Evaluating Career and Why Not Now?

May 18, 2011

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)


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