Finding Personal Satisfaction in your Professional Life

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Man sitting in chair outdoors with feet on table and laptop on tableWhat are the ingredients for a successful career? Most people would say something like hard work, personal sacrifices, determination, and a dose of luck. But even after giving your all for the benefit of your career, can you still say it was all worth it? Though many people are content once they reach the pinnacle of their professions, many others answer this question with a resounding “no.” These people find that the careers they have been shedding blood, sweat, and tears for are, in the end, not making them happy.

It is these very people who often feel trapped by their jobs rather than set free. They feel bound to their jobs thanks to the paycheck which works to fund the “successful” live they’ve cultivated over many years. So they suffer silently and resentfully as they burn-out, remain constantly irritable, and lose patience with those around them. Often, people in this situation consider quitting their job as the best solution to their unhappiness, but that may not be true, and not just for financial reasons.

If you are one of the unfortunates who has earned professional success, but failed to achieve the personal satisfaction that is supposed to go along with it, it is time to take a probing look at your job to determine just what is making you so unhappy. For starters, sit down during a quiet moment and jot down everything you can come up with about how your job displeases you. No matter how trivial an irritation may seem, write it down for consideration later. Once you have finished your list, think about ways you may be able to change, or even eliminate, each item from your list.

The list can also help you differentiate the items that are actually part of your job instead of part of your work environment. By taking a long look at the list you can now better determine if this is really the life you want or if your dreams became waylaid at some point along your career path. If you determine a genuine life changes needs to be made, it is time to move beyond your own desires to those of your family and how changing your career may affect them in the long run.

It is best to address the issue head-on with your family by explaining your need to do something else in order to lead a happier life but also your need for their support and acceptance of any financial sacrifices that may be needed. Develop a time line with your family so that everyone is clear on what you are going to do and when you are going to do it. If you find that you are uncertain of what you want, try to limit the scope of your investigation to two or three potential careers at a time to keep the process manageable.

Use technology to your advantage and get on the Internet to research careers, companies, educational opportunities, and more to help you find what you need to work in your chosen field. Network, participate in question-and-answer interviews with employers, talk to employees at companies that interest you, and investigate a variety of related fields that you may have never considered before. When you realize you are more invested in researching your next career than working at your current job, you can be assured that it is time to put your faith in the future and use your time and energy to achieve the job of your dreams.

By Joshua Bjerke