You want a job that makes you happy.
You might be sitting at your desk, asking “Is this it?” “Is this the best career for me?” “Because I’m not super happy and sort want to strangle my cubicle-mate.”
First off, slowly back away from the cubicle and realize that you need to get real with yourself if you want a job that will make you happy. Job satisfaction is comprised of a lot of factors but for you to be truly happy at work, you need to focus on yourself - because your personal connection to the work is where the happy comes from.
So, where do you start? In order to find a job that makes you happy you need to ask yourself ONE tough question… five times. Seriously.
1. If you are not currently happy at your job, you need to ask WHY. This is where you get to leave the stuff you don’t like behind you. It goes like this:
“I don’t like my job because I hate my boss.”
WHY do I hate my boss?
WHY is she demanding?
“She acts like I don’t know how to do my job.”
WHY does she act like that?
“She is stressed all the time.”
“There are only two of us to do all the work.”
“It’s a small company”
Based on all that - you may need to find yourself a larger company that allows you some trust and autonomy to do your job. Once you do this for the multitude of reasons you’re currently unhappy - a picture should start to emerge of the type of job/company/environment that will allow you a bit more job satisfaction.
2. Ok, now that you know why you’re unhappy you need to investigate WHY, other than paycheck, do you want to work? We all need to pay the landlord, but other than that, WHY do you want to work?
“I want to have sense of purpose.”
“I want to feel fulfilled at work.”
“I need to know that what I do matters.”
“Because otherwise I’m just wasting my life.”
“Unless you’re doing good there’s no point to it.”
“Doing good is the whole purpose of life.”
You might need to find yourself a job or company that gives back in a big way! This may mean a gig in a small non-profit or a massive corporation with a charitable foundation you can work for, or a midsize company with lots of volunteer days.
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3. The next step is to ask yourself what abilities, interests and skills make you feel good/strong/engaged? Keep in mind that just because you’re good at something you don’t have to do it for a living. I mean, I’m great at laundry, but I’m not about to open a Dry Cleaners.
So, what interests do you have?:
“I’m interested in art.”
“It’s amazing to see all the ways someone can express themselves.”
“It really shows just how unique we all are.”
“I’m good at organization.”
“I just ‘get’ how to keep things straight so they’re easily accessed”
“My brain just sees things in a logical, mathematical way.”
Who knows, maybe an operations position in an art gallery would knock your socks off! Maybe a solo biz where you organize closets and show people how to dress creatively with items they already own could be your jam.
4. Alrighty, now how do you work? Under what conditions do you work best? Do you have a boss and are part of team or are you a solo-preneur? Do you go to an office, work from home, or the beach? How many hours do you put in and how much money are you making? Basically… how do you want to live life? WHY?
“I prefer to work in an air-conditioned office downtown.” WHY?
“I like the structure of having somewhere to go.”
“Otherwise I’d never put on pants”
“I really like being at home, on my couch, with my dog and being comfortable so going to an office makes me act like a real human.”
“Because I’d happily work in my underwear with Judge Judy on for background noise while eating PB&J everyday if I didn’t have to get dressed”
“Because that’s what makes me happy!”
Just sayin…. Maybe you really do want a gig that let’s you telecommute. Just put on a shirt for those video conference calls ok?
5. Your last big question is really... ‘So what?’ This is where it all comes together. Go back through your answers to 1- 4 and pull out what feels the MOST important to you. Now hit those with WHY!
I want to work part-time: WHY? So you can surf in the mornings? Awesome brah.
I prefer to work on my own: WHY? So you can be in charge? Get it girl.
I love the social media aspects of my job: WHY? It’s engaging and fun. You betcha!
I want to help women with my work: WHY? The wage gap needs to go. AMEN!
How does a remote social-media strategist for small businesses sound? Boom. Done. Now go find yourself some job happiness.
It really is about digging deep and being honest with yourself. I know you can do it.
Yours in career goodness,