Some of my clients are almost apologetic when they present their concerns to me. It sounds something like this:
“I don’t know what I have to complain about, my job offers me… a good salary, flexibility, challenging opportunities, etc.”
“Most of my friends don’t have these opportunities, and would love a job with… my flexible schedule, my salary, the travel experiences, etc. What do I have to complain about?”
However, those same clients are not fulfilled.
They like their salary and would like to keep a job with a similar salary if possible. They utilize the flexibility and appreciate it. At the end of the day, though, they are not fulfilled.
It’s okay to want your work to fulfill you. Even if you are offered other perks, that does not mean you shouldn’t also seek a job that you enjoy going to and feel a sense of fulfillment from the work itself.
Oftentimes with these clients, we first look at their values. What is most important to them in their lives and career? Then we evaluate where their career and their life is in alignment and out of alignment with their values. What is missing?
Once we know what is missing, we begin the process to figure out how to build that into their career. Sometimes they may have to give up a perk or two to find fulfillment. Sometimes they don’t. They just need a change in organization, department, or work environment.
Sometimes an entire career transformation is necessary to truly feel fulfilled. Sometimes it is just a series of small tweaks.
The important thing to remember is that it is okay to ask the questions. It is okay to try and understand why you aren’t fulfilled with your career.
Even if your career meets other people’s values and what is important to them (or what is important to society), it doesn’t mean it meets what is important to you. Take the time to ask the questions of yourself. Insight is imperative.
Taking the time and asking the questions are the first steps towards owning your career.