Have you ever felt stuck in your career?  Employee stress and burnout can account for a lot of dissatisfaction in your life.  After all, you are at work at least 8 hours a day or more.  That is 1/3 of your day if you don’t count sleep and a long time to be dissatisfied.

If you feel like you are in a rut, here are five great ways to identify your ideal career:


  1.  Brainstorm on a sheet of paper – Write down your objective in question form.  Then, simply list out 20 answers to your question.  For example, you could write, “What should I be doing with my time and life?”  Then stay seated for a half-hour to an hour, coming up with answers to that question.  The key to this exercise is coming up with 20 solutions – don’t quit writing until you have 20 answers.  You can repeat every day until you get the answer you seek.  


  1.  Ask three close friends – Sometimes our friends know us better than ourselves.  While meeting with one of your friends, mention you are at a crossroads in your life and career.  Ask what they think you would enjoy doing.  You might be surprised at how easily they can zero in on your strengths and abilities and report a share job area.


  1. Call a Career Coach – If you are searching within your career, you likely have a resume.  Career Coaches have tools, worksheets, and exercises to guide and transition you to another career path. They can also help to analyze what you might be good at. Then, you can highlight those skills on a resume to transition to a new position. 


  1. Take a career assessment test – There are several sites on the Internet you might be able to take one of these tests for a fee.  These tests usually take up to an hour or two, but they are thorough.  They ask you to answer a series of questions about what you are good at, what you like to do, and what you prefer doing over what you don’t.  If you take one, you will likely see some new exciting areas to explore in your life.


  1.  Keep a journal – Do you keep a journal?  If so, read through, looking for common threads in your writing.  Keep your eyes peeled for trends and activities you like as well as don’t like.  Finding examples of what you don’t like and what frustrates you is almost as important as finding what you do like.  For example, if you dislike a boss who micromanages, you’d probably like a self-directed position.  If you dislike nosy co-workers, you’d probably prefer your own office and work independently instead of a team-based scenario.


Discovering what you really want to do with your life is the most critical decision you can make.  We spend 1/3 or more of our lives at work.  So, figuring out the right career is essential to keep that 1/3 of our lives happy and productive.