he shouted an emphatic YES! And with that, he knew without doubt - this was the right role for him at this time.

Want to be sure you’re in the right career?

Ask yourself, 'If I didn’t need the money, would I do this job for free…?' and

Take our 'Are You in the Right Career?' Quiz below

Carpe diem

Caroline Cameron
About Caroline

Caroline Cameron is an award winning, master certified executive, career and business team coach, workshop facilitator and speaker. Caroline is on a mission to help mid-career professionals and evolving organisations harness the power of change to achieve success in business, work and life.

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