Quitting your job because you’re not satisfied with the work you’re doing may seem reasonable, but if you don’t think about what really makes you happy, you may end up in the same unsatisfying situation. It’s worth taking some time to think about what you want about your job before making any moves. Take the time to figure out which parts of your job bring you the most joy. That way, as you think about your future, you can better strategize about the new positions you want to aim for. To help you along the way, here are three questions that will give you valuable insight into the best parts of your work life.
The pandemic has made many people think Why they worked, and millions of people changed jobs during the resulting Great Recession. Not clearhowever, that changing jobs actually allows people to increase their happiness or satisfaction with the work they do.
Quitting your job because you’re not satisfied with the work you’re doing may seem reasonable, but if you don’t think about what really makes you happy, you may end up in the same unsatisfying situation. It’s worth taking some time to think about what you want about your job before making any moves.
To engage in that exercise, begin by distinguishing between happiness and satisfaction and explore which aspects of your work relate to each of these emotions. From there, figure out which parts of your job bring you the most joy. That way, as you think about your future, you can better strategize about the new positions you want to aim for. To help you along the way, here are three questions that will give you valuable insight into the best parts of your work life.
1. Where do I find the most satisfaction? Is it in the process of doing my work or the end result?
We often use words HAPPINESS and Satisfaction without considering the differences between them. Happiness is a momentary experience that reflects the positive feelings that result from the desire for some good outcome. Satisfaction is a positive feeling that reflects a long time horizon where you are happy with what you have achieved over a period of time.
These emotions are related to two aspects of your work: There is the daily work you do (the process of your work), and then there is the set of things you can achieve as a result of your efforts (the result). The process of your work affects your daily enjoyment of what you do, while the result is often associated with your sense of satisfaction.
Since the process of your work is related to happiness, it affects your daily interest in the work you do. If you like the particular tasks that are part of your job, you look forward to interacting with elements of your work, and you will be motivated to increase your skills in areas where you find certain duties enjoyable. Conversely, if you find many tasks unpleasant, you may dread aspects of the job. There is a particular satisfaction that comes from doing well in the elements of your job that you find rewarding.
The results of your work are related to the mission of the organization you work for. Do you believe in that mission? Do you believe that your efforts are making the world a better place? When you work on an important outcome and make progress on it, you feel a sense of satisfaction in the work you do.
Research suggests that being proud of the results of your work gives it long-term satisfaction. Even on days when you know you have to engage in some menial tasks, the knowledge that you’re doing it for an important outcome is a great motivator. On the contrary, if you engage in many tasks that you do not enjoy in the service of an important goal, you can feel a lot of satisfaction in your work, even if it does not bring you much happiness.
Finally, when you reflect on your work, you should consider the joy it brings you as well as the long-term satisfaction.
2. How do my values align with my work?
After you identify the aspects of your job that you like, try to understand why those aspects of the job are attractive. This evaluation is rooted in your values.
Values reflect key aspects of what people think is important in their lives and work. Your work should match your values. If you value helping others, then the work mission can be an important part of how you value your work. If you value happiness in life, then your daily enjoyment of work (approximated by the particular tasks you do) can be central to helping you live up to that value. If you value success or power, then your personal accomplishments at work will influence your job satisfaction.
Shalom Schwartz identifies 10 core human qualities that are consistent across many cultures: self-management, arousal, hedonism, achievement, power, security, conformity, tradition, benevolence, and universalism. What people adopt and the ways they act on it reflect the culture in which they are raised as well as the individual decisions they make. Acquisition a value survey helps you understand the aspects of your job that give you satisfaction. Moreover, because research suggests While values can evolve, it’s important to track yours over time. For example, early in your career you may value achievement, so you enjoy aspects of your work that give you individual recognition, while later in your career, you may value excellence and earn more satisfaction from aspects of your job that enable you to help. others. That shift in values will change what parts of your job you enjoy.
3. What I want to be able to say I’ve done?
You’ve probably heard the saying that no one lies on their deathbed wishing they spent more time in the office. But whether that’s true for you depends a lot on your answers to the questions in the previous sections.
Aligning your work with your values means not just the particular tasks you do every day, but the cumulative influence of those tasks over time (or what you think of as your legacy). When thinking about legacy, take advantage of the unique human ability to plan yourself for your retirement and look back. What do you like to do in your job? Do you think the path you’re on now will support having that effect? Does this effect align with your values?
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You should use this alignment between your values and your work processes and outcomes to evaluate your current work trajectory. You should focus both on whether you currently feel that your work is in line with those values, but also to explore which positions in the future will also help you to be satisfied with your work.
If you feel that your work and current trajectory enable you to continue to feel the alignment between your work and your values, then focus on your current career trajectory. But, if you have a significant mismatch, that’s a good sign that it’s time to think about alternatives. If you’re not sure how to find a path that fits your values, it might be time to talk to a career coach. Just make sure to find someone who is committed to helping you find that alignment.