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Career assessment: spring cleaning your career

Spring has arrived.  It often prompts us to clean up and clear out a lot of the clutter in our homes after months of staying indoors from the Chicago winter.  We mop, dust, and give away gently used items to charity.  Our homes, if only for a little while, are cleaner and more organized.

Many of our careers could use a good spring cleaning.  With the busyness of life,we must periodically take a moment to assess where we are going professionally and whether it is even somewhere we want to go.

Here are a few steps we can take to get a healthy perspective on our current career situation:

(1) Do you have a career or a job?  Is our goal merely to earn enough money to pay bills and monthly expenses?   If that is the case, then we likely have a job not a career.  There is nothing wrong with simply wanting to meet our needs.  However, a career meets more than monetary needs.  It also allows us to utilize our unique skills to the benefit of something larger than just us. 

(2) Does the current position utilize your talents and abilities?  We all love to feel purposed.  When we are on a healthy career path, we feel as if we are using our God-given talents and abilities in our own unique way to make a contribution that no one else could make.  At minimum, we feel as if our talents and skills are not completely wasted.

(3) Do we have future goals and ambitions for this career path?  Every purposeful endeavor in life should be surrounding by goals.  They help us determine where we are and where we desire to be.  A career without goals and aspirations does not allow us to live up to our full potential. 

(4) Do we spend a lot of time daydreaming about a better career?  Longing for something but making no plans and taking no steps to achieve it can be frustrating to say the least.   So, start taking small steps toward a new path.  Even a few small victories along the way will inspire and motivate you for the longer journey. 

One step you can take this week is to start networking.  Pick one event in your field of interest and meet a few new people.  This will provide you an opportunity to learn more about your desired career path and make connections with people who are where you want to be. 

Take heart.  Many individuals go through ups and downs in their careers.  It is all part of the process towards a more satisfying career. 


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