With the upcoming election, we’re all hearing some professional-level simplification of complex issues. Everyone’s got their 5-point plan, and I see the appeal of these sound bite-friendly solutions. So much so, that in my ongoing “Okay… but reeeallly what should I be doing?” internal conversation, I came up with one.
Spoiler Alert! This might be dumb.
OK, so when thinking about your job/career/potential work situation, I think I’ve isolated the four key components that need to be in place in order to be satisfied.
1. Sustainable: This means that you’re in a field/ industry with a future. You’re not selling lead paint to preschools or investing heavily in floppy discs. Also, this point speaks to security. You’re in a well-run organization that isn’t going to have to make a decision between canning you and not paying the electricity.
2. Meaningful: I guess this depends on the person, but if I HAVE to wake up before 9am I want to feel like it matters. I think a person can feel “meh” about their job for a long time and have it be OK, but there usually comes a point of crisis. And I’m just speaking from personal experience here. A moment when you realize that you spend a lot of time during your life at work. And your life only happens once. So…it should mean something?
3. Enjoyable: If you hate what you do, even a little, that’ll bite you.
4. Lucrative (at least enough to be comfortable…): I know a lot of brave warriors who have given themselves to the arts and are living on the edge of financial stability. I honor these people. I admire and am jealous of these friends. I, however, can no longer be that guy. It probably has something to do with the tiny person inside my belly who is going to want to eat and have awesome birthday parties. But I think this holds true for a lot of folks. It’s good to feel like what you do is important enough for monetary reward.
So, that’s it. That’s my glib, 4-point plan to career satisfaction. What are your thoughts? Would you add/subtract from the list? As I said, it’s based on my views and experience, but everyone’s different.