I’ve recently started a research project exploring career fulfilment: what is it, how can we find it but first and foremost — why does it matter so much to us? Before I start looking for research in this area, I wanted to understand my own perspective. Why is so important to me? Everyone’s answer will be different and my responses might be the complete opposite of yours. However I thought it might be useful to share what came up for me when I used the statement below as a journaling prompt.
STATEMENT: Career fulfilment is extremely important to me.
WHY? Because whatever work I do needs to be worth sacrificing family time for.
WHY? Because I want it to add to my happiness, not take away from it. I believe that doing work which makes me happier will make me a better mum and a better role model to my kids for what work can look like. That work can be fun and not an obligation.
WHY? Because I believe that a career should be more than just the job that puts money on the table. However idealistic it may be, we have one life. And that life, or around 45 years of it at least, will be spent as a worker of some form. With so much of our time on earth assigned to a job, it seems reasonable to me that I want that time to have a purpose beyond the financial. It needs to satisfy that urge we have for our lives to have meaning.
WHY? The way in which we derive or measure that meaning is unique to us all. So it’s unsurprising that what lights one person up may leave another cold. The what isn’t the issue, or even the how. The issue for me is finding what my meaning, and then designing a career that allows me to fulfil that.
If career fulfilment matters to you too, you may find it helpful to ask yourself this question. Asking ourselves why we want what we want has been shown to help us embrace change, learn better and make tasks easier to achieve.
Here’s a couple of useful resources on asking “why”:
And of course if you’re interested in following my research into career fulfilment, you can sign up to receive my monthly letter where I share what I’m discovering along the way.
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