The passing of Roger Ebert causes me to reflect on his talents, his character, his challenges and his impact. Roger was an individual who found his passion and was able to make it his career for 46 years. Few individuals fall into this category, especially in our current work environment. He was able to morph his career as technology changed and was as relevant at the end of his career as he was at the height of it. He inspired others to follow his career path and acted as a mentor to many individuals from his alma mater and his industry.
However, this is not a blog telling every reader that they must find a career they are passionate about! While some individuals work in an area they are extremely passionate about, most of us will not… and that is okay. In fact, it can be more than “okay”. Ask yourself these questions to find out how satisfied you are with your career.
The Role of Work in Your Life
First, assess your views about your career. Would role should work play in your life? Is it a means to maintaining your lifestyle? Is it something that allows you to spend time on your hobbies? Does work provide a fun, rewarding and/or challenging component to your life? Each individual views their career differently. Review your definition and assess if your career meets it.
What You Value Most in Career
Also assess what you value most in a career: advancement, creativity, flexible hours, learning, meaning, stability, variety, etc. Are those values being met? If not, are there ways for your career to meet those values? What other career seems to have those values?
While many of us will never be as passionate about our career for 46 years like Roger Ebert was, we can still find immense satisfaction in our work. By understanding 1) the role you want and need work to play in your life and 2) how your career aligns with your values, you can find career satisfaction, enjoyment and fulfillment in your career. If you are unsure about these, working with a career coach can give you the necessary perspective.