We’re programmed to strive for more or better. If we remain static in a job, we can feel as though we’re not reaching our potential. Or, if we’re called to move up in a career, the expectation may be that a higher-paying, higher-level leadership position is linked to greater personal reward, financial freedom and an overall better quality of life, which isn’t always true.
Are you questioning whether or not your current job or career path is right for you? The following may help guide your quest for professional contentment and personal success.
Explore and Accept Who You Are
Sure, we’d all like a lawyer or CEO salary and the accompanying perks. But not everyone possesses what it takes to succeed in these positions — and that’s OK. Do you envy your neighbor’s high standard of living? Are you willing to give what it takes to get there? For some, the answer is no. There’s nothing wrong with lacking ambition to climb the corporate ladder or break the glass ceiling if where you are is satisfying for you. Perhaps you’re at the top, but lacking a healthy work-life balance. You discover you’d actually like a demotion to spend less time working and more time with family. Whatever your position, be true to yourself — then decide to be OK with it.
Reevaluate Your Dream
Sometimes, the grass truly isn’t greener on the other side — no matter how freshly-mowed, green and lush that you imagine it to be. Big dreams require big risk and not every situation can offer a safety net if you fall. You may have fantasized about achieving your dream for years, like owning your own business. You may endure struggles, setbacks and eventually a depleted savings account and unemployment. How hard are you willing to repeatedly try and fail? Are you only in love with the imagined result? Take a virtual test drive, recommends Tim Maurer, a financial contributor for Forbes, and “research ad nauseam online.” Speak with someone who’s failed, and succeeded, while chasing their dream. Calculate the costs. Dig deep into the less-attractive elements of a major career change. You may discover a new appreciation for your current employment situation without creating a life-changing disaster.
Remember Your “Why”
There are bound to be moments when you feel fed up. You may even hate your job, right along with your industry, boss and co-workers. Change may be the answer, but before visualizing how you plan to quit, remember why you started. Why did you apply to this job? Why did you accept it? And why is that enthusiasm no longer there? Think beyond “is my work making me happy?” and explore all aspects of how any job suits your lifestyle. Marty Nemko,
Ph.D., career coach and Psychology Today contributor, identifies career non-negotiables that employees may overlook once they want to look for a new job or re-career. These include job security, a short commute, compatible co-workers or a boss whom you respect. If major non-negotiables are met, you can work on solving problems, like pursuing external entrepreneurial endeavors for extra income through companies such as Amway or LuLaRoe, or meeting with you boss for professional development opportunities. You may possibly re-connect with your job by remembering why you started, solving problems and appreciating any non-negotiables that you currently have.