I am right in the middle of a research project that I could not seem to finish.Very soon, I’ll be renewing my contract with the institution I’m presently working for but I’m suddenly undecided. I am a planner. I have designed my career path such that in 10 years time I will have the best of family life and career. I am definitely not at a career crossroads but I do have some major decisions to take. All of my considerations seem to take on a numerical form—time, finances, experience, knowledge. But like in my unfinished research, the numbers just stopped making sense.
I’ve been trying to read up on career stuff online trying to find a label to where I am exactly at this point in my career. No, this is not a career change. There’s only one field I’d want to be in and that’s already where I am now. I wouldn’t call this a move towards career advancement either because the opportunities that are now opening up for me are more or less on the same scale.
For the lack of an existing jargon, I would like to describe my present state as a “career doubt”. I feel that I am beginning to question my capacities and my utility in an organization. I am the type of person who is well aware of my strong points but similarly conscious of my weak points. And when there are circumstances that seem to bring my weaknesses to the surface, I am left at a standstill.
I once read somewhere that success is a reward for those willing to work hard and take calculated risks. I am willing to work hard but I am now skeptical about my calculations. Given my limitations, will I learn fast enough to be able to cope with the demands of my work? Will such an intense adjustment and new learning be valuable for me in the future? Is it worth investing my time exploring new territory or should I stay within the limits of my comfort zone and improve on where I’m already good at?
I wonder if all these are just manifestations of the little career insecurities I have inside of me. I wonder if other people have them also? If shooing them away is as easy as pressing the Esc button, I might not have a problem at all.