You deserve a career you love: Here's why

You deserve a career you love: Here's why

Posted byAlex Hepworth on

career growth

It’s Sunday evening. How do you feel? Content and ready for the week ahead, or dreading Monday already? If you suffer from the Sunday scaries you’re not alone. The majority of people experience that feeling of impending doom come Sunday night.

But it shouldn’t be that way.

You deserve a career you love, a job that makes you look forward to Mondays. We all do. But how do you start believing that?

In this blog, we’ll explain why you deserve a career you love, and how you can create one for yourself.

Job satisfaction matters more than ever

We don't want to live to work — why the hell should we?

We live in unprecedented times. This decade so far has been… a journey to say the least. And if the pandemic has taught us anything it’s that we mustn’t settle. People everywhere are reevaluating their lives, and prioritising what matters. We’ve become acutely aware of our own mortality, and that the freedom we once took for granted isn’t actually a given.

We don’t want to live to work — why the hell should we? We want to feel satisfied in our jobs, to have a healthy work life balance, and a better quality of life. It’s no surprise then that the job market is changing beyond recognition. The Great Resignation and Quiet Quitting are two symptoms of this shift towards a fairer, healthier, more balanced and rewarding way of working.

Why you deserve a career you love

It’ll make you feel good

Crunchy leaves, peeling the plastic off a brand new phone, fitting everything in your suitcase perfectly, pouring just the right amount of milk in your morning coffee, fresh bedding. What do these things have in common? They’re extremely satisfying. When you love your job, you’ll get that same sense of satisfaction, everyday.

You’ll be healthier

A healthy work life balance is sure to be a contributing factor to making your job one you love. And it couldn’t be more important. In the UK, stress accounts for 40% of all work-related illness. Stress can cause heart palpitations, high blood pressure, headaches, fatigue, muscle tension and pain, stomach upsets and sleep problems.

You’ll be more productive

If you love your job, you’ll feel motivated to get stuff done and driven to excel. In fact, it’ll hardly feel like a job at all.

You’ll get where you want to be

Ultimately, if you love your job, you’re more likely to succeed in it. And with that comes opportunities for career growth, skills development, more money, great relationships with your team, and fulfilment.

What impacts your happiness at work

We spend roughly 3,507 days of our life working

We spend roughly 3,507 days of our life working — it doesn’t just need to pay the bills, but excite you, satisfy you, and most importantly, contribute positively to your life. But unfortunately, some jobs aren’t built that way.

Here’s some of the external factors that can impact your happiness at work:

Your manager

I’m calling it — there’s nothing worse than a bad boss. The disengaged bosses, the bosses that take credit for your work, the ones that always cancel your 121. The bosses that leave you feeling disheartened, unappreciated, ignored.

Your team

Work can be a lonely place without teammates who’re friends too. According to the National Business Research Institute, employee satisfaction increases by a whopping 50% when an employee develops a close relationship on the job. If you don’t have that support network around you, you can feel isolated and less motivated to head into the office or log on each morning.

Your opportunities to grow

Without fresh challenges and a clear direction, you’re likely to plateau. You won’t feel motivated to get stuff done, or push beyond the status quo.

What your company stands for

Your values should align with those of your company — when they don’t you’re likely to feel demotivated and disillusioned. The company’s culture is key too, and it takes more than saying there is one for it to actually exist!

Where you work

The environment in which you work can impact the way you feel about what you’re doing. There’s physical things, like the temperature of the space, the support of the chair, the right equipment, but there’s also the ‘vibe’ you get in the office. Do you feel welcomed, accepted, like you can be yourself?

How you work

There are so many different ways to work these days, and companies offer varying degrees of flexibility. Some people prefer a rigid structure to work within — the standard 9 to 5 — while others favour working their hours around other commitments.

How to love your job

I don’t know you, but I’m going to take a wild guess that you’re not loving your job right now. Maybe you’ve thought about quitting, but are worried about taking a pay cut, or ending up in a job you like even less. But before you make the decision to leave, see if you can make the job you’re in the one you love instead.

Find your purpose

You don’t need the biggest pay packet or the best title to love your job. Sure, external factors like these and the ones mentioned above can contribute to job satisfaction, or lack thereof, but ultimately, it’s down to you.

To truly love what you’re doing, it must be rewarding and feel worthwhile. For me personally, that means finding a job where I feel like I’m making a difference in the world. Here at Progression, we’re helping people design careers they love — that matters, and it’s what motivates me everyday.

Update your office

You can’t be expected to do a good job if you’re not comfortable. Invest in your space — if you work from home, that means a good chair at the very least, but try to replicate the office environment as best you can — monitors, laptop stands, a proper desk, a dedicated space.

Be honest with your boss

How’s your boss supposed to support you if they don’t know what’s wrong? Be honest about how you’re feeling, and if you want something, ask for it. Want to get more out of your 121s? Put this under their nose:

26 Questions to ask your team in their next 1:1 >

Make use of your employee benefits

They’re there for a reason, make good use of them or they might just disappear! And if there’s something you think would help your team, put together a rationale for it.

Find some allies

Make an effort to connect with your colleagues. Have lunch in the canteen, not at your desk. Join the weekly remote stand down on a Friday afternoon. Learn people's names, and try to find some common ground.

Be kind to yourself

Not all the days will be great, but remember not all the days will feel like the bad ones either. Try to put a line under things and move on, rather than dwell. And ask yourself, is it your own negative thoughts that’s stopping you from loving your job?

Switch off

We can’t be ‘on’ all the time. Make sure you’re taking a break from your screen, and avoid checking emails and Slack on your days off. Yes, there’ll be times when you may need to put in some extra hours to get things over the line, but that shouldn’t be the norm. If you’re regularly working overtime, or struggling to switch off, talk to your manager about it. Nobody wants you to burn out.

Stop making excuses

Still not loving your job? Do something about it. Yes, starting something new can be scary, but it’s exciting too. Life’s too short to stay in a job you hate.

5 Job non-negotiables

If your job’s missing these key ingredients, it’s probably time to move on:

  1. A safe and supportive environment
  2. An engaged manager who’s invested in your growth and wellbeing
  3. A healthy work life balance
  4. Feedback on your work and development
  5. A sense of fulfilment.

How to find a career you love

So you’ve decided it’s time to move on. Ask yourself these questions to find a career you love.

What are your values?

And how can you demonstrate them through work? When researching a new company, find their values to check they align with yours.

What are your strengths?

You might have worked in one industry all your life, but that’s not to say your skills aren’t transferable to another.

What did you want to be growing up?

And what are you passionate about now? How are you supposed to truly love what you’re doing if you’re not passionate about it?

What do you truly dislike doing?

Work out what your non-negotiables are.

How do you like to work?

In an office, or totally remote? 9-5 or flexibly around your kid’s school day?

Where would you like to see yourself in five years?

And who do you aspire to be like? Explore similar career paths in Progression.

Are you looking in the right places?

Find relevant roles on Otta. Otta recommends jobs based on your answers to a set of simple questions. Found something that looks interesting? Otta includes their honest take on the company in every listing, plus company values, benefits and useful insights on their hiring patterns. And when you land a role through Otta, they’ll donate £30 towards social mobility.

What’s holding you back? Is it you?

Sometimes, the biggest blocker to finding a career you love is you. Start believing you deserve it. I promise you do.

Read more: Fantasising about handing in your notice? Try this first… >

Picture of Alex Hepworth

Posted by Alex Hepworth

Content Writer at Progression

Alex on LinkedIn

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