May 6, 2021

3 Steps to Guarantee Your Next Job is More Fulfilling

Three Steps to Guarantee Your Next Job is More Fulfilling

Finding a new job can be arduous.  Securing a new position that enables boundless joy can seem virtually unattainable.  However, with a bit of self-exploration and awareness, attaining a role that fuels joy is possible.  Follow these steps to find out how.  

1 | Ensure the job matches your values:

Can you quickly rattle off your top 5-10 values? I would venture to say probably not.  Yet, values are critical when it comes to making decisions in your career.   

Most people don’t have enough clarity about their values. Maybe you have never slowed down to consider your values. Or perhaps you’ve forgotten the results of a survey you took long ago or never bothered to consider it when making decisions. Whatever the reason, when you don’t make decisions based on your values, you live a rudderless life and no job will ever come close to being meaningful.

So how do you figure out your values? At www.joychiever.com/resources/, you will find a “Values Sort Exercise” that provides an extensive list of values and definitions, as well as instructions for completing the exercise. It will likely take you 1-2 hours to complete the exercise, but it will be time well spent in the long run.

Then what? How do your values inform your job match? 

Let’s use an example. Meet Patty.  Her values are growth, appreciation, community, responsiveness and autonomy.  With those values, which opportunity do you think would be a better fit for her?

Opportunity 1:

  • The company does well but is in a stagnant industry and expects flat or little growth over the next 5 years
  • The role has been in existence for 20 years and has predictable and repeatable tasks
  • New ideas or processes are very slow to receive approval
  • The boss is known to be very hands-on and likes everyone on the team to “stay in their lane.”
  • The culture is very laissez-faire when it comes to communication and teaming

Opportunity 2:

  • The company is in a hot market and expects over 10% growth each year
  • The role is relatively new to the company, and they hope for a person who can bring fresh ideas to take it to the next level
  • The boss encourages team members to take initiative and fosters growth through regular feedback
  • The culture is fast-paced, collaborative, and exciting.  It is clear that everyone wants to make a difference.

 

When looking at the two opportunities side-by-side, Opportunity 2 looks like a great fit for Patty.  It taps into her growth, appreciation, community and autonomy values.  She needs an environment that moves and provides meaning.  

Your values inform every decision you make in life.  You will make more choices for joy when they align with your values.

2 | Know your most joyous strengths and ensure the job utilizes them often:

Utilizing our strengths daily has been linked to an elevated sense of vitality and motivation, increased probability of achieving goals and a stronger sense of life direction. We spend one-third of our lives working, and sadly, only 51% of us utilize our strengths once a week.1 It is time for that statistic to change. 

A quick way to identify your most joyous strengths is to ask yourself 3 questions:

  • Which strengths invigorate you?
    • Pay attention to those times when you feel like you are in your groove.  The task feels effortless, is fun and flies by.  Examine the strengths utilized to complete those tasks as they may be some of your most joyous strengths.
  • What contexts do you enjoy most?
    • It turns out the context matters…a lot.  The same strengths used in two different contexts may not rise to the same level of joy.  Interacting with people as a supervisor is very different from interacting with people in a customer service role.  Pay attention to which environment is joy-inducing.
  • Does your work provide meaning for you?
    • A meaningful job provides a deep sense of purpose and fulfillment and enables you to feel like you make an impact in the world.  Pursue those strengths that speak to your soul.

 

3 | Seek Joy Beyond Work:

If you put all you have into your job, even if it’s your perfect job, there’s a high likelihood that you will burn out and become unfulfilled at some point. Instead:

  • Find a Hobby: We all need more fun. It’s critical to escape and find balance from the demands and stressors of work.  
  • Get Physical: Stress is a silent killer. You and I both know it. Without your health, a fulfilling job can do nothing for you. Start (or keep) prioritizing sleep and exercise.
  • Prioritize Joy-Inducing Relationships: The Harvard Study of Adult Development found that relationships increase your sense of belonging and purpose; boost your happiness; reduce stress and cortisol; improve self-confidence and help you cope with adversity.

Finding a job that leads to happiness as often as achievement requires you to think and act differently than most of the workforce. However, if you take the time to understand your core values and how to make decisions around them, select a job that enables the best part of your job to be the biggest part of your job, and prioritize a life outside of work, I am confident that the job you select will not only fulfill you, but it will bring you joy and success.

1.Buckingham, Marcus. Go Put Your Strengths to Work: 6 Powerful Steps to Achieve Outstanding Performance. New York: Free Press, 2011. p.11.

Read more in Career Advice

Tracy LaLonde is an entrepreneur, speaker, and business development coach with 28 years of experience in professional public speaking and 19 years in the legal industry. As founder of Xaphes, Tracy helps lawyers harness their authentic confidence to be phenomenal versions of themselves and build better relationships with their clients. Before starting her own company, Tracy was a partner at Akina, a global business-development training firm. She has also worked in professional development for three AmLaw 100 firms and in the high-tech consulting space, teaching computer programmers valuable consulting skills to boost their business.

At the peak of overachieving, Tracy claimed high-flying status on three airlines simultaneously and traveled 40 weeks per year, often visiting three cities within one week. She stayed at hotels for over one-third of the year and never put down her phone. Exhausted and conflicted, Tracy left her company to go on a Joy Journey. After tattooing "joy" on her wrist as a compass, she took eight months off to travel, recover, and reclaim her happiness. She founded Joychiever to help other overachievers discover their unique path, define their joy, and apply their ambition to achieve a balanced, happy life.

Tracy has a Master of Education and a BS in marketing from the University of Illinois. She is an incessant world traveler, avid exerciser, habitual fiction reader, and part-time foodie. A native of Chicago but sick of winter, Tracy currently lives in Miami, Florida, with her husband, Robert. Her new book, "The Joychiever Journey" is now available.
https://www.joychiever.com/