You find yourself being frustrated with your job every day. Springing out of bed in the morning in anticipation of a great day is something from the distant past. You have regrets about a career road not taken. Here are four steps to choosing the right career.

Create a Work Diary

Zoe B in her Simple Life Strategies blog suggests making a list of each task you do at your job for two weeks. Rate each task one through ten. At the end of two weeks you should have an accurate representation of your job and how well you like it and how well you do it. Do this to assess whether this career is the problem, or perhaps this company, this group of co-workers or this product is the issue. You could need to change jobs not careers.

Good and Passionate

You are good at several things. You are passionate about several things. Where good and passionate meet is where you should look for a job. Shannon Gausepohl of Business News Daily says to ask yourself these questions: What do you enjoy doing? What skills do you use when doing the enjoyable thing? What are you good at? What means a lot to you? What do others admire about you and why? What things do you do better than others?

Background and Personality

You have education, experience and certain skills. You also have certain character traits, interests and values. Like with good and passionate, where your personality and background intersect is where you should look for a career. What is the most important to you in a career? Intellectual stimulation? Interpersonal interaction? Opportunity for advancement? Work environment? Job security? Level of responsibility? Ranking these in order of importance will clarify what you are looking for.

Compensation and Benefits

Once you’ve matched what you can do with what you want to do, then the other more quantifiable aspects to a job will fall into place. If you love your job, you will perform better and your compensation will follow. Benefits like medical, dental, 401K match and tuition reimbursement can be up to 30% of your total compensation. Review them carefully. Make sure the location fits you and your family and the commute it not too long and not too stressful.

Before accepting any job offer ask yourself, Do I actually want to work here? Do I like my boss, my co-workers, this company and their values? Will this job take me to where I want to be in ten years? It doesn’t have to be perfect, but many of those questions require a resounding YES for you to be happy.

Interested in a career in pharmaceutical commercial analytics? Contact Smith Hanley Associates Executive Recruiter, Eda Zullo, at 203.319-4309 or


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