Assuming that after a year or so on the job, when the dust has settled, you have obtained a better understanding of the role, the purpose, the organization and you have gained solid knowledge in being successful in that role, you may then want to ask, “does this role fulfil me?”

To begin with, I want to clarify that you should be realistic when answering this question for yourself. If you did not make it to a manager or a senior role, that is absolutely normal. If you did not make a huge impact and save the world, that is also probably the norm. The key elements you should question are: 

– Am I (still) constantly learning and growing in this role?

– Do you I have the drive to go to work every morning?

– Do I love what I do?

In particular, the first two questions are highly important in your early career life. When your learning curve is stagnating, and each morning you have inner fights and look for reasons not to go to work, you should seriously consider if the role you are doing is really what you want to do. It seems like a no-brainer, right? But do you know how many people I have met pursuing a role that they eventually do not like and constantly complain about it? The sad part is that these people do not want to take control of their happiness. Instead of having the guts and deciding to change, they chose the easy road – continuing to do what they were doing. Some due to the money they earn, others because they are afraid to make a change, and few accept this as a fact.

You should have joy at work. It should give you a purpose outside of the monetary gain. It should make you happy and you should love it. Watch out, there is a fine line between expecting it from the job and looking to find it at the job. And before you make any decision you should proactively work on finding it yourself. Many companies have clear expectation on the outcome of the work, but at the same time empower their employees to achieve it in their own way. 

You may know the expression “all roads lead to Rome”. In other words, if your company expects you to be in Rome (the outcome) you may have a lot of room for creativity and find your “way” to get there. By doing so you learn new things and will likely find your joy as you can do the things you like. Before making a decision regarding the role as such, you may want to also distinguish the company and certain processes. If you really like the company but not the role, understand what tasks you do not like. If you, for example, work in sales and do not like to call customers, that’s OK. List the things you do not like and when you search for another role keep that list in your hand. Why? Well, I have met many people working in sales who do not like it and who finally decided to leave and look for another opportunity. The funny part was that they were starting in another company as a salesperson! Just because you change the colour of the company logo, it does not mean the role itself will change.

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