Burnt out, stuck and complacent seem to be fairly normal in our workforce yet it’s rare to find the individual who takes the leap to ask, “Am I really in the right job?” Especially if it’s one they’ve had for twenty years and are still paying off student loans. Finding the answer immediately puts us at choice: do I stay or go? Turns out a lot of people are leaving. More than 2 million Americans are voluntarily leaving their jobs every month. The U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics calls the category “Quits.”
Not asking the “Am I in the right job?” question comes at a very high cost: an unfulfilled life. 2005 was the first time I asked myself that question. I was sitting in an advertising agency in lower Manhattan at 1:30am waiting for client approval on our latest menu board design. I immediately knew the answer and quickly dismissed it. I did the same in 2006, 2007 until finally in 2009, to my shock and dismay, I lost my job.
Sometimes when we don’t have the courage to face the answer to our own questions, someone else does. I’ve been grateful to my former boss ever since. Now when my clients ask, “Am I in the right job?” I run them through this litmus test.
You know you've found your right job when...
You LOVE it. Not like it a little or a lot. It’s something you find yourself willingly doing, regardless of compensation or time.
You've found a CAUSE that's big enough for you. What’s a problem in the world you deeply want solved? One way to get to this is by asking yourself what unsettles and disturbs you.
You can fulfill a MARKET NEED with your talent. Do you see gaps that your services can fill? Sometimes when you don’t see them directly, others may or can help you re-position your skills to fill a need.
You are a NATURAL ROCKSTAR at it. Doing this “work” is almost as effortless as breathing to you. You want to be able to say, "People are really going to pay me for this?!"
Finding the right job is an endurance journey well worth the risk. Expect plateaus, and roadblocks, remember each step is an investment in you living a life you love! As Chris Guillebeau writes, "The mantra of the quester should be to keep moving forward. Whatever it takes, whether facing an immense challenge or spirit-sapping tedium, just keep making progress.” You’ll know when you’ve reached your destination you simply don’t want it to end.