Identifying Your Career Unrest

Career Unrest Got You Befuzzled?

Are you happy with your career? Know that career dissatisfaction is directly related to early mortality.

If you know you hate your job, you can attack the problem head-on. The trouble, however, may not be so obvious. You may be suffering from career unrest – a vague, uneasy feeling that you are not accomplishing what you would like in your work life.

What’s wrong? Is it your job, or is it you?

  • Do you have a career problem, or a personal problem?
  • Are you in the wrong career field, or working for the wrong company?
  • Has your industry changed for the worse?
  • Do you see more problems coming later?
  • Are you committed to what you do?

This career satisfaction survey may provide clues to help identify the sources of any unrest or dissatisfaction. A survey cannot provide instant solutions to the complicated, individual, and sometimes long-standing problems of career or job unrest, but it can provide some critical clues.

Explore the five levels in sequence or jump to the level that interests you as you read the sample question. Be aware, too, that your career problem may include dissatisfaction on several levels, or one level spilling over into another one.

Remember, don’t change jobs or careers without sound information. Look first at the level with the greatest problem, or the most problems. Understand yourself and the problems before you make major changes!

Identifying Your Career Satisfaction/Unrest Questionnaire

Mark any statement that is NOT TRUE for you:

I have impact on and control of most decisions affecting my work.
Management provides adequate support for my work.
I like the physical setting of my job.
I like the hours I work.
I like the people I work with.
I am paid on a level equal to my responsibilities.
My co-workers appreciate and respect my work.
My company treats people fairly and ethically.
I communicate well with my co-workers and management.
Management has reasonable expectations and goals for my job.

If you marked three or more statements in this section, you may be suffering from Job Unrest, which can be related specifically to:

  • Work environment
  • Glass ceilings
  • Travel
  • Dramatically increased workload
  • Negative corporate culture
  • Hours
  • Poor management and communication
  • Erratic changes in management
  • Salary
  • Other

Level II: Organizational / Industry Unrest. Mark any statement that is NOT TRUE for you:

I can see myself in the same career 10 years from now.
I have control over my career.
I deal effectively with change and uncertainty.
My career has growth opportunities.
My industry is stable and I can count on keeping a good job.
I have opportunities for growth and learning in my industry.
I am aware of my options and have an alternative career plan.
I ask for what I need to achieve my career goals.
I keep abreast of changes and trends that affect my career.
I know the steps to take to keep my career on track.

Three or more statements checked in this section may indicate Organizational/Industry Unrest/Chaos:

  • Downsizing
  • Limited opportunities
  • Job ambiguity
  • Job loss
  • Lack of stability, security, and growth
  • Survivor’s syndrome

Mark any statement that is NOT TRUE for you:

I like the type of work I do.
I can be my best self on my job.
My talents are fully utilized in my job.
I enjoy my everyday work duties and activities.
My personality matches my career.
My work is building on skills I enjoy using.
My interests relate directly to what I do on the job.
I am using creativity and self-expression on the job.
I am successful and rewarded in my work.
I feel I am in the right career field.

Three or more statements marked in this section may indicate Career Content Unrest.

  • Mismatch of skills and Personality to a job’s duties and activities
  • “Partial Person” syndrome, or leaving your best self at home

Level IV: Career Self Unrest. Mark any statement that is NOT TRUE for you:

My career brings meaning and value to my life.
I selected my career field based on my own aspirations and needs.
I have a focused future purpose and a strategic plan for gaining it.
I am learning new skills that I enjoy utilizing.
My work achievements are meeting my expectations.
My work and personal life are well-balanced.
I am well-informed on activities in my career field.
I keep up on activities in other career fields.
I am satisfied with my present level of work.
I am achieving personal and professional growth.
  • Burnout: treadmill going nowhere
  • Can be triggered by a search for value, meaning, commitment
  • Aspiration/Achievement gap
  • Unfulfilled potential, needs, or expectations
  • Questioning the definition of Success

Level V: Personal Self/Life Unrest. Mark any statement that is NOT TRUE for you:

My personal life is positive and I am a happy person.
I understand myself and my needs.
I am comfortable with who I am at this point.
I have supportive family and/or friends.
I have strong self-esteem and relate to others in a genuine manner.
I handle loss and change effectively.
I learn from my mistakes and failures and move on.
I can take informed, calculated risks based on my own judgment.
I am responsible for my own life and the decisions that affect it.
I see myself as a “survivor” and “thriver” in life.

Three or more statements checked in this section may indicate Personal Self/Life Unrest, which deals with Unresolved Personal Issues, such as:

  • Failures
  • Disappointments or losses
  • Illness
  • Mid-life crisis
  • Regrets
  • Doubts
  • Addictions
  • Pocket of grief
  • Divorce
  • Self-defeating behaviors
  • Death
  • Personality disorders

You may also contact Dr. Harkness for an initial consultation at no charge to discuss your career circumstances, her services, and fees.