Over the past 10 years, I’ve found that it’s easy to burn out when you’re involved in the work to make a difference, and you no longer see that difference. It’s easy to get distracted by the bottom line rather than focus on the big picture. It’s also just as frustrating to see your former colleagues and friends rise to a higher level in the for-profit world and wonder if it’s your sector that’s holding you back.
Are you undervalued? Are you underpaid? Did you make all the wrong choices in your career?
These are valid questions. But for me, it comes down to whether I am internally happy and satisfied with the work I am doing. If I am not satisfied with how I am spending 50+ hours of my week (this includes my DC commute), then my whole life is off kilter, and something needs to change. So, how do I change my circumstances? How do I prevent burnout? And how do I know when certain elements are outside of my control, and it’s time for a career move?
Here are seven keys to internal happiness that I’ve learned while working in the nonprofit sector.