Six signs you are in the right job or career
As a coach, consultant and mentor I regularly come in contact with fantastic people. It’s really one of the main reasons I chose the work I do. The complexity and similarity in humans is extraordinary. Having the privilege to sit front row while someone makes a breakthrough, recovers from past damage, plans a future success, launches a business or starts a new career is awesome! In the last 6–12 months I’ve found myself working with more and more clients who seem to be unhappy in their job, career or industry. They are questioning themselves and their purpose, while looking for the onramp to the success and happiness highway.
1. The feeling of certainty or comfort.
I’ve noticed over the years that everyone I work with has a need for a particular level of certainty in their life. It’s our need to feel in control and to know what’s coming next so we can feel secure. It’s the need for basic comfort, the need to avoid pain and stress, and also to create pleasure. Our need for certainty is a survival mechanism. It affects how much risk we’re willing to take in life — in our jobs, in our investments, and in our relationships. The higher the need for certainty, the less risk you’ll be willing to take or emotionally bear. By the way, this is where your real “risk tolerance” comes from. If you are in the right job or career you will have a strong sense of comfort and certainty. Don’t get me wrong, there will be times of uncertainty and discomfort. That happens but the role won’t be saturated in it to the point where you are in constant suffering.
2. A healthy variety.
Let me ask you a question: Do you like surprises? If you answered “yes,” you’re kidding yourself! You like the surprises you want. The ones you don’t want, you call problems! But you still need them to put some muscle in your life. You can’t grow muscle — or character — unless you have something to push back against. The need for variety is higher for someone who loves change.
For some people like me this means a ton of change on a frequent basis. I love a new adventure and not knowing what the heck is going to happen next. BUT, for others this type of environment is hell. Finding your balance is what’s important. If you are in a role that allows you the proper amount of variety to feel challenged without causing you continuous stress or dread then you are in the right role.
3. The knowledge that you matter
We all need to feel important, special, unique, or needed. So how do some of us get significance? You can get it by earning billions of dollars or collecting academic degrees — distinguishing yourself with a master’s or a PhD. You can build a giant Twitter following, or you can go on The Bachelor, or become the next Real Housewife of Orange County. Some do it by putting tattoos and piercings all over themselves and in places we don’t want to know about. You can get significance by having more or bigger problems than anybody else. “You think your kids are bad, take mine for a day!” Of course, you can also get it by being more spiritual or religious (or pretending to be).
The question for this article is does the work you do give you a strong sense of significance? We all want to feel like what we do matters. If we don’t it leaves us in a very frustrated and apathetic space. It eventually causes resentment. The key is to either reframe your role to see what you are doing as significant or to accept that maybe you need to find something else if this need is super important to you. If you are in the right role you will have a very strong feeling and acknowledgment from yourself that your work makes a huge difference in people’s lives and the world.
The fourth basic need is Love and Connection. Love is the oxygen of life; it’s what we all want and need most. When we love completely we feel alive, but when we lose love, the pain is so great that most people settle on connection, the crumbs of love. You can get that sense of connection or love through intimacy, or friendship, or prayer, or walking in nature. If nothing else works, you can get a dog. People who are high in this area need a lot of collaboration and true connection in what they do.
If you are a person who has a strong need for connection ask yourself this. Do you love your clients? Do you love the people you work with? Do you get to collaborate often? Are you part of a team? These are extremely important to your overall contentment and happiness. If your job awards you the proper amount of collaboration or connection to others, you are in the right place!
5. The ability to grow regularly.
If you’re not growing, you’re dying. Many people have a strong need to feel like they are growing. If a relationship is not growing, if a business is not growing, if you’re not growing, it doesn’t matter how much money you have in the bank, how many friends you have, how many people love you — you’re not going to experience real fulfillment. And the reason we grow, I believe, is so we have something of value to give.
Growth can be a number of things to people. It could be learning. It could be making more sales, or climbing the corporate ladder. It’s important to get clear on what growth means to you and then ensure your role allows for it in the way you need it. I can tell you this, growth is one of the HIGHER needs we look at. For a very high percentage of people this ranks in the top two. If your career has a strong growth pattern or a clear path for your growth then you are in a good lane.
6. A foot print of contribution.
Corny as it may sound, the secret to living is giving. Life’s not about me; it’s about we. Think about it, what’s the first thing you do when you get good or exciting news? You call somebody you love and share it. Sharing enhances everything you experience.
Life is really about creating meaning. And meaning does not come from what you get, it comes from what you give. Ultimately, it’s not what you get that will make you happy long term, but rather who you become and what you contribute will. Being in a position where your work contributes to someone else’s gain or the world’s betterment is a very cool thing. This is another need that ranks in the top two quite often for people. We need to feel like we are leaving this place better than we found it and if our role allows for that it’s awesome. This could be in the way that your work contributes to the education of your children or that your company leverages it’s strength in charity. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as it matches your need and means something to you. If it does….. You’re golden! Does what you are doing give you a strong sense that you are contributing in a way that is meaningful to you?
Life is short. We are all going to die. That’s just a reality. Don’t you think it’s important to learn enough about yourself to know what you are here to do? Don’t you want to do something that you can look back on and think this was my path and I carved it? It won’t always be pretty or easy but it can be full of certainty, variety, significance, connection, growth and contribution. I hope you are in a job that gives you all these things but if you aren’t….. it’s not too late.
The ultimate significance in life comes not from something external, but from something internal. It comes from a sense of esteem for ourselves, which is not something we can ever get from someone else. People can tell you you’re beautiful, smart, intelligent, the best, or they can tell you that you are the most horrible human being on earth — but what matters is what you think about yourself. Whether or not you believe that deep inside you are continuing to grow and push yourself, to do and give more than was comfortable or you even thought possible. The wealthiest person on earth is one who appreciates.
This is one of my favorite things to do for people! If you want assistance in gaining clarity on your career, job or life let me help. Fill out the form here for a free consultation. Click Here for Free Consultation
Live and Lead Exceptionally,