And by Career Happy, I mean, “Skipping to the Shower on Mondays” Happy? On a scale of 1 to 10, let’s call that a 10.
Or are your Sundays an exercise in the knot in your stomach building, a sense of dread creeping over your entire being, and constant checking for—and hoping you will be successful in finding—symptoms of some random illness that will keep you from showing up at work the next day? Let’s call that a 1.
If you are like most, you live somewhere between the two extremes.
I am a fan of Career Happiness for all. Yes, even you. Even if you think you can’t have it or you don’t deserve it, I am here to tell you that you can and you do. Is it easy? Of course not, but neither is being miserable, or less than what you are capable of 40+ hours a week. Pick your poison. We all know people who truly enjoy wallowing in their own misery, blaming others for every life circumstance, and taking no responsibility for their own happiness. I call those people the “yesbutters”—they already have all of the answers and all of the reasons that whatever you are about to suggest won’t work. If that is you, you can stop reading now and move on.
Most likely, you really want to be truly fulfilled in your career, and yes, to Skip to the Shower on Monday mornings. Does any of the following sound familiar?
- I don’t know what I want to do, but I know it’s not this.
- I don’t know what I want to do/be when I grow up.
- I know (or think I know) what I want to do, but I don’t know how to get it, or if anyone will even hire me to do it!
- My career is going pretty well right now, but I know that I am not going to be satisfied doing the same thing in (a year, 5 years, 10 years) I really want to be strategic and proactive about my next steps.
If even one of those statements resonates with you, yay! You have come to the right place, so pat yourself on the back for your brilliance!
Each month, I will attempt to inspire you, educate you and give you new ideas and tools you can use to become Career Happier. And it will all be based on my formula for Career Happiness:
Doing what you like to do + what you are good at + what you can get paid to do + in a place and a way you can be successful.
Because all four pieces must be present for true career happiness to exist, I think you can start to see how difficult it can be to get it and keep it. Now add your ever-changing and probably complex personal life and related needs to the mix. Yikes.
We crave the familiar and the predictable—and sometimes the job we have gives that to us in a way that out personal lives don’t. Although it may seem easier to just stick with the job or career you have, our new economy and the constant turbulence—downsizing, reorganizing and shifting direction in virtually every industry—may make sticking with your professional status quo impossible.
Your career is yours to drive—that is why it is called your career. Duh. Yet, if you are like most, you climb into the passenger’s seat and hope for the best. Think you are already firmly belted into the driver’s seat? If so, can you say yes to both of these questions?
- I have a next step in my career that I have identified and am consistently making progress toward.
- If my current job went away tomorrow, I am confident that I could be ready to initiate a well thought out, planful job search within a week. In other words, I would not freak out because my resume is up to date, and I have an active network.
If you can say yes to both of those, congrats! But if not, I suggest that you check back here every month so that the Career Happy train doesn’t leave the station without you.
Julie Bauke is the President of The Bauke Group. Join the Career Happy Nation at www.thebaukegroup.com.
Photo (Flickr CC) by Dave Shafer