Are You Looking for Career Happiness in All The Wrong Places?

I read a great post today on called “Looking for What You Love to Do in All The Wrong Places.”  Author Kirstie Berzanski LOVES what she does!  She sells moving boxes.  Kirstie writes that she always thought that the product she was selling would define her career hapiness, but she was wrong. 

It’s not the moving boxes that Kirstie loves, it’s the problem solving, teaching her customers how to best utilize the products, the selling, the challenge of running an online business, and the flexibilty that she loves.  She created a list of 10 deeper needs she has- all of which are fullfilled by her career- yet none of the items have anything to do with moving boxes. Do you know anyone like Kirstie who is very happy in their career doing something that seems surprising at first?

Women of all ages are stuck on questions like “What do I really want to do for a living?” and “What work would make me happy?” Have you ever considered that you might be overlooking the whole point of work that makes you happy in the first place? 

Sure, it might be more fun to do X versus Y, but take the product or service out of it and think about what makes you happy, motivated and balanced in your work life. 

Here are some brainstorming prompts you can ask yourself to start exploring what you really love to do in your career:

-In my job I need to feel _________.  Examples: creative, helpful, challenged, intelligent, in charge.

-Explain your ideal work schedule. Examples: traveling frequently, working from home, working in a big city, working out of a small office condo.

-I prefer to work with ________.  Examples: people, problems I can  solve, numbers, other companies, consumers, myself.

-Ideally, I’d like to work with a product or service that is _____. Examples: reliable, popular, complicated, a necessity, scientific, one that makes others happy.

What fulfillment do you hope to gain from your career? Examples: I want to teach others, I want to provide the best product for my customers, I want to have the most accuracy in my calculations, I want to motivate a team, I want to explore new ideas, I want to present to others, I want to help others improve their situation, I want to cut costs, I want to see my customers or co-workers smile, I want to be continually challenged, I want to learn new things, I want a great work/life balance.

Read Kirstie’s list and think about your own 10 needs you’d like to fullfill. 

I encourage you to write this list down and share it here with us to help other women create theirs. You may already be in your ideal career. Or, your ideal career may be right around the corner, but you were too busy looking in all the wrong places to notice!

Nicole Emerick

Nicole Emerick founded Ms. Career Girl in 2008 to help other ambitious young professional women thrive in a career they love. Ironically, growing MsCareerGirl helped Nicole transition her own career from commercial banker to digital marketer. Today Nicole leads the social media team at a large advertising agency in Chicago. Nicole also served as an adjunct professor at DePaul University where she helped develop the careers of PR, Advertising and Communications students. Tweet with Nicole @_NicoleEmerick.

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