Career Direction Quiz
“When you follow your bliss, doors will open where there were no doors before, and where there are no doors for anyone else.” ~ Joseph Campbell
Do you find yourself saying one of the following statements, when asked, “what’s next” regarding your career?
“I don’t know.”
“I feel trapped.”
“I’m just so stuck.”
“I don’t feel confident enough.”
“I’m at a loss.”
“I don’t know the right choice.”
If so, did you notice anything about all of these statements?
“I’m not sure.”
“I can’t seem to move forward.”
“It feels hopeless.”
“What I want is too far away.”
“I really don’t know.”
“I can’t decide.”
If so, did you notice anything about all of these statements?
These phrases are primarily describing a lack of clarity about the problem at hand. Or they’re describing symptoms of a problem.
If you knew what was holding you back from career direction clarity you could get to work on fixing it.
Unfortunately, not only is something in your way, a lack of knowledge of what that ‘something’ is keeps you stalled out day after day, year after year.
The following quiz is a cheat sheet to help you figure out what the symptoms you’re experiencing mean. You’ll circle the answers that apply from the 31 questions and then tally your responses. Then you’ll pull back the curtain on what’s really going on by diagnosing which of the 10 Categories of Feeling Stuck you fall into.
Once you know what’s behind your feelings of confusion around your career direction you’ll finally be able to get on your way.
Let’s get started!
“The degree of responsibility you take for your life determines how much change you can create in it.” ~ Celestine Chua
Figure Out Your Career Direction Using This Short Quiz
Circle the number of any statements that describes your situation.
You may find more than one and that’s normal. Just knowing what’s going on is a step in the right direction.
1. I have no idea what I want.
2. I generally enjoy the work I do, but my current job is making me rethink everything.
3. I have a pretty good hunch as to what I’d like to do next, but I haven’t taken any action on moving towards it.
4. I want to leave my industry altogether, but it feels like such a huge leap.
5. I worry whether I’m good enough or qualified for the work I’d most like to do.
6. I’m disappointed that the last career move I made didn’t turn out the way I’d hoped.
7. The people around me are pretty negative whenever I share my career ideas. They point out all the potential flaws, and I get discouraged.
8. I feel a lot of fear around career decisions.
9. I don’t feel appreciated for contributions I make in my current job. What I provide and what my company is looking for don’t match.
10. Many career ideas look appealing, but I find it hard to know what would be a good fit for me.
11. I have a lot of self-doubts and worry about whether or not I’m making the right career choices.
12. I spend tons of time online looking at job ads. 13. I reached a career goal that I thought I wanted, but it isn’t attractive anymore.
14. I told someone what I really wanted to do. They told me it wasn’t possible. So I stopped trying.
15. I can’t figure out how to balance the urgent need to leave my current job with my longer term desire to switch careers completely.
16. I feel utterly stuck and confused.
17. The level of social interaction at my current job isn’t to my liking. (There’s either too much or too little.)
18. I’m sending out resumes left and right and getting no responses.
19. I’m frightened about what will happen if I try something new.
20. I don’t know what to focus on with my job search.
21. I don’t have a clear sense of my strengths and interests or how they could relate to a career path.
22. The amount of conflict and disorganization at my job are getting under my skin.
23. I want high pay, a great lifestyle, and work that lights me up, and I’m frustrated that I can’t find it.
24. I know exactly what would make the people in my life happy, but I’m vague on what I really want.
25. I have a dream that’s close to my heart, but I’m extremely hesitant to give it a go.
26. Lots of people in my life have strong opinions about what I should be doing that differ from my own ideas.
27. I don’t know what jobs are out there.
28. I get scared and freeze or I get scared and distract myself with taking care of other responsibilities whenever I think about my next career move.
29. I’ve looked at so many job descriptions my head is completely spun around. I don’t know what I’m looking for anymore.
30. For years I thought I wanted one thing. Now I’m starting to want something different. 31. I have a clear idea of what I don’t like, but I’m vague on what I do like.
