By Kevin and Kay Marie Brennfleck, Crosswalk.com
In the busyness of our daily lives, it's easy to overlook the health of our careers.
Like an annual checkup with a doctor ensures our physical well-being, a career checkup is crucial for our professional health. Assessing your career can lead to a more fulfilling and joyful work life, whether you stay in your current job or embark on a new adventure.
This article explores nine ways to evaluate and nurture your career, allowing you to live your calling in 2024.
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1. Complete the Free Checkup to Assess Job Satisfaction
The first step in any career checkup is introspection. The Free Career Checkup enables you to assess your level of satisfaction with your current career or job (or your last job, if you are not working currently). Your results can help you determine if your current work needs any adjustments or if it is time to explore opportunities that resonate more closely with your top skills, interests, and personality.
You are not alone if you determine that you need to make a change. Gallup polls consistently show that 65 percent of employees are not engaged in their work and may be experiencing a lack of fulfillment, stress, anxiety, boredom, poor work-life balance, lack of recognition, limited growth opportunities, job insecurity, poor relationships, and a mismatch of their skills and job requirements.
2. Set Clear Goals
Define short-term and long-term career goals. Where do you see yourself in one year? Five years? Setting clear goals provides a roadmap for your professional journey and helps you stay focused on your aspirations.
Regularly revisit and adjust these goals as your priorities evolve. Learn more about goal setting and action planning to live your calling.
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5. Seek Feedback
Constructive feedback is invaluable for personal and professional growth. Request feedback from colleagues, supervisors, and mentors.
Embrace both positive and constructive criticism, using it to refine your skills and enhance your performance.
6. Explore Networking Opportunities
Networking is a powerful tool for career development. Attend industry events, join professional organizations, and engage in online communities. Networking can open doors to new opportunities, offer insights into different career paths, and connect you with like-minded professionals.
Studies estimate that 80 percent of jobs are in the "hidden" job market, meaning they are not advertised on job boards. Instead, employers fill these jobs through referrals, networking, and by those who contact employers directly.
You can learn more about this in the article - How Personal Contacts Can Get You into the "Hidden Job Market."
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3. Assess Your Skills and Development Opportunities
Identify your strengths and areas for improvement. Career assessments such as CareerFitTest.com can help you identify your transferable, personal, and content skills. This tool will also enable you to quickly determine your most marketable, developmental, and "killer" skills.
Killer skills are those abilities that you perform very well but hate using. You can feel the energy draining from you whenever you have to use them. They, therefore, "kill" your energy and enthusiasm for work (and life) and increase your stress level.
If you would like to complete other career assessments that are debriefed by a National Certified Career Counselor, you can learn more at ChristianCareerCenter.com.
Consider acquiring or enhancing new skills to stay relevant in your field. Attend workshops, take online courses, join professional organizations, participate in online communities, read industry publications, and take on challenging projects.
4. Evaluate Work-Life Balance
A healthy work-life balance is essential for overall well-being. Assess how much time and energy you dedicate to your job versus your personal life. If the balance is skewed, explore ways to create harmony, such as setting boundaries, prioritizing self-care, and allocating time for hobbies and relationships.
Living our callings in life leads to work-life balance. While we all have a primary calling to salvation and following Jesus, we also have unique secondary callings, such as being a spouse, parent, family member, neighbor, and worker.
Keeping our primary calling primary is done through spiritual disciplines such as prayer, Bible reading, worship, fasting, etc. These disciplines help us become more like Jesus and make better decisions about living our lives.
Since as much as 60 percent of our lives are spent working, choosing the right career is critical to meaning, purpose, and fulfillment in your work. At the same time, guarding against becoming a workaholic is crucial, which can easily happen when you love your work.
Living your calling should lead to a work-life balance as you intentionally set aside time and energy for other secondary callings beyond work, such as being a parent, spouse, family member, neighbor, church volunteer, etc. Writing mission statements and goals for important secondary callings will give you a game plan for designing a life of meaning and purpose.
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7. Stay Informed about Industry Trends
The business landscape is ever-evolving. Stay abreast of industry trends, technological advancements, and market changes.
Being well-informed positions you as a valuable asset to your current employer and prepares you for potential career shifts.
8. Consider a Mentorship or Coaching Relationship
Mentors and coaches can provide guidance, wisdom, and support throughout your career journey.
Seek out individuals who have excelled in your field or possess the skills you aspire to develop. A mentorship or coaching relationship can offer valuable insights and accelerate your professional growth.
9. Embrace Lifelong Learning
A commitment to lifelong learning is essential in today's rapidly changing world. Cultivate a mindset of curiosity and a willingness to adapt. Embrace new challenges, be open to learning from experiences, and stay curious about the ever-evolving landscape of your industry.
Just as an annual health checkup is crucial for physical well-being, a career checkup is vital for professional health. Assessing and nurturing your career can lead to a more fulfilling and joyful work life.
Whether you stay in your current role or embark on a new journey, the nine ways outlined in this article can guide you toward living your calling in 2024. Prioritize self-reflection, set clear goals, and stay committed to continuous learning – your career deserves the attention and care required for long-term success and satisfaction.
© Article copyright by Kevin Brennfleck and Kay Marie Brennfleck, ChristianCareerCenter.com, ChurchJobsOnline.com, ChristianJobFair.com, CareerFitTest.com and LiveYourCalling.com. All rights reserved. The above information is intended for personal use only. No commercial use of this information is authorized without written permission.
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