Most of us have questioned ourselves at some point or another if they have made the right career choice or not,  amiright???  Maybe after a rough day at work, experiencing conflict with your boss, or you’re caught in a conversation with your friends and colleagues discussing salary and how you just know you should be making more! This can get you into a downward spiral and overthink your career choice altogether!. On the flip side, there are probably days at work that make up for that, like realizing the people you work with are like family, the ability to work from home, social events and so on. With two opposing feelings, how are you supposed to know whether you truly found the right career or not? 

It ultimately comes down to what factors motivated you to make these choices in the first place and were you making those choices because they truly aligned to your passions and values or did you do it because you felt you had to? Knowing that you found the right job and right company can be tricky to navigate, here are three ways to tell you’re at the right place in your career.

You are willing to put in extra work

One of the best ways to determine if you’re on the right career path is if you’re willing to put in extra hours to finish something that is not directly your responsibility. Most people who love their job will dedicate a couple hours on their weekend to finish a job or help out a colleague. However, if you find yourself complaining to put in an extra hour or so on the weekday then you may need to reconsider if this is the right job for you. If it’s something you’re passionate about, then work tends to not actually feel like work. Although every task won’t always be exciting, if you’re passionate about the career you’re in, mundane tasks will feel like positive steps towards further growth in the company. 

You’re eager to grow

This brings me into the idea of growth, and specifically growth in YOUR company. If you’re an eager worker it means that you’re driven to succeed at your current company. Are there new areas you want to explore within your company? Excited to take on new projects? If you’re investing your time into the company and willing to expand and grow within it, then it is very likely you picked the right career. You’re confident at what you do and excited to take on new challenges that cause you to take risks outside of your comfort zone. However, if you find yourself doing the bare minimum and having no intention to grow professional in the company then it may be time to start thinking about a different career path. 

Your skills are being put to use 

If you find yourself fully applying your instinctive skills to your job then you’ve likely chosen the right career. For example, if you are very creative then a career as a creative director would be the perfect fit. You have an eye for detail and are constantly trying to keep yourself informed with the latest trends. If your career is forcing you to use your skills to the best of their ability, then you know that you’ve chosen the right career path. When a job encourages you to use the skills you’re good at then you’ll find that you will enjoy the work you do everyday instead of dreading it. 

Now although the search for a career can sometimes be a long one, it’s important to not cut corners when it comes to the job search process as it can lead to you working in a job you hate for years on end. If you’re not feeling fulfilled or passionate about what you’re currently doing, I would suggest reading my other blog on career clarity here. Career clarity is one of the first steps to nail down when it comes to your job search. This step is all about digging deep down inside of yourself and unravelling the things that excite you and give you passion when it comes to a career.  

Choosing the right career path is one of the most important decisions you can make throughout your life. Settling for a job that doesn’t bring you happiness is never worth it, life is too short to be working somewhere you hate. I urge you to take some time out of your day to sit down and write down positive reasons from your job that make you feel fulfilled, as well as reasons that make you feel miserable. Do the positives outweigh the negatives, or vice versa? From there, you will need to do some re-evaluation to see if your current career is something you want to stay in or if you’re eager to start searching for something new. 

The point is, only you can make this decision and no one else! So put some thought into it and remember, you’ve got this!

Jen Narayan, Career Coach + Job Search Strategist

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jen@careerrealtalk.com