There are so many industries to work in these days. You could work in broader industries like healthcare, law, and marketing, or work in more niche industries like family photography, elevator services, or book editing. The industry you work in will depend on a lot of factors, including your interests and your goals.
So, with all the options out there, how can you tell if you’re in the right job? Here’s how to know if your job is right for you, and why it’s important to figure this out sooner rather than later.
Determine What You’re Interested In
When thinking about how to know if your job is right for you, the first thing to do is to dig down deep and find out what you’re interested in. What makes you excited to get up in the morning? Knowing what interests you the most will help you determine if a job is right for you.
Another way to go about this is to think about how you like to provide value to the world. Do you like to help people, or do you like to create new things? If you like to help people, then roles in the service and healthcare industry may be best suited for you. You could be a bartender, server, hospitality manager, nurse, or doctor. Find out what interests you the most and explore careers that will help you explore that interest every day. If you’re currently in a role that doesn’t let you explore your interests, it may be time to start looking for new opportunities.
Identify Your Core Values
Along with knowing what your interests are, knowing what your core values are is crucial when exploring how to know if your job is right for you. What things do you value most in life? Do you value working with your hands every day? If so, you may want to look into an industry that allows you to do that, such as carpentry, roofing, or construction. Knowing the things that you value at a fundamental level will help provide clarity on what job you should pursue.
It’s also important to know the things you don’t value when it comes to work. Let’s say you have issues with the way the criminal justice system is set up. If that’s the case, then you may not want to explore careers within the criminal justice system, such as a judge, corrections officer, or bail agent. Taking a look at what you don’t value and wouldn’t like to do on a daily basis will help you narrow down your options when choosing the right job for you.
Set Your Goals
Think about the goals you have for yourself and your career. Will the job you have now help you achieve those goals? If not, then it may be time to move on.
When exploring how to know if your job is right for you, take a look at your short-term and long-term career goals. If you want to be promoted to a management role within the next five years, how will this job help you do that? If you want to be an executive one day, how will your job help make that goal a reality? If you can’t see a clear path to your goals, then your current job may not be the one for you.
Not everyone wants to be in management, and that’s okay. Perhaps your goal is to make a difference in someone’s life, or to make a certain amount of money that will allow you to live a certain kind of lifestyle. Whatever your goals are, make sure your job and career will help you achieve them. If they don’t help you achieve your goals, you may end up feeling disappointed or frustrated. If that’s happening, there are a couple of options for change. You could change your job, or you could change your goal.
Inventory Your Skills
Think about the skills you have. Do you like using those skills daily? If so, do you get to use them on a daily basis right now? If not, this could be how to know if your job is right for you. If there are certain skills you love using, but you don’t get to use them, you may feel unsatisfied.
Doing an inventory of your skills also gives you perspective on where you can improve. Let’s say you work as a jeweler, and you know how to properly appraise and market jewelry. However, lately, you’ve been thinking of making your own custom jewelry and selling it online. Before you decide to make jewelry full-time, list out all the skills you’ll need to run that successfully. Then, check off the skills you already have and circle the ones you need. This way, you have a framework of where to start developing your skills.
Another reason to inventory your skills is to see what transferable skills you have. Transferable skills are skills that you can carry over from job to job. These include skills like project management, content marketing, and accounting. Identifying what your transferable skills are will help you figure out what other careers you could go into if you decide to leave your current job.
Look At The Job Market
When thinking about how to know if your job is right for you, something to consider is the current job market. Is unemployment high? If so, you could face a lot of competition for a job opening. If you’re thinking about switching jobs, do your research on the market before you decide on anything major.
You can also research other industries you may be interested in, and what the demand looks like for those industries. For example, if you’re interested in becoming a real estate agent, look at the industry trends and where the industry is at right now. Almost 36 million people move each year, and many of them will need a real estate agent to help them buy or sell their homes. If you think the demand is there, you can further research what it would take to get into this industry.
