If you answered yes, then don’t spend any time reading the rest of the article – just get back to work doing the job you love. If you answered no, but didn’t think the notion was crazy, you likely fall into the People Oriented workplace personality. This workplace personality type is generally very passionate about most things, and sometimes even overly passionate. As a result of being SO passionate about what you do, you likely find yourself at the ends of the spectrum when it comes to satisfaction with your job – you either LOVE it or HATE it. This workplace personality generally sees the world on a grey scale, but when it comes to spending so much of your life’s energy you likely see this one with more polarization.
Bouncing around from one job to the next searching for your ideal job is generally not a great overall career strategy, especially considering the turmoil it can put your family through. But on the other hand, leaving the need to be passionate about what you do unmanaged can severely impact your overall happiness. The sad truth is that there are very few people in the world that would truly continue on with their current job after a big lottery win. I would hazard a guess that the number gets much lower if you eliminate people that have gone out on their own and started their own business. So, how do you bridge the gap between “dream job” expectations and the realistic options that may be available to you?
Here are some steps to help you clarify whether your current job is providing you with enough satisfaction to stick with it, or if it might be time to start on a new path with a clear end goal in mind.
Articulate your Passions
The first step is to get some clarity on what it is that truly makes you happy and/or stirs your passions. There are a number of tools available to you, but the best exercise is simply to ask yourself the following questions:
- Does it make you feel good about yourself?
- Do you lose track of time when you do it?
- Do you talk about it to anyone who will listen?
I also highly recommend ” The Renaissance Soul” by Margaret Lobenstine, an excellent book that can help you clarify your true passions.
Logical evaluation of your current job
Secondly, logically evaluate your current job and determine how much of a gap there is between what you would “love” to do versus what you currently do. Take into account these elements:
- Does the job allow you to use your natural skills and talents?
- Is the impact of the job you do something you truly care about?
- Does the job allow you to have the type of balance you want to have in your life?
- Does the job financially reward you in a way that allows you to indulge your passions during your non-work time?
Make a decision
After being very clear about what you are passionate about and making a logical evaluation of your current job, you need to determine if the gap is too large given the sense of fulfilment dictated by your personality type.
If there is a gap, but one that you recognize is acceptable given the realistic choices available to you, then you need to make a conscious effort to manage your expectations about what you expect to get from work. Focus your energy on making modifications to your work to increase your ability to be passionate about what you do. Furthermore, make a conscious effort to stop longing for something that you won’t get, and put your energy into doing the best job you possibly can. You should then look to feed your passions through non-work activities. Recognizing you are making a conscious choice can in and of itself increase your happiness, as you have identified the issue and decided on a plan of action. You will be making the best of a situation versus leaving it as an unconscious frustration.
If the gap is so large that you are constantly feeling unmotivated, then it’s time to start focusing on jobs that would move you closer to your ideal. Like any good career management strategy, start with truly understanding your core drivers and motivations and then match them with jobs that have the potential to fulfill them. Here is a link to a useful resource that can help match up your needs and preferences with potential careers: O*NET Online .
People Oriented workplace personalities are not alone in looking for fulfillment from their jobs, but they are more likely to base decisions on feelings and intuition. Therefore, the advice given above is to help guide their passion to make sound decisions for their overall happiness and connection to their job.
Team Building Enthusiast