7 Steps to Evaluating Your Level of Career Happiness
Career happiness and fulfillment is something we all strive for. However, it can often feel elusive, even confusing.
I know this all too well. You, too?
After more than 20 years in the corporate world, I took the plunge in 2014 to start my own recruiting business. It’s been one of the most exhilarating and terrifying ventures of my life. No regrets.
That said, one of the principles of entrepreneurship I had not previously understood was the importance of not only working “in” my business, but working “on” my business.
It’s the same with your career …
We’re so busy working in our career – when do we have time to work on our career in genuine, strategic terms?
We have to make the time. Here’s how:
Step 1: Start by asking: “Am I happy and fulfilled? If the answer is yes, perhaps you’re right on track. However, could there be more?
Step 2: Consider what career happiness and fulfillment mean to you. Is it about money? The role? The company? The team? Some combination of work / life balance? Flexibility? How valued you are as an employee? Recognition? The opportunity to lead? None or all of the above?
Step 3: Ask yourself if you’re being strategic about your future. Think back to the last time you had a frank, strategic discussion with your manager or mentor regarding your career. More importantly, your future. What did it bring up? If you have, how did you feel as you left the conversation? Confident? Reassured? Or…something else? When you got home, did you feel the same way? A week or so later? Or were there lingering questions?
Step 4: Develop an awareness of how discussing the future makes you feel. Are you optimistic? Do you feel a sense of resistance when the subject is broached? What emotions do you associate with thinking about and discussing your future?
Step 5: Determine the level of risk inherent in your current position. How much trust and transparency exists between you and your current employer? Has open, proactive communication been the norm or something else? Here in California, we are an “at-will” state. Employment can be terminated at any time by either party. So what’s the risk? What is risk to you?
Step 6: Stay up to date on current market conditions for your profession. When was the last time you surveyed the market? How tuned do you feel to present market conditions? What are the key indicators taking place within your industry? Geography? Profession? Are you in a high or low demand field? What’s the current unemployment rate for professionals in your industry and geography?
Step 7: Ask again, “Am I really happy and fulfilled? Or is there, perhaps, something even better out there for me? What would represent a compelling meaningful change to you? What would that look like?
So I leave you, for now, to ponder these questions. If this post invited your attention, thank you. I welcome your comments and any experiences you’d like to share.