Your career path rests entirely on the choices you make over time.
Shifting jobs can be a huge ordeal for your professional life, before you make the next big jump, take a step back and get a lay of the land.
If you want to firmly plan the path ahead of you, consider asking yourself these questions.
Am I satisfied?
We feel a sense of purpose when our core values are fulfilled. Our values give meaning to our existence and most times, our satisfaction and performance depend highly upon whether we are able to express our values at work.
People rarely change, our priorities however are at the mercy of a multitude of externalities. A person who values travelling and adventure may do things like trekking or mountain climbing at a young age but as they grow older, the person may express those values by operating a global business that would involve travelling.
So, first identify your values, evaluate them, and then ask yourself if you are able to express those values through your work, therein lies fulfilment. You may even sit with your manager and find ways to pursue tasks that align best with your core values.
Am I further developing my skills and knowledge?
We often find ourselves acquiring new skills, pieces of knowledge or traits through our work. Learning something new and building up your expertise in your sector is an achievement in itself.
So, find out what competencies you plan to improve this year and how you will make it happen. We can grow our knowledge base and skills by attending courses, workshops or conferences, experimenting with new ideas and even by reading a book. Reflect on the progress you made last year and take actions to support the growth you desire.
Am I choosing the right path?
You may come across many opportunities that broaden your skill set via completely new and uncharted avenues. Even if the offers presented to you are lucrative, you should assess your opportunity cost - consistent career path or better benefits?
Being opportunistic, in such instances, will not do any harm but do not let it delineate you from your path, your true calling. You might have come across this question -
"Where do you see yourself in the next five years?" - and if you already have a solid answer figured out, you can easily assess the opportunity cost.
Simply put, if you do not know where your career path will lead you to in the next five years, take the time and try figuring out what it is that you want to achieve in your career or life.
No matter what you aim to be as a professional, having the course planned out and holding yourself accountable to said course, can take you to newer heights and achieve higher fulfilment.