"Never give advice unless asked."
I have learned not to give out any advice unless someone asks for it.
But such restraint can be difficult when it comes to your own children.
Recently I've given my sons some time-tested advice about their careers. (Not sure if it was asked for or not.)
I think these nuggets make so much sense that I want them around when my grandchildren get launched on their own career tracks. (Right now, my oldest granddaughter is 3.) So given that I'm still on this planet, here's what I will tell them to ask themselves.
First of all: Are you respected? Do your peers, managers and comrades appreciate what you bring to your job? It could be your knowledge, creativity, self-discipline, work ethic, or a sense of humor. Whatever it is, they must recognize your contribution in some form or manner that makes sense to you.
Second question: Are you learning? In other words, are you increasing your knowledge in your field of expertise? Do you get the opportunity to learn from other people, organizations or subject matter experts?
Third and final question: Are you having fun? Do you find yourself engaged in your work? Are you enjoying the tasks assigned to you? I think this can best be determined if at the end of your work day, you're smiling and saying to yourself, I really love this work and am lucky to be doing what I'm doing.
Scoring themselves on these three questions is a no-brainer. If they cannot answer an affirmative and convincing "yes" to each question, it's time for them to look for another job. Or seek another career.
Granted not everyone has the ability to just get up and quit their jobs. To you, I would advise learning a new marketable skill, researching areas of employment or finding a trusted friend or mentor to help guide and support you as you work toward finding a new career path.
The world is full of opportunities where you can be respected, learn and have fun along the way. Those qualities will always be available to you, whether working for yourself or for someone else.
I will close out my career chat with my grandchildren by reminding them of a favorite quote of mine by Nelson Mandela. "There is no passion to be found in a life that is less than the one you're capable of living."