Finding work that’s enjoyable is the number one consideration for job seekers, according to research, and with good reason: it has been proven that people with high levels of career well-being are more than twice as likely to be happier overall.
So, what does having a happy career look like? While the answer will not be exactly the same for everyone, a good indication is that, generally, you enjoy what you do, you look forward to going to work in the morning and feel fulfilled at the end of the day.
The better you feel in your job, the better you’ll perform and vice versa. Your well-being is, therefore, just as important to your employer as it is to you. Consequently, more and more companies are starting to wake up to the importance of promoting and supporting well-being in the workplace. Even so, the latest annual Investors in People employee sentiment poll revealed that 1 in 4 employees don’t feel happy in their role.
The top reasons behind this unhappiness are poor management (49%), followed by pay (40%) and not feeling valued as a member of staff (39%). 30% of those questioned said that not enjoying the work itself was a core reason behind their unhappiness. Employers’ commitment to setting up workplace health and well-being programmes is crucial to changing these stats.
It’s important to remember, however, that, as you make your way into the world of work, you are just as responsible for your career well-being as your future employer is, if not more so! Here are seven crucial areas you should work on as you are getting ready for your first role and throughout your career.
1. Increase your awareness of your strengths, weaknesses and preferences to find work that you enjoy doing and will make you happy.
2. Teach yourself ways of boosting your performance, such as preventing procrastination and asking for help. The better your performance the higher your sense of achievement and so your sense of well-being.
3. Work on your resilience by gaining a deeper understanding of how you deal with stress, what triggers it and what you can do to manage it more effectively.
4. Have regular career conversations to develop the language you use around your skill set and aspirations.
5. Maintain a healthy work-life balance by setting clear boundaries which will help you increase your career, mental and physical well-being.
6. Look at your relationships, in terms of who you get on and work best with or how you communicate with those different to you; be conscious of how you build relationships and the image you portray to others.
7. Always be aware of how you are growing, the skills and behaviors you are developing, the opportunities out there and how you are going to be ready for them.
When it comes down to it, you are responsible for your own happiness and well-being, and taking charge of your career is instrumental in getting on the right track. So, start thinking about what you want and need to thrive in your career and keep taking the appropriate steps to get there.
Thomas Wharton is President of LIFOCUS CAREER SERVICES an Executive Coaching and Career Coaching firm in Rhode Island, providing Career & Transition Coaching, Outplacement, Executive Coaching, and Assessments. Tom can be reached at 401.884.7959 • firstname.lastname@example.org. • www.lifocus.com •@careercoachTW