Finding Your Job Joy: Fact or Fiction
Written by Pati Root
Much to my delight, I received an email from Chris sharing his decision to change his career path. While quite successful in a sales career, it just wasn’t making Chris want to jump out of bed and hit the floor each morning. Fact is, Chris would sit in his car and read positive affirmations to get psyched up to prospect and do the daily grind that is required to keep a full balanced funnel. Chris is a consistent sales leader and looking from the outside in, you would never suspect he really does not want to be doing what he is doing.
A few years ago I worked with another gentleman, Joe, in a career search. When I asked him what made him happy, he answered ‘MONEY’! No matter how I changed the question and poked from other angles, Joe came back with the same answer. We agreed to tailor his job search based on earning potential. Please note, I said job search, not career search. Joe wasn’t seeking a career, he simply wanted earning potential and was willing to sacrifice job satisfaction for income. Joe changed from a job to a career about 12 months later. While Joe was earning what he wanted, his values changed, and soon found it wasn’t just money that motivated him. Money alone could not give him joy.
You see, we can be very good at doing things, but if the things we are doing do not leave us fulfilled, inspired, and glad to be alive, are they worth doing?
What is the difference between a job and a career? A job is where you show up and get paid. It may have goals associated with it, but are probably not your goals. A career is significant, it is part of your life with opportunities and progress. It includes your goals. It’s part of who you are. A career motivates, challenges and inspires you. Seriously, I could choose ice cream vendor and make that a career. Trust me, I would offer 52 flavors served any number of ways, and I would promise to make your ice cream experience the best you’ve ever had! I LOVE ice cream! I may never get rich in dollars, but I would be happy and content, which by the way, would eventually lead to an elevated income because happy creates a natural attraction, drawing people to come buy my ice cream. Now that’s a career!
Let’s circle back to our career seekers. Chris banked his commission checks, living on base salary and saved enough to support his family (on scaled down standards) while he finishes his degree in journalism and will be writing (with benefits) while he’s in school. Journalism is the fire in his gut. Chris allowed himself to step into that joy.
Joe is now a day trader. Now THAT takes guts, and he is very happy! Joe was correct when he said money makes him happy, we just had to change the focus on how money made him happy.
When looking for that right career begin with making a list of all things you like to do. If reading makes you happy, write it down. Working with kids? Note it. Helping people, solving problems, driving long distances, working with numbers, computers, applications……write it down. As you create your list, review it before you head off to bed each night. Let your subconscious (which never shuts off) work while you sleep. Keep an open mind to possibilities and adopt an “if anything is possible” attitude. If you can dare to dream it, you can take action to make it happen!