Evaluating your career happens at many stages in life – I call it career rethink. I have worked with people from their early 20’s to late 60’s who have a strong desire to make a change for the better.

Sometimes you are forced into change, other times it is a personal choice to do it. Career rethinks happen while you are working or after losing a job. Regardless of the reason, you may feel uncomfortable or stressed because you are wading in new territory.

Here are some of the situations that start a career rethink:

  • You got the degree that everyone said you should get but it is not what you want to do.
  • Your hate your job and going to it every day puts you in a bad mood.
  • The job you have had for many years is going away – it is getting eliminated or the company is closing.
  • Location is important to you and you are not where you want to live.
  • Boredom has set in…the work you do fails to challenge you and you have become complacent.
  • The field you are in is dying – it’s time to make a shift into a growing field where demand will stay strong for many years.
  • Illness has affected your ability to hold a job long-term.
  • Should you invest in a degree to improve your marketability? Will there be a payback?
  • Are you a corporate person or an entrepreneur? How do you choose? Is the risk worth it?
  • You got fired from your last job – does that mean you are doomed and can not work in that same field again?
  • It’s time to retire – but you don’t want to be fully retired! Now’s the time to do something that you always wanted to do…but what is it exactly?
  • Here’s what you love – your company and job. Here’s what you hate – your boss. Can you survive?
  • Your performance is slipping and you are trying as hard as you can. What can you do to save your job?
  • You’ve been laid off several times – all for the same reason. Are you selecting the right positions or companies?
  • How do you create a life after retirement that includes service, income and fun?
  • You just got a new job – how do you integrate yourself successfully into it? What’s most important?
  • How do I successfully leave a job that I love to go to a job that I aspire to?

While each question is different, each person generally wants the same thing – greater satisfaction in their careers and lives. What form that satisfaction takes will be different.

It all starts with you identifying what your question is and what outcome you want. Finding your answer is a combination of accurate information or data collection, investigation, soul-searching and asking specific questions to get to the root of what is blocking you from progress.

Career rethink is a process of discovery, not a bullet proof answer. If it was that easy, you would have done it already. Armed with the right information and confidence, you can make the changes you want to in your life. The only thing stopping you is you.