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Questionnaire: Is My Career Stagnating?

By: Lisa Koning - Updated: 20 Mar 2013 | comments*Discuss
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This questionnaire contains thought provoking questions to help you consider whether your career may be stagnating. Every situation is different, therefore it is important to take into consideration your own particular circumstances. These questions have been designed to help you think through your own personal situation and should not be answered with a simple yes or no.

When answering the questions below, it may be helpful to consider your career from three points of comparison: seven years past, five years past, and two years past.

Your Role

Think of the work that you do today; not so much your job title or your official job description. Consider the activities and tasks that you do on a day-to-day basis and the types of decisions that you make. Consider your responsibilities; these can be people management responsibilities, financial or resource related. Compare what you do today to what you did in the past.

  • Has your work changed significantly? Is it more complex? Difficult? More responsibility? Perhaps you have changed career, company or function?
  • Are you doing similar tasks? You may be doing the same type of work but taken on more difficult or complex tasks. You may have taken on more responsibility.
  • How many different jobs have you had in the past five years? Consider why you have changed jobs.
  • Has your job title changed but you find yourself doing the same work as previously? Job titles and descriptions can change, but sometimes the work doesn’t. If your work doesn’t match well to your title or description, consider what you have done to resolve this.
  • Have you taken on more responsibility? More responsibility could be more people that you manage, it may be financial responsibility for an allocated budget, it may be decision-making responsibility. Consider how this has changed from the past.
  • Has your salary increased significantly? Over the years, has your salary increased as your job has changed and/or responsibilities increased? Regardless of your answer, consider why this may or may not be the case.
  • Has your work become more stressful? Consider the factors that make your job stressful.
  • Do you find your work challenging? Is your job easy for you to do? Do you find yourself challenged on a day-to-day basis or are you doing activities that you have done many times before?

Job Match

Think of your job today and how that suits you as a person, your current skills and your aspirations. Aspirations can change over time so it is possible that your ideal job seven years ago is not the same as your ideal job today. Consider the types of activities that you enjoy; think of yourself outside of work, perhaps a hobby, and the types of tasks involved.
  • Are you motivated to go to work? Consider how your work motivation has changed over the years.
  • Do you enjoy your work? Has your enjoyment increased or decreased over the years?
  • Do you feel rewarded by going to work? Both financially and through personal achievement.
  • Are you doing the job that you thought you would be doing 5 years ago? Regardless of your answer, is this is good thing?
  • Are you in your current job though a pro-active choice of your own (such as applying for a position) or through career progression?
  • Is there another job you would rather be doing?

Your Job Opportunities

Think of the job opportunities available to you today and in the past. These are potential job changes that you may have been interested in. Perhaps you considered them out of your reach, perhaps you applied and were or weren’t successful. When considering opportunities think outside your immediate area; opportunities don’t always come knocking or with a big neon sign flashing 'Opportunity'.
  • Do you feel there are opportunities for you in your current position, to move forward in your career?
  • How pro-active are you in seeking out new career opportunities? Do you discuss your aspirations with your manager?
  • Are you actively seeking out other job opportunities (searching job Internet sites, applying for other roles)?
  • Have you applied for other opportunities? If you were unsuccessful, why do you think this was?
  • Are you happy to wait until opportunity comes looking for you?

Next Steps For A Stagnating Career

Accompanying this Questionnaire is a Worksheet: An Action Plan for a Stagnating Career. Your next step is to take your answers from this questionnaire and prepare your action plan.

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