You could also look into industries that relate to the main industry you’re interested in. If you’re looking into real estate, you can also explore industries like home remodeling, HVAC service, and new home construction. Looking at other industries will help you narrow down what industries you’re more interested in pursuing.
Decide If You Want To Be Self-Employed
Are you truly happy working for someone else? Or do you see yourself owning your own business one day and becoming self-employed? Knowing this is important when exploring how to know if your job is right for you and choosing the best job for you.
There are pros and cons to being self-employed. One of the perks is that you have control over your own business. You call the shots, make the important decisions, and get a say in how your business is marketed. You can also make your own hours and decide when to do business. If you own your own boutique, pawn shop, or cafe, you could craft the business hours around times that work best for you. If you’re a freelancer, you also get this kind of freedom. You can work whenever you want, wherever you want.
There are drawbacks to being self-employed, though. For starters, all the responsibility is on you. You’re in charge of coming up with products, promotions, and new services. You have to remember to order supplies, pay the bills, and if you have employees, you’ll have to oversee their training and performance. You also may have to invest quite a bit of money to get your business going, and there’s a chance it may not make it. You may also have to figure out your own health insurance coverage and investment accounts.
There are numerous perks and drawbacks to owning your own business and being self-employed. You have to decide if the perks outweigh the drawbacks. If so, being self-employed may be the perfect gig for you.
Research Companies Around You
Sometimes, it may not be your job you’re unhappy with. You could really like your job, but not like your employer. When thinking about how to know if your job is right for you, ask yourself: would you be happy doing your job at a different organization?
Before you consider shifting jobs altogether, research other organizations hiring for your job. They could be a better fit for you and your goals. If you’re a middle school teacher and are considering switching schools, research school districts near you. See how people like their superintendent, what their curriculum looks like, and how long teachers usually stay within the district. This information will give you crucial insight into what it’s like to work in that district.
This strategy can be applied to any organization, whether you work for an adoption agency, hospital, private bank, or grocery store. If you’re thinking about switching jobs, do your homework on the organizations around you that are hiring. You can look for online reviews from current and former employees to get a sense of the company’s culture. You can also network with current and former employees and ask them questions about the company. The more you know about a company, the more you’ll be able to tell if you’d be a good fit there.
Map Out Your Career Projection
When thinking about the best job for you, it’s important to have an overall career goal in mind. Where do you see yourself in 5, 10, and 20 years? Mapping out your career projection will help you figure out which job you should be working in now, and what jobs you should be looking into in the future.
Your career projection will depend on a number of factors, including your industry. Someone who works in funeral services is going to have a different projection than someone who works in digital marketing. Keep this in mind as you’re making your career projection. You may compare yours to your friends or colleagues’, but you must remember that they may be on a different path than you are. Focus on how you’re going to get to your ultimate career goal and use your career projection to make it happen.
Monitor Your Work-Life Balance
A simple thing to keep in mind when exploring how to know if your job is right for you is to monitor your work-life balance. If you have a job that requires you to work all the time and leaves you little time for other responsibilities, you could get burnt out pretty quickly. You could also start to feel frustrated, anxious, and disengaged while at work.
If your work-life balance is thrown off, see what you can do to get it back in check. If you’re working too much, talk to your boss about it and see if there’s a way to spread out your workload. If there isn’t a way to do that, then you may want to consider looking for a job that will provide you with a better work-life balance. Your career is important, but it’s also important to make time for your life.
Evaluate Your Career Satisfaction
One of the biggest ways you can tell if your job is right for you is to evaluate your career satisfaction. If you had to do your job for the next five years, would you be happy doing it? Do you think there’s something else you’d be happier doing? Do you value the industry you’re in and want to continue to grow in it? These are all important questions to ask when choosing a job that’s right for you. If you think you may be more satisfied in another industry, then explore changing careers.
It’s important to explore how to know if your job is right for you. This process may take time, though. Determining what job is best for you takes a lot of self-assessment, deep thinking, and planning. There are a lot of layers in this process, and you shouldn’t rush it. Take your time and think out if your job makes you happy. This self-reflection will help you in the long run, both in your personal and professional life.