“Part of Real Intelligence is acknowledging how much we don’t know.”- Katy McColl.
The idea that we should know what we want to do for the rest of our lives from the time we learn to walk, is like throwing someone in water and telling them to swim before they’ve learned how. While there are those select few who knew they wanted to be astronauts at the age of twelve; most of us have had to learn what we want to do through trial and error. Along the way you gain experience and knowledge of what you like to do and what you don’t; this is what ultimately helps you decide what jobs make you happy. There are several tell tale signs that you should pay attention to that will help you decide: Are you happy with your job…or is it time to look for another?
Do You Like Spending Time with Co-Workers? Company culture is not just a trend; it’s a way of life. For most of us, the culture within a company says a lot about how the company thinks and operates; company values, the type of people they hire, and our own personal “fit” within the organization are just a few things that company culture can tell us. Being in a work environment with people you enjoy and like to be around increases productivity. But if you cringe at the thought of seeing the same people day to day, or have no energy when you leave work due to the people you work with, then you know it’s time for a change.
Are You Learning and Growing? Learning and development should be a part of every job environment. While it is your responsibility to take initiative, it is your company’s responsibility to offer the opportunities. If you feel you’ve grown stagnant in your career or job, take the time to look for opportunities to develop your position further. If you have done this and have still hit a dead end, then it is time for you to reassess your career goals.
Have You Exhausted all Your Sick Days? People who are not happy with their current jobs or career paths find themselves utilizing their benefit packages more so than others. If you find yourself not even half way through the year and have already used up most of your sick days, then you might fall into this category. Research shows that people who are not happy in their jobs tend to call in sick 70% more than those who are. People who are not happy in their jobs carry much more emotional stress, which eventually leads to physical ailments. If you find that you are relying on sick time to avoid work, then it is time to look for a new job.
Are You Happy? At the end of the day, there is only one question you really need to ask yourself: Am I happy in my current job/career? If you don’t know how to answer this then let’s try a quick mental exercise that may help; it’s called “magical thinking.” Picture a perfect day at your job. Imagine that you are doing exactly what you want to do for that day. Are you working on a project that you want to work on? Do you feel motivated and energized doing the work? Are you excited to go in to work? Pay attention to how you’re feeling as you visualize this. If you can answer yes to these questions and “feel” happy, then you’re on the right track.