How To Find Career Happiness
There aren't many 'days' that I buy into. Valentine's Day, Mother's Day...as much as I might get a nice bunch of flowers and a cup of tea in bed, they're really only there for commercial profit. International Happiness Day is different. There's no monetary agenda behind the day. It's there to hightlight and celebrate happiness and well-being and March 20th is the day decidated to all things happiness! One important aspect of well-being and happiness, which I am particularly interested in is career happiness. Let's face it, if we're going to spend 90,000 hours over our lifetime working, it'd be a good idea to enjoy it. The sad fact is that so many people don't actually enjoy what they do, which has a direct impact on their overall mental wellbeing. I'm determined to do my little bit and help as many people as I can to find their right career path, whether that's though 1-to-1 coaching or just rasing people's awareness to alternative options for them, via blogs and my social media.
On International Happiness Day, here are my suggestions to ensure you find career happiness.
Identify your values: Your core values are your North star in my opinon. They're the things that guide us in the right direction or tell us when we're going down an incorrect path. Not just in our career, but in life in general. It's worth noting that your values could be different in different areas of your life, so it's a good idea to separate your career values from your relationship values etc. Whatever situation you find yourself in, it's always good to go back to your top 5 values and if the situation you find yourself in isn't aligned with your values, you need to make some changes. For example, if 'connection' was one of my core values (it is by the way), and I was working in a job which didn't entail much speaking to other people - perhaps a science lab - I would pretty much know that I wasn't in the the right job. Or if 'variety' was a core career value, (again it is for me), but I was doing repetitive tasks day in, day out, I would know that I wasn't in alignment with my values. Start to notice what values are important to you, and each time you think of one, write it on your list. Get your top 10 career values, and whittle it down to your top 5 - go with your gut, then proirtise them from 1 to 5. Once you have these, you can then look at your current job and see if it fulfills these values. They're also helpful when looking at future job roles.
Identify your passions: Passions can be hobbies, like biking, interior design or cooking, but they can also be other things, like nature or envioronmental issues. They have a habit of overlapping with values or at least being in alignment with them. For some, they'll be easy to collate, for others, you might need to give yourself a few weeks and just notice the things that spark joy in your every day life. Knowing what you enjoy doing can help you find a career that aligns with your passions. The ideal is to marry your skillset together with what you love in life.
Assess your skills and strengths: Understanding your skills and strengths can help you find a career that utilises them. Take a skills assessment (loads online) or reflect on your past experiences to identify your strengths and how they can be applied to your career. Ask yourself questions like,
What do you get praised for?
What advantages do you have that others don't have (for example, skills, certifications, education, or connections)?
What do other people (and your boss/friends/ family see as your strengths? Which of your achievements are you most proud of?
Explore different careers: Now that you're more aware of what your values, passions and strengths are, research different careers that align with all of these things. Don't worry too much at this peoint about finding 'the right' job. This is the brainstorming bit, to get your thought process limbered up a bit and for it to not become so fixed. Look for information about job responsibilities, required education and training, salary, and job outlook. Consider speaking with people in those fields to gain more insight.
Try new things: Consider taking on a new project or volunteering in a different field to gain experience and explore different careers. This can help you determine if a career is a good fit for you and provide valuable skills and experience.
Prioritise work-life balance: One of the most important of all, especially in this day and age where burnout is so common. Finding a career that allows for a healthy work-life balance will contribute to overall happiness. Consider factors such as flexibility, holiday allowance, and work hours when exploring career options.
In conclusion, finding career happiness is an important aspect of overall well-being. By identifying your values, passions, skills, and strengths, exploring different careers, setting career goals, seeking support, and prioritising work-life balance, you can find a career that brings you happiness and fulfillment. Happy International Happiness Day!