Ten Questions To Ask Yourself About Your Career
Guest article by Jared Scherz, TeacherCoach
No matter what field you are in, take a look at these situations below as they apply to every field, including teaching.
Russel is a mid-level executive with an international beer company. His friends are envious of this ‘dream job,’ yet he fantasizes about a flood of suds on the factory floor. Michele is a COO of a mid-sized family company and earns an excellent salary. She also has a flexible schedule, and is happy to claim she never misses her kids’ sporting events. So why does she feel ill every Sunday afternoon to the point where she has taken several pregnancy tests, despite an all but faded romantic partnership?
Millions of people fantasize about getting fired to pursue some dream job and just as many are unhappy but don’t consider other options. Whether we feel trapped by our salaries, don’t want to start over, or simply don’t have a sense of what would make us feel fulfilled, we stay stuck in sufficing.
The dilemma of job satisfaction can be opposite from quicksand, in that the more passive we are, the more profound we get stuck.
The ultimate risk is being consumed by the very job meant to support us.
If a job is sucking the soul from your being like a mythical Harry Potter creature, or perhaps bludgeoning you with stressful daily blows, it’s time to consider if your upside down on your investment.
A simple way to assess if your job is liking you is how much the extreme downside stacks up against the unlimited upside. If the unpleasant parts of your job overshadow the benefits, your unhappiness can is easily explainable.
The stressors of a job come in many shapes and sizes, the cumulative impact taking a toll on our wellness. When our stress endurance capacity is exceeded by the frequency and intensity of that stress, our job becomes a threat to our well-being. We don’t want to put our relationship in jeopardy like our COO Michelle or ignore the warning signs of deterioration like Russel, our fantasizing beer exec.
The next question to consider in this case is whether we have the power to make changes or if the conditions of this profession pressure are outside our volition.
If we haven’t spoken directly with the leadership or introduces ideas on improving working conditions, then we have our first actionable step. If you haven’t done this before, getting a job coach or speaking with a profession is a good move, because people rarely attain the balance of impact and caution needed to create change.
Here are some other key questions to consider before determining if your job isn’t good for you:
- When was the last time you felt creative and what is holding you back?
- How invested are you in the mission/vision of the organization?
- How well do you engage with your colleagues in meaningful dialogue?
- How much interest have you taken in developing those who report to you?
- How much pride have you taken in your work and does this reflect in your attitude?
- When was the last time you solicited encouragement from your supervisor or team?
- How seriously have you taken your own professional improvement plan?
- What conflicts are unresolved for you and why have you avoided them?
- How well are you taking care of yourself through nutrition and exercise?
- To what degree are your needs being met inside and outside of work?
Before making any decisions about next steps, you want to ensure that you aren’t bringing your issues with you because you didn’t explore all the possibilities that lead to job dissatisfaction. Ultimately, if you believe you like your work but your work doesn’t like you, you can make plans can for next steps.
About: Jared Scherz, Ph.D., M.Ed., ACS
Dr. Scherz is a clinical psychologist, author, and educational consultant, working with educators for over twenty years. He earned his Master’s in Education from Penn State University and went on to be an elementary school guidance counselor before earning his Ph.D. He is the owner of Integrated Therapy Center in NJ, the creator of PsychPro, and the founder of UFeud, the first social networking site to reduce school violence.
In his coaching, consulting, and therapy practice, he helps people appreciate that change is paradoxical, in that a greater understanding of what keeps a person feeling stuck is needed before sustainable change is possible. Jared works with educators to help them feel more peaceful, whole, potent, and on a path toward greater fulfillment.
His vision for TeacherCoach is to provide educators from around the world with a wide range of integrated services around personal growth and professional development.