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Career Wheel: 10 ways to assess if you’re in the right career

Do you ever have a feeling of dissatisfaction with your career but aren’t sure where to start to improve it? Take some time to assess the various aspects of your career to gain the insight you need to determine if you’re on the right path. The Career Wheel is a way of assessing satisfaction on 10 different dimensions. It’s a tool that gives a quick read on what aspect of your career is less than maximized and then, where to start in making changes that lead to a more rewarding career life.

Consider each of the 10 aspects of career on the wheel. If the very center is 0, and the outer most edge is 10, rate your level of satisfaction on each of the 10 aspects. Draw a line through the level. For example, if compensation is a 4, fill in that slice of the pie at the 4 line. If Life Purpose is well served and you rate it an 8 or 9, fill in that slice of the pie at the 8 line, and so on. Consider these questions on each of the 10 aspects:

Compensation – Are you compensation needs met? Is your compensation package at the going market rate?

Life Purpose – Do you have a nagging sense that there’s something else you should be doing? Is your career track aligned with your overall sense of life purpose? What is your life’s work, and is it being expressed?

Interests – Is your daily work engaging? Are the problems you solve each day intriguing? Are you interested in your product?

Personal and Family needs – Does your current situation offer you work/life balance? Does it allow for family responsibilities? Did you choose your path yourself, or out of family obligation or pressure?

Values – Does your job align with your personal values? Are you able to work in an environment that honors your values?

Education – Do you have the education you need to succeed in your current position? Are there degrees, certifications, licenses that you need to succeed?

Personality and Natural strengths – Are you able to maximize your natural aptitudes, strengths, and personality traits?

Goals – Can you achieve your long and short-term life goals at this job?

Opportunity or challenge – Does your current job offer you the opportunity to succeed? Do you feel challenged and engaged in your product? Are there avenues to learn skills and gain knowledge in your profession?

Recognition – Are you receiving the recognition from your peers and supervisors that you deserve? Does your work get recognized by those who matter in your organization?

Now that you’ve rated each of the 10 categories against your job, take a look at the result. Can you see areas of satisfaction or areas that need your attention for improvement? Sometimes making small adjustments to your daily work can make all the difference. For example, if you ranked Recognition with a low score, are there some ways you can gain more recognition at work? Would volunteering to take on a new project improve your experience for Opportunity in your profession?

The Career Wheel is a quick tool to analyze your current work situation and determine if you’re in the right place. Also, if you are considering a job change, the Career Wheel will help analyze job options and ensure your greatest satisfaction. If you are considering a comprehensive career change, use the Career Wheel to determine if this new direction offers you the compensation, life purpose, challenge, opportunity, and so on, for success and satisfaction. A professional career coach can help you not only determine levels of career satisfaction highlighted by the Career Wheel, but importantly, create a career plan for your life-long satisfaction.

About the author Marsha Warner, SPHR,, is a career management counselor, coach and consultant. A dynamic speaker and unconditionally supportive coach, Marsha helps people find the work they were meant to have through comprehensive assessments, individual counseling, and active coaching. To find out more about how she can help you with your career, call: 503-697-1505

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