More than ever, people aren’t just working for a paycheck. They’re working for fulfillment. But it’s not as easy as it sounds. A 2013 Gallup poll found something startling: 52% of workers completely dislike their jobs, and 18% are just disengaged from their work altogether.
Everything can change when you truly love your job and your career. You’ll be happier, more engaged and more productive. But how can you get to that point? Here are five ways to achieve that career fulfillment that everyone strives for.
1. Find your purpose.
In order to truly feel fulfilled, you need to identify your purpose, so you can strive toward it in everything you do. To find your purpose, you can ask yourself these questions that I often ask my clients when they need help finding their calling.
- Am I happy? How does your career really make you feel?
- Who am I proving myself to? Put yourself before anyone else’s expectations of you.
- Is there another way? Are you limiting yourself? How can you work toward your goals in a way that’s different from what you’re doing now?
- What do I want to happen? Understand what’s truly important to you? Can you work more on going with the flow? Slow down, and gain some perspective in the process.
2. Challenge yourself.
There’s no quicker path to workplace boredom than feeling like you’re not using your full potential. It can be enticing to remain safe and comfortable in your routine, but staying in that space won’t push you and help you grow, and boredom will eventually set in. Take projects or learn new skills that challenge you and make you work hard to succeed. Not only will your skill set improve, but also your confidence in your ability to tackle new challenges.
3. Find a mentor.
When I first started as a career coach, I realized I couldn’t do it alone. I needed to learn from the best in order to be the best. So I sought out mentors. Studies show that mentors not only open doors within their industries, but also provide their mentees with crucial career advice and emotional support. Barack Obama, Winston Churchill and Bill Gates all credited their success to mentorship.
4. Go with your gut.
Sometimes, the biggest thing you can do for yourself is to really listen to your instincts. How often are we told to use our heads, to think more logically? Of course, logical thinking is important to decision-making, but don’t take your intuition for granted. When it comes to your career fulfillment, take a listen to what your instincts are telling you. Maybe what will make you happy won’t sound completely logical, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pursue it. And science shows that in the right environment, your intuition is as trustworthy as Arnold Schwarzenegger’s senses in The Terminator.
5. Start saying ‘no.’
I used to be the ultimate ‘yes’ girl. I’d take every meeting, go to every event, take on every project. But in the end, all that did was burn me out! I realized that in order to do your best work, and feel as fulfilled and confident as possible, you need to start saying no. In fact, the science shows that saying no actually improves productivity and mental health! Only you are responsible for your boundaries and your time. Remember: saying no to someone is actually a step toward saying yes to yourself.
Are you ready to shift your thinking and start working toward your career fulfillment? Don’t forget to really tap into yourself and your needs. Say no when you need to, make sure your career aligns with your purpose, and seek out help when you need it (you’ll be in good company). Do something that challenges you, and trust your gut to keep you on the right path. You have all the tools to succeed and become fulfilled in your career… Now it’s time to implement!
Ashley Stahl coaches job seekers to find their purpose and land more job offers. She also runs CAKE Publishing, a ghostwriting house that helps influencers create content.