Career Advice

How to Gain Perspective on Where Your Career is Heading

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There are those moments in any career, whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been at it for decades, where you’re simply not sure where you’re going next. Should you stay with your current employer or take that competing offer? Should you renew your contract or go freelance? Do you even want to stay in this industry, or could your side gig really take off if you put in two weeks and devoted yourself full-time to what was once just a hobby?

This is the difference between a job and a career: Your next step is always obvious at a job, you show up, you do the work as well as you can, and over time, you earn raises and promotions. It’s a straight line. A career is like a maze that stretches out forever in every direction. A career is full of twists and turns that make it more exciting, and more confusing than a job.

There are those moments in any career, whether you're just starting out or you've been at it for decades, where you're simply not sure where you're going next. Should you stay with your current employer or take that competing offer?Click To Tweet

It’s nearly impossible to get through an ever-shifting maze when you’re right inside of it, but if you can take a step back and can look at it from afar, your next move may be much easier to decide.

So, how do you gain that perspective? Here are some ideas.

Take Your Vacation Time

If you’ve got vacation time coming to you, now’s the time to take it. While you’re off the clock, you can choose to simply relax, to enjoy some breathing room, and get your mind off the work for a little while so that you can figure out how it fits into your life, or you can spend some time looking at competing offers. You could also devote yourself to other interests in order to figure out whether your energy would be best spent somewhere else. The point is to take some time away from your current position and see how you feel without it.

Get Some Outside Input

Here’s the thing about seeking an outside perspective: You’re not really trying to get their advice, you’re seeking their help in figuring out what you think you should do, deep down. Career counselors, therapists, and even psychics can be a tremendous help in this area. You might scoff at the idea of a tarot reading to help you determine your next move in your career, but even if you don’t believe in any sort of divine forces, the process of having a career psychic reading can help you to better organize your own thoughts and feelings. Think of it as watching a really good movie and coming away with a new perspective on something.

Take a Real Shot

If you have something you’ve been wanting to try but you’ve been sticking to your routine because you’re afraid of failure, just take the shot already. You don’t always need to quit your current position in order to pursue your passion. Take a weekend to make some contacts for your freelance business, see what your prospects look like in that field. Be willing to fail, but make sure you fail small so that you’re not put into a position where you can never try again.

Determining your next move in your career is not a science. Sometimes there’s no answer to the question of “What should I do?” sometimes you have to look at it from a more personal point of view. You have to consider what you want to do, and you have to make sure that that’s really what you want and not just what you think is right.

As long as your bills are paid, there are no wrong moves, but some moves are more right than others.

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01/28/2022 12:02 am GMT
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