A rewarding career means different things to different people, so there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to forging your own path. However, there are certain characteristics that give rise to happier working conditions and more satisfied workers.
Studies have shown that a dream job consists of doing work that helps others, performing tasks you’re good at and operating in a supportive environment. Of course, there are endless options that fit within these criteria. If you’re looking for fulfilling career options, remember to bear these five factors in mind.
1. Do Something Meaningful
A meaningful job may mean doing something that helps others, either directly or indirectly. Whether you’re delivering first aid in an emergency room or building new homes, your job can play an integral role in helping others.
There are meaningful career options for everyone, no matter what qualifications you don’t have. However, there is a range of flexible options to help you develop a meaningful career. If you take an online masters in school counseling or psychotherapy, for example, you can obtain the qualifications you need to counsel clients directly. Finding a purpose in what you do gives your role meaning, so choose something that impacts individuals, communities or countries in some way.
2. Strike the Right Work/Life Balance
A rewarding career doesn’t mean you need to be at work 24/7. In fact, job roles that require exceptionally long hours don’t tend to provide much satisfaction at all. Rather than risk burning out at an early age, choose a career that enables you to strike a healthy work/life balance.
The modern era has made career options more flexible than ever, so use the opportunity to combine your passion for work with family life, friends and hobbies.
3. Play to Your Skills
Doing something meaningful can be an important part of building a rewarding career but playing to your strengths is equally as important. Being a doctor or nurse may be an admirable vocation, but if you faint at the sight of blood, it probably isn’t the right choice for you!
Every industry and every job role creates opportunities to do something meaningful and rewarding, so be sure to explore the areas you enjoy. Building upon your natural skills and talents can be a fast-track for success, so it certainly plays a role in cultivating a fulfilling career.
4. Check Your Salary
Many people believe that a happy working environment is more important than a paycheck, but you’ll need to earn enough to enable you to live comfortably. Financial stress can have a devastating impact on your physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing, so it’s important to find a career that offers a reasonable salary.
Of course, putting yourself under undue stress to secure a top job and wage packet isn’t healthy either. By taking a realistic approach to your finances and lifestyle goals, however, you can find numerous career options that enable you to earn an attractive salary and strike a decent work/life balance.
5. Volunteer Your Time
As you progress through your career, you’ll develop your skills and learn new ones. Sharing your talents with other people can be a great way to give back and increase your own job satisfaction. However busy your lifestyle is, there are effective ways to volunteer your time and your expertise.
You may want to mentor younger workers who are just starting out in the sector, for example, or you could volunteer to deliver industry insights via high-profile conferences and symposiums. Alternatively, you may choose to offer your professional services for free to clients who may otherwise be unable to afford them. Working pro bono is a fantastic way to help other people and increase your own job satisfaction, and it’s something you can do at any stage of your career.
Building a Fulfilling Career
A fulfilling career isn’t solely about achieving your professional aims or securing a particular job title. Instead, it’s more concerned with finding a role you feel passionate about and one which enables you to contribute towards other people’s welfare.
No matter what industry you choose to work in or what type of role you apply for, there are numerous ways to make your career more rewarding. Becoming involved with in-house policies, creating better working environments and supporting charitable endeavors can happen in any type of working environment, and these all have the added benefit of increasing job satisfaction.
Most people will spend 50+ years of their lives working, so it’s worth finding a role you feel passionate about. While the right career can be challenging and stressful at times, it can also be motivating, inspiring and utterly rewarding.