I’ve been in the workforce for two years, been at three different companies during that time period, and I’m 24 years old. Whether you are relatively new to working full-time or you’ve been in the workforce for 20+ years, it is critical to find a career that aligns with your goals and your values.
Why? So you can thrive in your job and outside of your job.
The majority of Americans are working 44 hours per week, equating to 8.8 hours each day, yet only 13% of people report they actually like the work they’re doing. When 44 hours out of 168 total hours in a week are spent working at our jobs, it would be unrealistic to think that our jobs do not affect other areas of our lives in a positive or negative way such as family, friendships, exercise, eating, and overall mental health.
The majority of Americans are working 44 hours per week, equating to 8.8 hours each day, yet only 13% of people report they actually like the work they’re doing.
So if you’re in that 87% that is not satisfied with their job, here’s how you can scope out why you’re not satisfied and steps on how to not end up in the same unsatisfying situation again.
Step One: What does a successful career look like to you?
Get ready, I’m about to blast you with wisdom and knowledge. Seriously, hold that coffee mug tight. Success looks and feels different for everyone. One element of success for me in my career is work life balance. I have goals outside of my 9-5 and if I’m working 70+ hours a week for XYZ company, I’ll struggle to reach my other goals, which will create unbalance.
Write down at least 3 elements that make for a successful career for you.
Examples: Working with a non-profit, working remotely, high salary/commissions, working directly with clients, amazing healthcare benefits, working at a company that promotes internally.
Step Two: What setting do you thrive in? What settings do you not do so well in?
- Do you prefer to work on a team everyday or do you prefer to work autonomously?
- Do you like going to an office Monday-Friday or do you like working remotely?
- Do you like working with a particular age group? / Do you think you’d benefit from working with a different age group or demographic?
Step Three: Write down what you love to do
Does what you just wrote down align with what you’re doing at your current job? Or do you think another job out there (there are millions!!!) could include more of what you love to do?
Here’s an example for you:
I absolutely love writing for this blog and strategizing new content ideas. My previous job allowed me to write, but lacked creativity and I had close to 0% interest in the industry. Now I’m in a role where I can write, provide suggestions to clients, review & edit content, strategize around a multitude of data points (trending topics, target audience, target size, client needs, etc), and speak with clients daily!
Step Four: On one side of the paper, write down the skills you have today and on the opposing side, write down the skills you’d like to improve upon
If you’re sitting there thinking, “shit… what are my dang skills??” you’re not alone. Everyone struggles with this question because we tend to doubt our innate skills and abilities. However, I promise you can do MANY things well!! That’s literally the definition of skill: The ability to do something well; expertise.
On the flip side of what I said above, recognize areas of improvement and areas of interest and find that in your next job. If you love data, but you kinda suck at Excel, find a job where you use Excel on a daily basis! On top of that, utilize the tools out there already to help you capitalize on your skills and interests such as LinkedIn Learning.
Step Five: Begin to search for three jobs that match all four criteria above
The foundation has been laid and you got this. Stop thinking about the possibility of a new job and get out there and find one!