Close
Insight

Work, happiness and the path to an impact career

by Shannon Houde

Sometimes our craving for something new and unknown is what keeps us from feeling happy with what we have. But while it is important to resist the urge for change simply for change’s sake, it is equally important to continue challenging ourselves in order to grow professionally, and thereby feel happy.

Image © Domenico Loia via Unsplash.

Reality check

In figuring out whether to stay or go, it’s useful to unpack the difference between the perceived reality of what a job change might look like and the reality of actually making that change. Rather than indulging in a ‘perfect job’ fantasy, try to imagine what would it feel like sitting at a new desk, in a new job, with new colleagues. How did you feel before you started your current role versus what you felt after your first month on the job?

Next, identify your options if you were to move: would it be to an equivalent position at another company, to a different position within your current company, or a different position at a new company? Do a job search for each scenario and see if anything appeals to you. If it does, make contact with the employer and monitor your own reaction. What feelings come up? Do some research on the companies through their website and social media to visualize what it would be like to work there, warts and all.  Find people within the companies through LinkedIn to connect with by phone and get a real life sense of what is happening on the inside of the culture.

If you stay, share

If the results of your reality check tell you that your current job isn’t actually so bad, take some time to identify new ways that you personally can “create shared value” within your sphere of influence.

“The happiest people pursue the most difficult problems.” Your task is to find the one that motivates you to succeed.

Take steps to nurture new connections by joining professional networks related to your passions or build on old ones. Social media also can help you identify someone in your professional circle with whom you can develop a mentoring relationship. We all need mentors to bounce ideas off, give us perspective and help us stay motivated in our career journey.   Chapter 5 of “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg is a great starting point for navigating the mentor selection process.

Try this experiment: Map out how you will share more, collaborate more and connect with other humans more, then implement your plan during the next three weeks. In the fourth week, review your progress. Are you any happier? If so, what worked?

If you go, find a niche

If you decide that only greener pastures will fulfill you, then get to know the current market and work on aligning these three core concepts:

  • What you are great at
  • What you love doing
  • What the market needs

Find where they intersect and link that to a niche environmental or social problem that you can make your mission to fix. Mine is “getting the right people into the right jobs” because I saw so many hiring mistakes and so many candidates reacting to their career rather than driving it forward.

It’s not an easy job, but as succinctly put by a recent Harvard Business Review blog, “The happiest people pursue the most difficult problems.” Your task is to find the one that motivates you to succeed.

Be mindful, be proactive

The challenges you face in finding personal satisfaction and meaning within a sustainability job are common ones that can be overcome with mindful, proactive behavior. First try changing your own thinking, behaviours, habits, and, if that doesn’t work, then look at changing your job.

But don’t be beguiled by the mystery of the unknown: sustainable happiness is a long-term endeavor, and newness – while thrilling at first – can wear off quickly.

This article was originally published on GreenBiz.

Category

Career Change

Take your career to the next level

LEARN MORE
comments

You may also like...

5 Reasons why our online course will point you to Purpose

You asked, we answered: affordable and accessible career coaching has claimed its spot within Walk of Life. Whether you’re changing careers, returning to the workforce, or feeling engulfed in career fog without purpose, here’s why our online course should be at the top of your priority list: We’ve done most of the work for you Get our proprietary toolkit – created after a 20-year career as a recruiter, CR consultant and business strategist, I’ve seen all the mistakes that jobseekers make

By Shannon Houde
Video tip: Walk me through your resume

There is one question you will always get asked in an interview, and it is the easiest one to muck up: Walk me through your resume…

By Shannon Houde
The secret jobs market

It’s a bitter pill to swallow for job seekers who spend their Sunday afternoons trawling the jobs boards and fine-tuning their CVs, but just as media has gone social, so too has recruitment. Easier, cheaper and faster than traditional hiring processes, networking is now the No. 1 way new positions are filled. And while it’s hard to get reliable figures, I hear time and time again from my corporate clients that these vacancies aren’t even necessarily being advertised. I call

By Shannon Houde
Landing a Google dream job

I advise all my clients that you can make a career change — but you can’t change everything all at once. Together, work through interim steps, building the experience, skills, clout and relationships and that will ultimately put their career on the path to that dream role.

By Shannon Houde