Now is the Time to Reflect on Your Ideal Career Path

It’s a scary time right now, and you probably find yourself having some down time due to the Coronavirus shutdowns and cutbacks. But instead of feeding the fear, put this time to better use. What is your ideal career path? What’s your next move? Are you satisfied with where you’re currently at, or is it time for a change?

Reflection, Not Fear

It’s easy to be overwhelmed by all the headlines, grim predictions, and banter on social media and the news. But successful people don’t focus on the fear during times like these. In fact, it is in these times that reflection and creative thinking can change your life for the better.

During the down time, take a few career quizzes. Think about who you are as a professional. Examine your current setting, and ask yourself some of these questions:

  • Am I successful in my current career path?

  • Do I enjoy working in this role?

  • Am I good at what I do?

  • Is there ample advancement opportunity in this career track?

  • Am I passionate about this kind of work?

Your answers to these questions may indicate it’s time for a change. Maybe you don’t have to change industries, but a different role within your industry might suit you best. Is this where you want to be in 10 years?

There’s nothing wrong with changing course in your career – in fact, it’s becoming the norm in the modern nomad economy. So if you would be happier in a different role or an advanced position, ask yourself which skills you need to acquire and steps to take. Begin formulating your strategy.

Skills, Passions, and Values

Career experts and successful businesspeople agree that the ideal career path is somewhere at the intersect between skills, passions, and values. This is where career magic happens. So how about you? What would that intersect look like for you?

First, let’s look at skills. Obviously, these are your abilities. But many of us have hidden skills we don’t even know about, because we don’t use them every day in our jobs. To find these, list your skills by three categories:

  • Skills you learned at work (anything you were taught in previous roles, for special assignments, etc.)

  • Skills you learned from formal education (college, workshops, in-house trainings, seminars, etc.)

  • Skills you learned from neither (hobbies, volunteer/community work, home projects, leadership activities, etc.)

Next, reflect on your passions. A Gallup poll found that 85% of employees are actively disengaged at work. If you are not working in an area you are passionate about, your disengagement will translate into less buy-in, less problem solving, and less advancement.

On the other hand, your ideal career path will directly include something you’re passionate about and thus invested in making work. If you love doing something, you will move heaven and earth to succeed at it. And you will develop the necessary skills to be good at it.

Not sure what your passions are? Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What am I curious about?

  • What makes me smile?

  • What engages me so much I lose track of time?

  • What would I enjoy doing even if there was no money in it?

Lastly, what are your values? These are the core truths and standards that drive you. Perhaps you are committed to:

  • Serving others

  • Always telling the truth

  • Embracing change

  • Doing more with less

Whatever axioms uniquely define you and your moral compass, those are your values. Write them down.

The Path Forward

Tomorrow is full of uncertainty and change. But you can help shape it for yourself. Don’t get stuck in a dead-end career path. Take advantage of this slowdown, be grateful for all you have, and take stock of where you should go next. Pause, reflect, and plan. Your career growth path is up to you.

If you need any help determining where your ideal career path should lead or just need some help getting there, please contact us right away. We’d love to listen and offer any help we can.

Be safe, everyone!

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