Do you sometimes feel uncertain about your career path, yet find the idea of making a change daunting? The time, energy, and strategy required to transition into the right career path may cause hesitation, but this shouldn’t stop you from pursuing a path that engages you. Before you begin a career transition, ask yourself the following questions:
Am I Developing a Competitive Advantage?
In The Start-up of You, authors Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha teach that we’re all entrepreneurs of our own careers. They argue that to become competitive in today’s global market, it’s critical to understand your assets, your aspirations, and the industry realities.
It’s important to think of these three aspects as puzzle pieces. Having only one or two is not enough. You need all three to develop a competitive advantage. You’ve likely heard the axiom, “Find a job you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” This may be true for some, but blindly following passion can lead to an unsustainable career. Know your assets, aspirations, and realities—then pursue a path that exemplifies all three.
How Often Do I Think About Work Outside of Work?
This question is best illustrated through a story. Henry Eyring, a former business professor at Stanford University, tells how he ended up choosing his path. His father, a renowned scientist, and professor hoped his son would follow in his footsteps. In Eyring’s words: “My father was [teaching physics] at a blackboard we kept in the basement…Suddenly he stopped. ‘Hal,’ he said, ‘we were working the same kind of problem a week ago. You don’t seem to understand it any better now than you did then. Haven’t you been working on it?’” Eyring admitted he had not. His father then said: “When you walk down the street when you’re in the shower when you don’t have to be thinking about anything else, isn’t this what you think about?” “When I told him no,” Eyring concludes, “my father paused…then said, ‘Hal, I think you’d better get out of physics. You ought to find something that you love so much that when you don’t have to think about anything, that’s what you think about.’”
To be successful you don’t need to obsess about your job 24/7, but if you’re only thinking about your job during the hours of 9 to 5, it may be a sign you’re on the wrong path.
“Where Will This Career Path Take Me 10 Years Down the Line?”
A long-term view of your career is critical because many jobs change as you advance in your field. If you don’t know what your current path looks like, schedule a 25-minute phone session with one of the Ignite Your Potential coaches. These sessions are a great way to find out what you can expect in the future.
Your answers to these questions will help you understand whether you should double your efforts in your current job or start figuring out your next move. Our award-winning coaches at the Ignite Your Potential Centers offer a complimentary 25-minute phone session that will help you find your perfect career path. We are the #1 career coaches in San Francisco and Los Angeles, let us show you how we earned that praise.