Whether you’ve invested in your career for a year, ten, or even twenty or more, it’s a good idea to take to time to evaluate it. When we go through the motions of our life, we don’t generally notice the minor changes that occur. When you look in the mirror, do you see the person that you really are? Or do you see the person you were ten years ago? Most of us happen to see the person we were ten years ago. The changes that occur in life are subtle.

The same holds true when it comes to our careers. There are going to be victories and defeats in any career. There are going to be many days, weeks, and months that go by when nothing really happens. Occasionally we’ll earn a raise or a promotion and that will make us take notice of what we’ve been doing.

Yet in the meantime, in all that down time in between those successes and failures, there are going to be thousands of small victories that go unnoticed. There will also be changes in our mindset, and our heart, about the direction or our career. When you take the time to evaluate your career, you will find that any adjustments that might need to be made make the future a much brighter prospect.

So how do we evaluate our career? Here are a few steps to take.

1.Write down where you thought you would be by now. It doesn’t matter where that might have been, as long as it’s an honest answer from a time when you started this career.

2.Determine where you would like to be within a year. Five years. Ten or more. Setting up a goal can help future evaluations. Be realistic.

3.How inspired are you to go to work each day? If it takes you to the fifth alarm ring to crawl out of bed and the thought of going to work is agonizing, then you are likely unhappy with your career, or your current employer.

4. Are there opportunities for advancement and professional development with  your current employer? If there are not many opportunities for advancement, and you would rather have those opportunities, then that may not be the right employer for you. That doesn’t mean that this isn’t the right career for you, but sometimes career opportunities simply don’t exist with certain job positions.

5 Personal growth is best when pro-active. Communication and networking when necessary is vital no matter where you are in your career. These two important steps will hopefully allow you less stress and more sleep at night. If  you need to seek an outside  career or life coach or counselor…take that next step!

By taking the time to ask yourself some important and directed questions, then you will be in a better position to determine if you are on the right track with your career, or whether it may be time to consider making some sort of change with regard to your career.

Many of us don’t evaluate our career until we are faced with some personal challenge, life transition, or when we realize that we’re no longer satisfied with what we’re doing. It’s a good idea to evaluate your career on a regular basis, maybe once a year or every two years. Perhaps it’s time for early retirement a new adventure beyond punching a clock and sitting at your desk.

Curt Canada is an Executive Coach in Washington D.C., who specializes in leadership, career, organizational, and personal development in and beyond the workplace. Visit my website and schedule your next career or leadership consultation (www.findingyourzenith.com)

When you’re in college, you most likely want to concentrate on your studies, and spending time with friends, both new and old. The last thing that you really want to think about is dealing with temp work. After all, if you have enough money through scholarships, financial aid, or from your parents, then temp work may seem like something of a novelty. Considering that many temp jobs pay around minimum wage or even slightly higher, it may not seem worth it.

Yet temp work during college can do a tremendous amount for the average college student. It not only builds character (yes, character-building is an important facet of college life), but it can also teach you many basic skills that will come in handy when you’re applying for a career position once you have your diploma in hand.

Temp work during college shows that you can handle more than one responsibility at a time

If you begin to think like a hiring manager of a major company, which would you rather have as an employee: a college graduate who only went to classes, or the one who not only went to classes, but also held down a solid temp job to make some extra money. The answer should be quite easy to see, but the details could be disguised a bit.

When looking at temp work history, a hiring manager sees it as an opportunity that you either took or didn’t take to strengthen your resume. Sure, you may not need the money because of one of the reasons listed already, but that doesn’t mean you won’t benefit from it. Taking on temp work shows that you can manage your time and be able to handle multiple responsibilities, which is important in the working world.

Temp work teaches you new skills

Sure, you may not want to have a career in fast food, especially not once you’ve earned your diploma, but just because there’s a temp job available at the local fast food restaurant doesn’t mean that you’ll have to stay there for life. Even the most seemingly menial jobs have great benefits for many people, not the least of which is that they teach you new skills.

Have you ever dealt with an angry customer? Have you ever needed to keep track of inventory? What about managing a cash drawer? These may seem like basic skills, but you don’t learn them from reading a book. Life experience is often said to be as important as, if not more so in some cases, than book smarts. Temp work gives you that real world experience that is crucial to success in the professional world.

Temp work builds character

When you are forced to work with people you either don’t know, or don’t care for, you learn how to manage your emotions, to put them in check for the greater good of the business itself. This builds character and is one of the main selling points to a company in the future.

While it can be easy to scoff at temp work during your college years, having those small jobs can equal major benefits to your résumé once you’ve earned your degree.

Curt Canada is a Career and Life Coach at FindingYourZenith in Washington DC.

 Okay, so you’ve just spent four or more years earning your college degree and are now up to your eyeballs in student loan debts. Now is not the time to be having second thoughts about your college degree, right?
Why not?

 

Who ever said that once you’ve earned your college degree, that’s it, that you must now pursue a career in that field and you’re not permitted to even think about anything else as a career?

 

People change. In fact, people who don’t change are the ones that tend to have the most trouble in life. Life is a process, a fluid and ever-altering framework in which we either succeed or fail based on our ability to adapt and adjust to those changes. Just because you have your college degree doesn’t mean that you have to resign yourself to that type of career.

 

A college degree is malleable

 

You might have earned a degree in psychology or chemical engineering or even literature. You may see these are quite rigid. You’re either bound to be a counselor, teacher, or engineer. But those careers no longer interest you; they no longer inspire you the way they did when you first began down this path to your degree.

 

It’s akin to an person who loves the universe and aspires to study astronomy. They spend countless hours invested in learning physics and calculus and astronomy. Then, once they have their degree in hand, they realize that their passion is not there for a career. They don’t really want to spend countless hours looking at data, which makes up 98% of the field work. Are they now stuck?

 

Of course not. Neither are you, if you are having second thoughts about your degree. Earning a college degree is an important and invaluable step in your life. Yet each degree holds merit and launching pad to pursue a different career path. While your psychology degree isn’t going to help you earn an engineering job, it does afford you some options.

 

But first, you need to ask yourself about those second thoughts.

 

Are your second thoughts about your degree passion or fear?

 

There’s a great difference between having lost the passion for something and being afraid of it. Once you have your degree in hand, you could begin to doubt yourself, have second thoughts, and wonder whether you’re doing the right thing for your life. Do these second thoughts exist because you are afraid of the unknown? Because you are now going to be put to the real world test with what you’ve learned?

 

Or have you genuinely lost the interest in what your degree offers? If you feel that you have, why? Did you work in the field while you attended college? Are you now in a unrewarding job related to your degree? If so, what about trying for a different job in the field? Don’t measure your career based on one job. And don’t measure your passion, or lack thereof, on a few minor experiences.

 

If you honestly believe that your college degree is not the right one, that’s fine. Just rediscover your passion and get back out there and work toward your desires. Then again,

Why not seek the services of a Career Coach?

 

 

Curt Canada provides assessment and career development coaching with clients in the Metropolitan DC area and via phone nationally. Email Mr. Canada at curtcanada@verizon.net or call 1-888-625-8880 for a scheduled Coaching consultation.