Are you proud of what you do? What does it mean to you to spend your time doing something you love?
Careers come in all shapes and sizes, and your dream job is rarely discovered overnight. It’s a process of trial and error, experience, failure, and lessons learned – but that doesn’t mean it’s not out there.
Despite this, many millennials seem to be unhappy in their current jobs and either feel lost due to the absence of guidance and mentorship, or discouraged by the lack fulfillment they get from their work. These are very real and relatable challenges and represent the internal struggles of finding a meaningful career.
When we find ourselves dissatisfied with the direction in which our career is heading we often rationalize it with things like, “It’s work, my grandpa told me it’s not supposed to be fun” or “I’ll tough it out, make some money, and do what I want when I retire”.
What if it didn’t have to be that way? What if you could have your cake and eat it too? It takes hard work, there’s no doubt, but if you’re willing to put in the extra effort it will be well worth it.
Here are 8 reasons you need to look for a meaningful career.
1. You’ll Learn What Makes You Happy
Finding a meaningful career takes some soul searching. It’s a challenging venture that requires time, patience, and experimentation to figure out what matters most to you. We’re not really taught why or how to look inward and ask the tough, personal questions in school, but when you finally find that job that makes you actually enjoy Monday mornings, it’s one of the best feelings in the world.
During the process you’ll uncover your core values and what it means to YOU to be happy.
2. You’ll Meet Like-Minded People
When you follow your dreams and passions it’s almost impossible not to run into people who share those interests. As you progress along your journey you’ll meet all sorts of people in different stages whom you can learn from and who could use your help. If we are the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with, shouldn’t they be those who share our interests and values?
Define your set and setting (who and where), and you’ll amplify your results through meaningful relationships and shared experience.
3. You’ll Take Control of Your Future
When you decide to focus on finding a meaningful career you’ve decided to take control over your future. By leaving nothing up to chance you’ll learn that hard work and properly defined goals can take you further than you ever thought possible. Deliberate and calculated action reinforces your leadership skills and proves to your peers and to yourself that you are capable of living the life you want.
Take control of your future and live with purpose.
4. We’re Living Longer and That Means We’re Working Longer
In the beautiful world of technology, medical advancement is a major player. As a result, our lifespans are increasing, but this means there’s a growing need to prolong our careers so we can adequately save for the golden years of retirement. With this in mind, the importance of finding a meaningful career becomes all the more necessary.
Are you willing to work an extra 10 or 15 years in the career you have now? Wouldn’t it be worth it to spend the best years of your life growing and nurturing a meaningful career?
5. Your Mental Health Depends On It
Did you know your job satisfaction could have an impact on your mental health? If you’ve ever had a job you disliked – and let’s be honest, most of us have – it’s easy to see how a lousy job can make life miserable inside and outside of work. But what if it was long lasting?
In a study conducted by Ohio State University doctoral student Jonathan Dirlam and associate professor of sociology Hui Zheng, it was found that those dissatisfied with their jobs throughout their 20’s and 30’s had poorer mental health in their 40’s than those who reported high job satisfaction. Participants reported higher levels of depression, anxiety, sleep problems, and excessive worry.
Perhaps it’s in your best interest to find a meaningful career as soon as possible.
6. You’ll Develop a Success Oriented Mindset
Success is defined as achieving whatever it is that you set out to do. By taking the challenge to achieve your dreams and pursue a fulfilling career, you’ll be shifting your mindset to one that is results-oriented and success focused. It requires hard work and self-awareness to land your dream job, but with the right mindset you can do it.
This is a transferrable skill that will stay with you for life and one which employers covet.
Do you know what’s scarier than failure? Regret. Let that sink in for a minute. All too often, dreams take a back seat to what’s “reasonable” or “easy” and before you know it those dreams will only ever be dreams. It might not be that big of a deal now, but think ahead 60 years and consider the memories and experiences you want to be able to look back on. Are you on a path where you’ll be able to say you followed your dreams?
Like Stephen Covey says, “Begin with the end in mind.”
8. You’ll Inspire Others to Do the Same
As you gain traction and begin to achieve your goals, you prove to the world that you are capable and that dreams can come true. This feeling is contagious and inspires others to take control of their future. With millennials being the least satisfied generation in the workplace we need to head towards a brighter future by showing others that they ARE capable of defining their work rather than having their work define them.
Join the party! Do what you love for work and show others that they can do the same.
Having a great career is so much more than making money, climbing the ladder, and securing that corner office. It’s about the connections you make, the lessons you learn, and the challenges you overcome as you grow into your professional identity.
You’ll face roadblocks both internal and external, you’ll fall flat on your face and you’ll make it up the hill, but you need to spend the time to make it happen. If not now, when?
Your professional career is a significant portion of your life and if you’re living for the weekends, something is broken.
What are you prepared to do about it?