Are you in the right career?

Do you love your job? If not, ask, ‘Why?’. Here are 5 tough questions you need to ask yourself to find out if it’s time for a change.


A big part of making the most of your money is making the most of the place it comes from – in other words, your job.

It’s a simple fact: if you like what you do, then you’re more likely to do it well, and if you do it well, you’re more likely to earn a good salary. And the best part? It won’t even feel like hard work if it’s something you enjoy and do well. Ask yourself these 5 questions to figure out if you’re in the right job – or not.


1. Are you good at your job?

This may seem like an obvious question, but you’d be surprised to hear how many people do a job that doesn’t actually suit their skills. In their annual Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement survey, the Society for Human Resource Management identified the top 5 things that make an employee happy. Top of the list – with a whopping 63% of the vote – was “opportunities to use skills and abilities”.

If not: If your job doesn’t let you do the things you’re naturally good at, then it might be time to find something that does.


2. Is there room for growth?

According to a recent survey by Accenture, 3 of the top 4 reasons for job dissatisfaction are: “a lack of opportunity for growth”, “no opportunity for career advancement”, and “feeling trapped”… which are all pretty much the same. If you can’t see a way to improve your current career, then you may have hit what HR people call a “glass ceiling” – which means you can see the promotion you want, but you can’t actually get there. Maybe you don’t have the skills to move up, or maybe you’re stuck in your position because your immediate superior is stuck in theirs.

If not: Get the skills you need – which might mean extra training, or it might just mean asking people around you how to do certain things – and if you’re still stuck, get out!


3. Are you in the right position?

Just because you’re in the right industry, doesn’t mean you have the right job. Do you secretly wish you could do a permanent job-swop with a colleague in another department? Do you often feel like you could be contributing more to the business, but you’re stuck in a corner? Ask yourself ‘Why?’.

If not: Keep your ears open for vacancies in other parts of the business: many companies prefer to hire people who already work there! And show your boss that you’re keen to take on new things.


4. Did you enjoy work today?

You do your job for 40 hours a week (sometimes more), so it’s important that you enjoy your average day at work. According to Bruce Tulgan, author of Managing the Generation Mix, people of all ages acknowledge that their happiness at work depends on more than just how much they earn (although that’s usually pretty high up there). Your schedule, relationships, learning opportunities, work space and daily tasks are important parts of your job, so take a moment to think about them.

If not: Again, ask ‘Why?’. If you love your job but can’t stand the people you work with, then you need a change of scenery – not a change of career. But if you’re only sticking around because you like your colleagues and don’t want to disappoint your boss by quitting, then it’s time to change careers.


5. Are you being paid enough?

However savvy you are when it comes to personal banking, it’s difficult to manage your money properly if there’s just not enough coming into your account! According to a recent survey by HR research company iFacts, South African employees generally believe that they deserve better salaries and working conditions. Are you happy with yours?

If not: Negotiate a salary increase… and earn it by working hard! And here’s a tip: if you can’t get a raise, you can at least make sure that you’re making the most of your salary by earning maximum interest and keeping your bank fees as low as possible.

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