Ask yourself these questions if you are wondering if you are in the right job.
- Am I working with “my people”? You and your colleagues should share values and sensibilities. You should have the same intensity about your work. Simply put, you should like the people you work with.
- Does my job make me smarter? I think you want to be part of an organization that offers challenges and takes you out of your comfort zone. Sometimes it is fun to be the smartest person in the room, but it is more important for your career to be growing and learning.
- Are doors opening up? There is no such thing as a dead-end career. However, there are dead-end jobs. From your current job you should be able to see the next job. Consider all opportunities as good.
- Is there a joy factor? There should be something at your job that makes you happy. On the far extreme, your job gives you your meaning. It does not have to be the only thing that gives you meaning, but you also do not want to be at the other extreme, where your job is demeaning. Aptitude does not equal passion. Just because you are good at something does not mean that you enjoy it.
Is it possible that in our careers we will see a shortage of qualified people and a real labor shortage? I heard from a politician this week that 2012 marks the beginning of the baby boomers turning 65. Hundreds of thousands of them reaching retirement age, next year and every subsequent year for 20 years. I am not sure how I was supposed to respond, but since I want to work for another 15 years or so, I took it personally and was encouraged.