10 Categories of Feeling Stuck
Match up your responses with the categories below to diagnose what’s keeping you stuck.
1) If you circled – 1, 10, 31
Lack of Experience You may be new to the workforce. Or you may have lots of work history, but no experience with work that matched up with what you most wanted. In both cases the trick is to devote some time to career exploration. However, I’m warning you, oftentimes ‘I don’t knows’ can be a socially acceptable masquerade for a different category of stuckness. If you fall into this category, plus some of the others, you’ll want to start with addressing the other issues first.
2) If you circled – 3, 5, 11, 16
Mindset Lots of things are going on in your head, including unhelpful thought patterns. Our thoughts can create false barriers that block us from moving forward. Notice what thoughts are holding you back the most. Talk them over with a trusted confidant to tease out some new ideas or try to find a new, more helpful perspective on your own.
3) If you circled – 8, 19, 25, 28
Fear Career decisions can be life altering, so it’s natural that they bring up a lot of fears. Instead of letting your fears dictate your actions, try to connect to why you are craving a change and take small steps toward that outcome.
4) If you circled – 2, 9, 17, 22
Environmental Factors at Work You dislike your current job, but it sounds like it’s not the job itself that’s bothering you- it’s environmental factors. Dig deeper into this idea by identifying what your ideal environment would look like.
5) If you circled – 12, 18, 29
Lost in Job Searching I know you’re trying to work on your career, but spending oodles of time on the online job boards is actually counterproductive. They’ll leave you muddled, discouraged, and worn out. Step away from the computer and invest your time in building and maintaining your network instead.
6) If you circled – 6, 13, 30
Dying Dream Scenario This scenario isn’t talked about much in the career advice realm, but it’s a real situation I’ve seen many people facing. When you’ve worked hard for a dream, only to realize it’s not where you really want to be, there are a lot of emotional ramifications. Realize this is a big deal! Be sure to process what you’re leaving behind so that you can move forward with an unburdened heart.
7) If you circled – 23
Over the Moon Expectations I see this one most often in younger professionals. Look, it’s totally possible to get the big three- high compensation, amazing lifestyle, and enjoyable work. However, most jobs are higher in some of these areas and lower in others, particularly when you’re first starting out. Holding out for perfection today will keep you from putting in the effort you need to exert to build your dream life. Compromise doesn’t mean admitting failure. It means you can finally get going.
8) If you circled – 7, 14, 24, 26
Social Environment Here’s a wakeup call. We’re social creatures, and the support, or lack of support, you receive from the people around you can make or break you. I’m not saying you should cut ties with anyone in your life who isn’t a supreme cheerleader, but I am saying to consciously cultivate the presence of supportive people and messages in your life.
9) If you circled – 4, 15
Short Term/ Long Term Confusion You don’t need to a hit a home run with your next career move. You might hit a single, like getting out of a terrible job, but staying in an ill-fitting industry. From there you’ll be in a better position to make your next move. Just because you can’t reach a long term goal immediately doesn’t mean you should totally drop that goal. Work towards your big dream with short term goals.
10) If you circled – 20, 21, 27
Sounding Board Needed Over the years I’ve seen one category of client that may have a hint of mindset, fears, or social environment issues, but overall they just need to talk things through with a non-directive, compassionate witness who can help them flesh out their vision. Be careful who you choose to share your ideas with, but overall it’s a good idea for you to bounce your thoughts off someone else to get things moving.
Want More Support with Getting Unstuck And Moving Forward?
I’ve had years of experience as an executive recruiter and life coach helping people figure out the areas where they are stuck and coming up with personalized and specific solutions to get them past whatever is holding them back.
With this quiz I wanted to give you a high level understanding of what may be going on emotionally, but clearly there’s a lot more to the story than a free quiz can provide. I’d like to invite you to dig deeper by contacting me to set up a complimentary clarity session.
My goal of the overall outcome of our work together is a clear plan of action and plenty of momentum to see you through your next steps.I love what I do and I’d be delighted to assist you with figuring out your next, best career move.
Isn’t it time to stop just dreaming of what could be?