27 September 2023

In the right job? Take this test

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Bruce Kasanoff* lists some crucial questions everyone should ask themselves about their career.

Six years ago, I came up with a short list of simple questions people could ask themselves to help gain a bit of perspective on whether their current job is a good fit for them.

These questions have stood the test of time, so I’m sharing them again today.

Do people seek you out?

If others go out of their way to tap into your expertise, it’s a very good sign you are in the right position.

To test this, ask yourself a hard question: Do people come to you for help because they have to, or because they want to?

Do others recommend you?

Everyone has customers, even if you don’t call them that.

Someone depends on you to do your job well.

The highest compliment is when these folks praise your skills to others.

When people recommend someone, they are putting their personal reputation on the line.

Do others respect the job you are doing enough to risk their reputation endorsing you?

Does your job feel ‘Goldilocks right?’

It’s not too easy, but it’s not too hard, either.

You generally don’t get either overwhelmed or bored.

This can be a really hard balance to sustain, and it’s quite possible the job that was perfect for you two years ago is too basic for you today.

Do you have room — and the energy — to grow?

Every year should bring fresh challenges.

It’s a giant warning sign when your job theoretically leaves you room to grow, but you lack the energy to tackle those challenges.

Are you being pushed to grow in a direction that holds no interest for you?

Are you eager to learn?

People who think they know everything there is to know about their job are at risk of getting old, jaded and inflexible.

The world is constantly changing, and there are always new skills and insights to learn.

If you don’t feel this way, you’re in the wrong job.

Are you comfortable with your compensation?

We all could use more money, but it’s critical that you are able to make things work on your current income.

Life is not always fair, and sometimes society doesn’t value highly enough the job you were born to do.

You may have made other life decisions, such as having four kids, that preclude you from being a good fit for a job you otherwise would love.

Few things eat away at your soul like feeling you are underpaid for the work you do.

Does your job fit your self-image?

Human beings are complicated.

We don’t just need money and something worthwhile to do.

Many of us need prestige, power, or respect.

Some people care more about their influence than their income.

Others want to be in the room when big decisions are being made.

While your job won’t satisfy all your needs, it should be a good fit with who you really are.

Are you thankful?

Gratitude is important.

I feel bad for people who don’t know how lucky they are until they lose what they had.

If you are actively thankful for your job, the odds are good that others are also thankful you are in your position.

*Bruce Kasanoff is the founder of The Journey, a newsletter for positive, uplifting and accomplished professionals. He is also an executive coach and social media ghostwriter for entrepreneurs. He can be contacted at kasanoff.com.

This article first appeared at kasanoff.com.

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