Three Facets of Career Satisfaction
People come to me almost every day asking how they can possibly love their job, achieve emotional and spiritual satisfaction from it, and make (great) money.
I have to admit that this was something I had thought about a lot, because even I have asked myself the very same question. There might not be a perfect job out there, but I have observed three facets of career satisfaction: career, profession, and business.
The Oxford American Dictionary says a career is defined as “an occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life and with opportunities for progress.”
I’d like to take this definition a step further. Think of career as your personal branding: your personal purpose and message to the world. Your career isn’t just limited to your 8-5 day, either. It’s what you say with your thoughts, words, and actions every moment of your life. What motivates you to do better? What can be said through your choice of friends, your job, and your personal interests? Your career can change over time as your life unfolds, new needs develop, and as your interests and values change.
As we face different stages of physical, emotional, and spiritual growth, our needs and focus will inevitably change. This is how our career evolves and takes shape.
Zachary Levi, from the NBC television series Chuck puts it best when he said During an interview with Relevant Magazine,
“My job on my set, I believe, is to first just love people and gain that trust with people where they know that I really do love them and care about their well-being, so that when they are running into problems, they will hopefully, at some point, come to me and ask me, ‘What is your peace all about? What is your comfort all about? Where do you get your love? Where do you get your talents?’ And I can turn to them and say without blinking, ‘Jesus Christ.’”
At the end of the day, people like Zachary Levi will take their acting hats off, leave the stresses of their job functions at work, and go home to their friends and families. Their purpose hasn’t left them, however, because our purpose serves as the impetus for our actions no matter where we are or what we do.
Consider your profession as a tool to communicate your career or your purpose. A job might be a tool to help you create an enjoyable family life, a tool to help you see the world, a tool to heal sick bodies or suffering souls, a tool to get a pay check so you can later quit and go to school – whatever you are trying to experience, your job or profession helps you do that.
Professions are jobs that can involves your interests, skills, and talents, but it does not always mean you will utilize all of them at the same time. Nor might you make a lot of money in performing them. There are plenty of professions that people go into simply because of the nature of the work, their passion for the field, and other personal reasons forsaking income and material gain. With that said, you may bring your personal statement to your job, but you don’t have to bring your job home with you.
There are people I know who, as soon as they leave work, turn off work so they can have a personal life with their families. Others bring their work home. The choice is truly up to you.
Most of the time our profession brings us an income, but what we’re usually paid to do is to make somebody else money. I consider business those activities that make you money like investments, side projects, and the use of financial tools, so you can live, take care of your family, and do the things relevant to your career and other activities that are interesting to you.
Business may not always be interesting or fun, but financial activities should be operated and acquired with your purpose, goals, and values in mind.
Sometimes, we’re able to combine all three elements – Career, Profession, Business – into one neat package and that can make us very fortunate. Other times, we are faced with the challenge of orchestrating all three just to meet our most basic of needs.
There are many out there who work simply to avoid starvation. There are plenty who just want to make a better life for their children. There are many basic reasons to work, but as we develop we begin to desire more from life.
I can tell you that you may not have a job that makes you the money you desire, nor might you use all of your skills and talents at work. However, by keeping your purpose in mind – making your life a statement – you can develop career satisfaction by being true to your goals and values as your career unfolds.
How do you get career satisfaction?
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