Lately, I have been approached by a handful of team members as well as several friends and acquaintances seeking career advice. Many of those that reach out to me have the same question: what’s the right path when it comes to career development?
My short answer is that there is no right or wrong path when it comes to career development. There are, however, choices you can make, questions you can ask, goals you can set to make your journey fulfilling and meaningful. You must also remember to stay flexible and confident as you navigate the bumps in the road and move the boulders out of the way.
When thinking about your career trajectory, it’s important to take a personal inventory and ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I excited by what I do? Don’t settle for mediocrity. You want to be passionate about the work.
- Am I developing skills, am I building my portfolio and am I adding to my repertoire? Your job should be working for you just as you are working for it.
- Have I mastered all that I want to in this role? Are there challenges left to face and things to accomplish? Don’t get stuck in a rut. If you are, but are committed to the organization, reach out to team members and leadership to see what new opportunities you can explore together.
- Am I good at what I do? It is important to recognize the assets and value you bring to table. There are times when what you offer is not what the organization needs, or the work is no longer challenging. This could be a signal for change.
- What are my aspirations? Keep a running list of your passions and goals and work towards understanding how you can marry them with the work you do.
- Where do I see myself in the next five years, 10 years? Look at folks you admire or mentors in the field, are they doing things professionally that you could see yourself doing.
And here’s the most important question to ask yourself – How can I do what I love and what I am good at while doing it within the confines of today’s market? This should be the ultimate goal for all of us when it comes to our career. This is the secret sauce!
At the end of the day, you’ll know you are right where you should be If you look forward to your work and your colleagues, if you feel valued and challenged and most importantly, if you are genuinely happy and fulfilled by the work you are doing. I mean, there is nothing better than that.