I've spoken to a lot of people about success in their career, but more often I speak to people who are straight up unhappy. They haven't lost interest in being successful in their career but they know they aren't happy where they are right now, or happy doing what they are doing. These are smart people so if you quiz them on career success they'll answer intelligently about what they want to do and where they'll be when they succeed. Unfortunately, they rarely get that success because the real problem is that they aren't having any joy in their journey.
What's more important career success or career happiness? I've decided it's the latter and so I've started advising my candidates and clients that they need to spend some of their time really investigating where they find the joy and happiness in their career. For some of them focusing on this area has helped them engage with jobs they thought they were sick of!
So, how do you focus on finding more joy at work? Sometimes a problem defined is half way to solving that problem, so you need to investigate yourself in order to find job happiness. Asking the following questions might be a nice way to start exploring your thoughts:
- What are the jobs/projects you've done in the past that you've felt the most engaged in?
- When do you feel most happy at work?
- Why do you think you felt engaged when doing those job/projects you identified?
- Why do you think you felt most happy in the times you did?
- What are the obstacles to me doing more work like that?
- What are the opportunities to doing more work like that?