There are so many career path options to follow.  If you think about it, a job considered normal today didn’t exist 20 years ago (examples).  Some know the career path they want and have each step planned out – others fall into their careers through opportunities that arise – and some still do not know yet what they want to do.

During your working years, you will, no doubt, have had times when you had a big career decision to make.  How do you make the choice?  Gut instinct?  It is wise to consider your options carefully.  While your mentors and coaches will have some advice, there are some questions you can only answer yourself.

The following 10 questions are based on responses from a panel of Young Entrepreneur Council members to assist you in determining your ‘next step’:

Do You Like What You Are Doing Right Now?

If you work for the entirety of your adult life, you will be engaged in some paid employment from the age of 18 until retirement.  For ease of calculations, let’s say that works out to be 50 years.  In 2014, the average amount of hours worked per week was 39.2.  That means you will work a total of 92,120 hours in the course of your career.  Assuming you get 8 hours of sleep per night, you work 50% of your waking hours.  Why would you spend so much time doing something you don’t like?  Sometimes change is delayed because of financial reasons but actively working toward a new job/career/calling is worth considering.   – JT AllenmyFootpath LLC

Within Your Extended Network, Is There Someone You Admire?

We are a connected world and we interact with people at various stages in their careers.  Some of those individuals garner your admiration.  Why do you admire them?  What conversation can you have with them that will teach you something and excite you to explore a new opportunity, direction, or calling? – Ben LandersBlue Corona

What Brings You Joy?

This is a personal question as it differs for everyone.  Another word for joy, in a career, is a sense of achievement.  Many are so immersed in their journey to success they forget to celebrate the small wins along the way.   If your current job doesn’t give you any joy or sense of achievement, then you will lack the enthusiasm to excel.  Perhaps it isn’t the career path but the employer? – Givelle LamanoLamano Law Office

What Problem Do You Most Wish You Could Solve?

Richard Fong, AssuredStandard.com, posed the question “what problem do I most wish I could solve, and how can I best leverage my talents to bring a solution to the world?”.  Does your definition of a fulfilling career entail one that challenges you mentally daily? 

What Do You Want Your Day to Look Like?

Do you need a routine during ‘normal’ business hours?  Do you thrive in a changing environment with challenges and varying hours?  Are you a road warrior who thrives in the sales process?  Knowing what you want your day-to-day routine to be, will help narrow down your list.  Think about what type of work environment makes you the most content so you don’t get bored and can find something you can stick to. – Stephanie WellsFormidable Forms

Are You Appropriately Challenged?

Circumstances can dictate where your career goes.  Whether it is chaos and adversity, or promotion that redirects your career path, when faced with a choice, choose the challenge.  Accept that new project, change teams, etc.  Challenge keeps the blood pumping and develops skills within you that last a lifetime. – Samuel ThimothyOneIMS

What Do You Want to Do Before You Die?

Goals drive activity.  Whether the goal is personal (singing, travelling) or career-focused, you will not achieve anything without taking that first step. – Tyler BrayTK Trailer Parts

What Are Your Strengths?

Jennifer A BarnesOptima Office, Inc, states “discovering and utilizing your strengths is key to propelling your career forward”.  She suggested taking Gallup’s CliftonStrengths survey to understand your top 10.  Focus on your strengths and use them to make you that much more resilient and confident.  Work on improving the areas where you are weak.

What Would Make You Truly Happy?

Many people choose a career because of the potential income or availability of jobs, not because it is something that interests them.  A job that is drudgery is difficult to do for 92,000 hours in your life.   Baruch LabunskiRank Secure, suggests looking at how you spend your time.  Find out what brings you joy.  It may cause you to see yourself and your goals differently and head in a new direction that you might not have considered before.

What Job Wouldn’t Feel Like Working?

Benjamin RojasAll in One SEO, asks “what’s one job you would like to do for the rest of your life that wouldn’t feel like working?”  If you could really turn your passion into a career, it won’t feel like a ‘regular’ job.  Finding a job that makes you feel excited and fulfilled will significantly increase your chance of career success.

Another blog post about this topic.