12 Questions To Ask Yourself About Your Career

By Indeed Editorial Team

October 7, 2021

Constantly analyzing your career path and making the necessary adjustments can help you be happy and more productive. Regardless of your chosen field and specialty, knowing some of the most important questions to ask yourself about your career can improve your career outcome. Discovering which questions to ask can be an important career step. In this article, we discuss the importance of evaluating your career and list some of the most important questions to ask yourself about your professional path.

What's the importance of evaluating your career?

Regardless of the stage in which your career is, it's important to constantly assess your professional goals, the standard of your skills, what your major strengths and weaknesses are and how your personal life aligns with your professional life. One of the primary advantages of doing this is that you constantly have the opportunity to make slight improvements that can get you closer to your short- and long-term goals. Asking yourself questions regarding your career path can also help you determine if your current line of work is appropriate for your overall professional aspirations.

Related: How To Navigate an Unconventional Career Path

12 questions to ask yourself about your career

Consider these questions that you can ask yourself regarding your career trajectory:

1. What interests me?

Some activities that you enjoy doing in your spare time could provide you with insight regarding what careers are appropriate for you. Doing something you enjoy can lead to more productivity and long-term satisfaction, so finding such elements in a potential career can improve your career prospects. Some of the most relevant questions you can ask yourself are:

  • What are my favorite hobbies?

  • Do I most enjoy working with people, animals, objects or data?

  • What are my favorite indoor and outdoor pastimes?

2. What are my current skills?

Besides figuring out the kinds of jobs you may enjoy doing, it helps to determine which jobs you're currently qualified to perform. Also, if you're considering changing careers now or in the future, you can determine which of your skills would be useful in a new line of work. Based on their relevance to a specific role, skills can be:

  • Hard skills: Skills directly gained through researching a certain area of activity.

  • Soft skills: General skills you acquire through your life experiences that are useful in multiple fields.

3. What kind of personality do I have?

The way you think and behave usually has a strong influence on your career choice. When thinking about your career, try to assess some aspects of your personality. You can determine whether you enjoy leading or following orders, if you prefer working with others or alone and other similar elements of your personality that can relate to your professional life.

Related: 11 Steps To Take if You're Unsure of Your Career Path

4. What education or training do I need to fulfill my career goals?

When setting your career objectives, determining what to learn to achieve them is an important step. Some jobs have clear educational requirements, while others allow a more flexible approach. Knowing the time and money it takes to pursue a career can help you make a more informed decision.

5. What is the job outlook for this career?

When analyzing a potential career path, it may be helpful to research the estimated job outlook for the upcoming years. A popular occupation may offer a better salary, but competition for jobs could be stronger. A less popular one may not seem like the right choice initially, but your chance of having a successful career in the future might improve.

6. What's my ideal work-life balance?

Deciding how much time you want to dedicate to your career is an important factor when determining your career goals. The more time you spend either working or improving your skills, the better your chance for career advancement. It's important to allow for personal time or you might burn out or lose motivation. Finding the right balance for your personality can be an important career move.

Related: 12 Career Counseling Questions To Ask Your Career Counselor

7. How happy am I with my current career?

Assessing your career path can help you determine if you need a change and how much needs changing. You can analyze how satisfied you are with your chosen line of work in general and with your career trajectory. Depending on your conclusions, you can choose to keep things the same, change careers or work to improve your skills so you can advance in your current role.

8. Do I enjoy working indoors, outdoors or remotely?

Different professional settings typically require different soft skills. Most outdoor roles require a healthy body and the ability to withstand various weather conditions. Working in an office setting might mean that you need good communication and interpersonal skills to interact with your colleagues and supervisors. Working from home requires some self-discipline. When asking questions about your career, you can consider this as you assess the workplace conditions of a potential job.

9. Am I willing to relocate for a better career opportunity?

Some jobs that fit your profile may be in a different geographical location. Also, some specific occupations have high concentrations of jobs in certain locations. When analyzing a career, determining if you can move for a potential career opportunity can help you decide if a certain career path is appropriate for you.

Related: How to Advance in Your Career

10. What am I willing to give up for better career opportunities?

When asking questions about your career, try to determine how much you're willing to sacrifice for career advancement. You can use your previous job experiences to determine how much certain aspects affect you and if you'd accept a job despite it having those aspects. Discovering what compromises you are and aren't willing to make can help you choose your career path.

11. How is my current job helping me develop my skills?

Determining whether your current job is helping you achieve your long-term career ambitions is usually an important step for your professional development. You may conclude that your current role, although currently satisfactory, isn't helping you reach your potential. It may also help you determine when a certain job doesn't offer you advancement opportunities.

12. How important is money to me?

Although the usual purpose of a job is to earn money, this may not be the most important goal for every employee. Some may prefer job stability to a better income, while others may look for slower-paced and less stress-inducing roles. Determining how much you prioritize earnings over other aspects of your job can help you decide which careers would suit you.

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