As a life and career coach, many clients reach out to me because they’ve been pretty unhappy in their careers for a long time (5 years, 10, 20 or more even) and now they’re contemplating making a career change. Everyone’s reasons for why now feels like the right time differs. Sometimes a major life event like a serious illness or loss makes you realize life is too short to be miserable 40+ hours a week, or a new relationship or child shifts your priorities and you want more career joy and balance, or maybe you’ve recently been talking with someone who really loves their work and it makes you realize career joy is a real attainable thing.
Whatever the reasons are, when you make a decision to RESCRIPT your career, it can be both exciting and terrifying. So much possibility, hope, and anticipation. So many unknowns and what ifs. The path from where you are in your career to where you want to be will take assessing, exploration, strategizing, and commitment, but when you ask anyone who’s done it, they’ll tell you its worth every step in the process.
The way we make career choices is often heavily influenced by authority figures (parents, teachers), our limited knowledge of what titles exist and carry earning potential, required education (and the time and cost associated), as well as what our connections have access to (when your cousin tells you about a job opening she can hook you up with at her company). These methods don’t always lead to a great fit or genuine career happiness. And the statistics out there support that we need more in depth career decision making practices, because these ones aren’t working so well.
How do you really know if it’s time for a career change? What if what you really need is a new job at a new company? Or just to find ways to boost your career joy where you are? Here’s a model you can use to assess what you might need:
When it might be time to leave your current career and explore a new career path:
When it might be time to leave your job/company:
When it might be time to start creating more career joy where you are:
So, what does actually facilitate career wellbeing? Positive psychologists developed a model of overall wellbeing that turns out to translate really well into workplace wellbeing too. This model is called PERMA and it stands for:
P – Positive Emotions: Experiencing and sharing positive emotions such as joy, peace, gratitude, satisfaction, inspiration, hope, optimism, and curiosity in the workplace.
E – Engagement: Becoming fully immersed in work tasks and projects that leverage your strengths and passions, both individually and as a team.
R – Relationships: Creating deeper connections with colleagues, supervisors, and supervisees. Meaningfully collaborating and supporting and caring for one another as team members and as human beings.
M – Meaning: Seeing and experiencing the connection of your work to a greater mission and purpose that makes a positive difference for colleagues, the organization, and those the organization serves.
A – Achievement: Experiencing a sense of accomplishment in completing tasks and projects that help to achieve short- and long-term individual, team, and larger organizational goals.
This sounds great right? So, how can you get the PERMA career hookup? The good news is there are plenty of actions you can begin taking right now to infuse more PERMA into your current job or career, as well as approaches you can engage in to explore and pursue career paths that are a great fit for you. I’ll be writing about each of these strategies in a series of weekly blog posts.
For this week, I suggest starting by conducting company research. Most people leave jobs because of other people (challenging bosses, colleagues) or the overall culture of the organization. Decide what you value in a company and workplace and do your due diligence to research which companies fit what you are looking for. Here are some places to begin the company research process:
In the next blog post, I’m going to talk about creating Positive Emotions related to your job and career. Stay tuned!
Want to really immerse yourself in creating career happiness in your life? Check out my Creating Career Happiness Course!
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