January 27th, 2014
Finding Career Happiness
Let’s begin by asking the obvious question – what is happiness? Some may say that it’s emotional; others may say that it’s physical, biological or psychological. It could take the form of a beautiful sunrise, a hug from a loved one or a project well done. Or it could be all of these things. When it comes right down to it, the real definition of happiness is determined by you and what makes you tick.
We spend an average of 40 hours a week for 40+ years working in a job and creating a career for ourselves. What works for you may not work for someone else and vice versa. What’s important is spending those years aligning with what makes you happy.
In the digital age, we are both granted with and burdened by a multitude of options. Whether you’re in the advent of your career, in the midst of honing your craft, or an experienced professional, it’s not always easy to find the perfect job or the perfect path. This could have to do with the jobs that we choose – or, maybe it’s the “perfect” part getting in the way?
Do you remember your first job? Maybe it was scooping ice cream (mine was), flipping burgers, lifting boxes or doing other such first-timer gigs. Did you enjoy it? Chances are you did. Or maybe you didn’t, because flipping burgers just wasn’t your calling. But, if you did – why do you think you loved it? Maybe you enjoyed making your own money and having some independence. Or maybe you were just happy to have a job. Even more, maybe that first job helped you figure out what you wanted to do with your life, or what you didn’t want to do? Either way, you probably learned a few good lessons – like how to layer three scoops of ice cream while singing and wearing a silly hat.
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The point is you didn’t have to be in your dream job to enjoy yourself, to learn a few things and to take pride in what you were doing. It was, and still is all about perspective. No matter what your role, there are going to be struggles. There are going to be times when you’re bored with your job, you’re challenged by your job or you question why you even decided to take the job. But those aren’t necessarily setbacks. Finding short-term happiness in your job and long-term happiness in your career is all in your mindset. Whether you’re content in your current position or thinking about a career change, here are a few tips to discovering happiness in your 9-5:
Have a goal
Where do you want to go from here? How can you get there? Know your Point B and outline the steps to reach your destination. See your job as more than just a pay check, but a tool to help lead you in the right direction.
Assess your strengths and weaknesses
What are you good at? What do you enjoy doing? Take a step back and look at how your strengths correspond with your current role. Or, if you’re not currently working, try to align your job search with your strong points. Many people struggle with self-assessment and figuring out where their strengths lay – see our blog post for Strengths Assessment tips.
Take advantage of opportunities to learn
Big projects coming up? Volunteer to help. Webinars in your industry? Sign up. Does your coworker excel at excel? Ask for tips, take classes. Essentially, don’t just look at your job as a list of roles and responsibilities, but more as a chance to grow and develop and find out what you’re good at.
Show that you take pride in what you do. Work hard and work well. Own your projects, try to think of more efficient ways to do things and go above and beyond the call of duty. When you do something well, pat yourself on the back and try to do even better next time. Make yourself invaluable.
Career happiness is all about perspective. Contact your local Ajilon Professional Staffing office today and let us help find the right job for you!