As a career coach, one of the most common concerns I hear from clients is they’re not happy with their job. They wake up, get dressed, go to work (for the sake of going), and go home feeling unaccomplished.
Imagine experiencing this every single day and not finding happiness in what you do. What a shame!
This is the problem with young professionals nowadays. They’re becoming more and more impatient. Confused. Difficult to please.
If you find yourself in any of these situations, here are some key pointers I advise to career-confused millennials.
1. Focus on what you want to do, instead of who you want to be.
More often, what we want to become is different what we actually want to do. This is because titles such as CEO, CTO, doctor, principal, head accountant, and general manager are all very attractive to the ears and come with really good salary. Many jobseekers strive to achieve any one of these without evaluating themselves whether or not they will enjoy the responsibilities that come with it.
I know someone who is a really good artist but decided to follow his parents’ advice to become a doctor because, according to them, “it runs in the family.” Even though being a doctor is an important job and pays well, this person admits to me that he doesn’t get the same amount of satisfaction that he would have gotten if he’d become an artist instead.
Forget about the titles. Choose a career where the work can actually make you happy and fulfilled. Ask yourself “What do I want to do?” instead of “What do I want to be?”
2. Remind yourself that it’s okay to get a career different from your college course.
I’ve seen a lot of jobseekers who find it hard to land a decent job because they try to look for something that’s related to what they finished in college. I then wonder whoever made that rule that says your career should be the same as your college course.
If you decide to do something entirely different from your course in college, that’s completely okay. Even if you did like your course in college, you could still end up in a job completely unrelated to it and you can end up loving it. Don’t think of it as a waste of your education. Think of your job as a continuation of your education because you’re learning things you didn’t learn in college.
3. Be aware of your strengths and weaknesses.
Sometimes, what you love isn’t actually what you’re good at. So make sure that you are able to identify what your strengths and weaknesses.
If you are not sure, you can ask for the opinions of your friends, colleagues, and family members. They should be able to help you point out what you’re good at and not. This way you’d know what jobs you’d best be suited for and what careers you could possibly not excel in.
4. Consider the kind of work environment you actually want to thrive in.
Some employees are not suited to stay inside cubicles, while some workers are not comfortable being in the field.
Are you the more laid back type of person who thrives in non-traditional spaces? Or do you work better in a corporate office set up? Consider the type of work environment best suited to your personality and look for companies who offer a space where you’d be comfortable working in for a long time.
Additionally, take into account the people you’d be working with. Working would be a lot less boring and a lot less stressful if you’re with people you like.
Remember, work requires 8-10 hours of your day, 5 days a week, so make sure you choose something that you can last in.
5. Decide on what kind of lifestyle you’d be comfortable with.
Not all jobs pay the same and not all people have similar lifestyles.
For some employees, salary is a deal breaker because of the financial matters that come with their lifestyle. On the other hand, there are people who don’t really care about how big or small their pay is as long as they are happy with what they do.
While it’s not impossible to find a job you love and pays well, most of the time, you may need to decide whether salary is a critical factor for your lifestyle or not.
I always say that success comes after hard work, and you can only be able to work right if you’re happy with what you’re doing. So choose a job you love and you’ll be surprised to find happiness at work.
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