Does your job make you happy? – Part 2

This is a part 2 of “Does your job make you happy?” (Read part 1 here)

2020 has caused many to reflect on their lives and start asking themselves questions like, “Does my job make me happy?” “Do I want to stay in this job for the rest of my career?” Life has enough problems, why should my work add more stress?

Read on for additional questions to consider:

What has the past taught you to avoid?

As we gain life experience, we learn what we like and what is a poor fit for us. Consider what each of your previous jobs has taught you.

  • What did you enjoy most and the least?
  • What about your bosses’ leadership did you find admirable and what things discouraged you?
  • What about the culture did you like?
  • What challenged you to excel?
  • What was your biggest accomplishment?
  • What were my favorite job responsibilities and what were my most dreaded?

Reflecting can help you clarify why a particular job was or was not a good fit. If you can find a negative theme around a certain type of job or career it may be an indication that you should investigate a career change. There could be opportunities that you are missing out on that would be a better fit.

What are your non-negotiables?

  • Are you willing to relocate?
  • Would you be willing to work more than 50 hours per week?
  • How much responsibility are you comfortable with?
  • Can you work independently, or do you need a team?
  • Do you need flexible work hours?
  • How important is professional development?

These are but a few examples to highlight the importance of sticking to your list. You do not want to settle for something that will cause you to start looking for another job in a few months.

Are there people you could talk to that are currently doing jobs you are interested in?
Use your connections, friends, family, co-workers. Meet people for lunch who have jobs you find interesting. We all tend to romanticize certain careers and it is helpful to know as many real-world details as possible. Seek to understand not just the good things, but also the challenges.

For instance, having a job where you travel a lot might sound fun, but it could negatively impact your relationships with family and friends. Never underestimate how helpful it can be to talk about your ideas with others. They often will give you feedback that you had not thought of or insight about who you are, that you have overlooked.

What certifications or education might you need?
Most of the time a change includes additional training or certifications. Not always because of job qualifications but because you need to explore. By exploring different skill sets and training you may find a passion for programming, technical writing, or project management. Outside of discovery, it is attractive to future employers to see that you are someone who wants to continue to grow and learn.

The new year is a great opportunity to reflect upon what you really want from your career. Since your career encompasses more hours than any other part of your life, it is important that you enjoy what you do. The stress that comes from a poor fit can take great tolls on you emotionally and physically. In the end, you have to live with your decisions, so don’t just rely on others to tell you what you should do.  Only you know which opportunities will excite you, and which risks you can afford to take to achieve these opportunities. The new year is here! Take a chance and make things better this year!

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