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6 Tips for evaluating your job -- is it right for you?

Julie Kraut is a freelance writer and the author of Slept Away and Hot Mess. Visit JulieKraut.com for more.




Launch it or lose it?

Finding something new in this market is too hard. At least I have health insurance. We just got a new shade of purple highlighter I like. Are these the only reasons you're staying at your job? If so, get with the times, lady! Dissatisfaction at work is so 2009. 2010 should be about making money in a way that makes you happy. Here are suggestions on how to find the right career for you, or at least find a better job.

Woman bored at office

Spend some time at the beginning of this year deciding if your job has the potential to morph into your dream job or if it's time to lose the gig. Here are a few points to consider.

Purpose

Is your employment just about a paycheck, or do you feel a deeper sense of purpose? We're not saying that you have to love manipulating data in Excel, but is there a bigger sense that your spreadsheet will contribute to a cause you believe in? If the answer is "yes," your job definitely has the potential to become the career you love. If not, you should find work that you believe in a bit more.

My Career
  1. Is your job right for you?
  2. Everyone has good and bad days at work. But do you believe in what you are doing, or just living for your next paycheck? Think on that.g, things will happen.
  3. Will you be stuck in a rut? Or with time, will you gain seniority and responsibilities? Opportunities for advancement are important to enjoying one's work.
  4. Do you have a work mentor or role model? Look around your office, and see if there's someone who you are admire or aspire to.
  5. Quality of life. Does your work afford you the way of live – and quality of life – that you require to be happy?

Advancement

Is there a place for you to move up to, in terms of both pay and responsibility? A promotion doesn't have to come tomorrow, but it should be something that's on the horizon in the reasonable future. If not, look for places that do allow for growth.

Role model

Take a look around you, or actually, above you. Are those the people after whom you want to model your life? Do they have the kind of work/life balance you seek? Are they at the level of responsibility and pay you hope to achieve? If so, keep on trucking. If those people aren't really what you want to be when you grow up, then get off the path that's leading you there and onto something with a more appealing future.

Wildest dreams

What is your wildest career dream? Writing a book? Teaching ballet? Becoming a gourmet chef? Does your current job relate to those dreams in any way? Allowing for the time to pursue your outside passion can count here. If you job is preventing you from achieving your dreams, then it's time to get out.

Life you want

Outside of work, does your position give you the life you want? Sure, we could all use some more cash, but really, are you financially able to accomplish what's important to you -- like yearly vacations, sending your children to college or owning a home? If your job can't provide you with a lifestyle you want, you should be looking for the job that can.

Gut feeling

OK, so nobody looks forward to Monday morning, but there's a difference between hitting the snooze once and truly being ill at the start of another week. If your tummy is telling you it doesn't want to go to work, you probably shouldn't be going.

Spend some time evaluating your job and figuring out if it's the right fit for you. Whether you stick with your job or lose it, happy careering in 2010!

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