Do you think a happy career is possible? According to a 2014 Gallup poll, approximately “51% of US employees were not engaged at work, and 17.5% were actively disengaged,” which basically means that a large percentage of people are unhappy on the job.
People hate their jobs for various reasons. Some are unsatisfied with their pay, feel the grass is greener on the other side, or they don’t feel appreciated by their employers. And unfortunately, many of these workers never do anything about the situation. They’re grateful for their jobs, so they stick it out despite being miserable.
It might seem elusive, but career happiness is achievable. To get here, you have to believe you deserve better. Here are five commandments to feel happier on the job.
1. Don’t be afraid to pursue another path
If you’ve been with the same employer or in the same field for a while, a career switch can be intimidating, and you might question your ability to handle a new role. But if you’re unhappy with your current career, you’re not going to miraculously wake up one morning satisfied. Many of us spend a minimum 40 hours a week at work, and our jobs are a big part of our lives. So if you’re unhappy on the job, you might be unhappy in life.
Maybe you watched your parents or grandparents work for the same employer for 30 years before retiring. And because of this, you have a sense of loyalty to your employer and feel guilty about leaving. However, the days of staying with one employer are gone, and nowadays it’s not unusual for employees to have multiple jobs throughout their career.
The point is simple: If you’re unhappy in your field or with your employer, pursuing a satisfying career might be your ticket to happiness. Find out what makes you happy and go after it.
2. Seek jobs that help you reach your long-term goals
There’s nothing worse than realizing you’re in a dead end job, especially in your 30s or 40s. The good new is that it’s never too late to make a change. But it isn’t enough to choose another career, you need to find the path that’ll get you closer to your long-term goals. If you hate your job, switching employers and accepting a role doing the exact same thing may not bring happiness.
Do a little soul searching, reflect on where you want to be in the next five or 10 years, and then seek opportunities where you can grow as an employee and prove your value. This may mean going back to school to get another degree like an MBA in California or taking continuing education courses to improve your skillset.
3. Take control of your work-life balance
I’ve spoken to people who feel a work-life balance doesn’t exist. I, on the other hand, feel it can exist, but only if we take control and prioritize our time.
Some employers don’t care about your life outside the office. And sometimes, the more a job pays, the more of your time and energy it demands. You have a choice. You can give up a work-life balance for the almighty dollar, or you can make career decisions that provide long-term happiness and satisfaction.
If your life revolves around work and you need a change, talk with your employer and compromise. The sad reality is that striking a work-life balance may require looking for another opportunity. You might have to step down from your position and take a pay cut. Only you can decide whether peace of mind is worth it.Tip #4 for a #happycareer---> Stop comparing yourself to others!Click To Tweet
4. Stop comparing yourself to others
When you see others advancing the corporate ladder and getting ahead, it’s easy to compare your efforts with theirs. You may wonder why you aren’t progressing and getting promotions. Self-reflection can be positive, as it helps you assess your weaknesses and identify areas where you need to improve. But if you’re not careful, comparing yourself to others and becoming jealous may contribute to career unhappiness. This attitude might trigger self-doubt, lower self-esteem and you could begin to feel inferior.
Remember that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Although someone may receive a promotion and a salary increase, you don’t know the sacrifices they made to advance their career. And more importantly, you don’t know if they’re truly happy. Stop worrying about others and focus on your own success. The energy it takes to be envious can be put toward improving your skills.
5. Know your industry
Some people lack career satisfaction because they lack job security. Granted, there’s no such thing as true security. Even if you’re a good worker and you’ve been with an employer long-term, it only takes one economic downturn to receive a pink slip. But you can improve your sense of security. This starts with knowing your industry. If you feel your industry is dying, now’s the time to learn new skills and get out before it’s too late. Or maybe there has been recent developments in your industry. If so, hone your skills to remain employable. Stay ahead of the curve and improve your chances of always having a job.
So, how happy are you with your career? Some people feel their situation could be better, and maybe you’re one of them. If so, come up with a plan that’ll take you in the right direction. If you can pinpoint what you need to achieve career satisfaction, you’ll be happy inside and outside the office.
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