9 months ago · lizzie · 0 comments
How to achieve happiness at work
It’s an interesting question when you think that we expect 17 year old youths to have a very concrete view of their future life and career path. At this age, they are asked to make study, or work choices that will potentially shape the course of the rest of their lives, yet they really have such limited life experience to genuinely know if their chosen career path will bring them life fulfilment and happiness. This is why so many adults find themselves in unfulfilling careers, feeling lost and ‘stuck’ in jobs that only fulfil the need to sustain a certain level of living.
There is not much we can do about the academic system, however, we can certainly try to have an influence on our children’s futures by guiding them towards career paths that at least appear to be in line with their passions and interests. It is also important to advise children that often it takes time to work out what we really want to do and that we often have to take wrong turns to gain insights into careers that will not bring us the joy we perhaps envisioned at one time or another. The key message here is that it is NEVER too late to change your career path.
When I was studying psychology at LaTrobe University, one of my friends in class was a well known radio announcer who later in life decided to pursue a career in psychology which had always been a passion of hers. If you were to look at her life from outside, you would question why she would want to move out of a career which resulted in her being in the public eye, gave her a lot of validation and enough money to retire on. However, money and fame did not bring her everything she desired in a job. Whilst she enjoyed the fruits of her labour, she felt something was missing and made a decision to finally bridge this gap.
This life change is often a fantasy for most people because they pigeon hole themselves in careers that bring a certain amount of financial independence. Thus, the difficulty in changing careers later in life is committing to doing something that will make you happy, at the expense of the lifestyle you have created for you and your partner/ family.
Whilst this is a difficult decision, it does not have to be an ‘all or nothing’ choice. Many clients come to see me because they are tired of working in a job that’s not in line with their passions, however they do not know how to break out of their current situation. Of course the first step in the process is spending time in self discovery to truly understand what brings you joy. For instance, do you have a passion for the artistic, political, legal, or social? Which areas of these spheres do you feel you could happily talk about and engage in all day? These questions will lead you to discover your true passions. Then, you need to decide if you require further study, career coaching or experience in this field. In order to minimize the impact on your current lifestyle, it’s best to try to arrange your current work around the study, experience, or coaching. The only down side to this step is feeling overwhelmed and tired. Therefore, in order to minimize this side effect, a great deal or organization, determination and commitment is required. These skills are always valuable in life, so they are an added bonus to your professional development skills.
Finding happiness at work
If you are organized, committed and determined, it doesn’t matter at which age you finally decide to live your professional dreams. Whilst we need to work to live, we also need to feel that we are contributing the best of ourselves to the world. There is a reason why you are talented in specific areas. Allow others to benefit from your talents. Your life is worth living the way that makes you happy, satisfied & fulfilled.
Lizzie O’Halloran, BBSc, MASR, NLP Prac
Founder of Help For Mums