Finding career fulfillment or a job you love can seem like an impossible task, especially in the current climate. But what if there was a way that you could find fulfillment in what you’re doing right now so that you can be happier in your job WHILE you work on making a change?
Of course, we all want to find the ideal role, that dream job, or career that ticks all our boxes. But the journey to finding it can take time and you could come across unexpected setbacks. Like a global pandemic, for example, making you feel like the chances of finding a job you love are slim to none.
There are lots of things you can do to significantly increase your chances of finding and landing a job you really want. Like focusing on work that aligns with your values and who you are, targeting the right types of companies, and making sure you’re super prepared for any interviews. Not to mention, investing in a career coach to support you and help you see beyond your current situation.
[Want to find out more about your values? Check out Why Your Values Are The Secret To Happiness In Your Career]
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could feel better about your job right now? Before you’ve found that ideal job or changed career paths.
If you’ve been wondering, “how can I make my job more fulfilling?” I’m here to tell you that there are ways to make your job more fulfilling. And you can put these into practice right now.
How to find more fulfillment at work, in the job you have right now
1. Find a way to use all your gifts and strengths
If you want to find more fulfillment in the job you already have then you need to make sure you’re clear on your gifts and talents. And you need to use them every day, or at least as often as possible.
As cliched as it sounds, we all have gifts, strengths, and talents. Call them what you will. Whether you believe it or not. And getting clear on what your gifts are is an important step to finding fulfillment every single day.
Your gifts, strengths, and talents are the things that come easily to you. And they could be anything. If you’re thinking you don’t have any gifts, strengths, or superpowers, it’s probably because you have a list in your mind of what constitutes a gift or talent that’s worthy of note, and your true gifts don’t fit neatly on this list.
This is a limiting belief that can hold you back from finding fulfillment in any job because rather than focusing on your natural strengths, you’ll be focusing only on what you deem to be worthy of considering a strength, gift, or talent. What’s more, this belief can even hold you back from actually finding your dream job or career!
Break the rules
Many of us live by some rules without even realizing it. Your list of talents or strengths probably contains things like – communication skills, analytical skills, presentation skills, organization skills, etc. And that’s the problem.
Notice something? This is the language that’s used in most job descriptions. But sticking rigidly to a list like this when trying to find your gifts isn’t a good idea.
Let’s say you’re a great listener or you always know how to pick up the team when everyone’s feeling a bit down in the dumps, you might not see that on a job posting but that doesn’t mean it’s not a valuable gift or skill.
Accepting that this is a valuable strength means you can find fulfillment in any job. By actively seeking opportunities to listen to colleagues and making a point of picking people up whenever it’s needed. In other words, by making sure you use your gifts as much as possible, and also recognize your contribution.
Take it a step further
Taking it a step further, you can make sure you put yourself forward for projects or opportunities that will allow you to use these gifts. So while your job might not be right for you long term, you can still get some fulfillment from it.
Don’t underestimate any of your gifts, strengths, or talents
Often, The problem isn’t that you don’t have any gifts, strengths, or talents, the problem is that we place more importance on some things over others and then we feel like we don’t have any value to offer. But you do.
Expanding what you consider to be your gifts and strengths beyond what you usually think of, will give you more scope to find fulfillment daily. Because if you only consider yourself to be an excellent analyst and your job doesn’t utilize this, then you’ll feel under-utilized and unfulfilled in your job every day. But if you also value your ability to easily build relationships and interpersonal connections and your natural strength when it comes to supporting others, then you’ll be able to find more opportunities that can bring you fulfillment in any job.
By seeking out opportunities to use more of your gifts in any way, however small or indirect you’ll be much more likely to find fulfillment in the job you already have.
2. Help and support others
One of the quickest ways to find fulfillment is to look outside of yourself.
When we focus on helping other people and making a difference in the lives of those around us, we feel good. No matter what job you’re in, you can always find a way to make a difference to someone.
And if you’re unemployed right now, you can still find a way to help someone, and it’s important that you do.
When we’re going through a bad situation we often focus inward on ourselves and on how we feel.
By focusing on how you can make others around you feel better, you’ll feel a little more fulfilled no matter what you’re doing.
3. Look for every opportunity to learn and follow your intrigue
Research suggests that learning could make you happier. Just because you’re in a job you don’t like it doesn’t mean you can’t learn something new. In fact, you could learn even more when you consider the personal growth that you’ll go through in terms of resilience, motivation, and mental fortitude since you’ll need all of these things to keep going to work and to stay positive, as you take steps in the background towards changing your job or career.
By taking note of what interests you and areas of intrigue, and by being open to learning opportunities, you can find more fulfillment in the job you have right now.
Ask to shadow or support a colleague from a different department, offer to support a project that interests you, and be on the lookout for new opportunities to learn at all times.
4. Be grateful
I know I go on about gratitude as if it’s the antidote to all negative things in life. But honestly, practicing gratitude every day makes a difference. When you stop to think about what’s good in situations and look for reasons to be grateful, you change how you feel.
This is no different when it comes to your work. The change in how you feel may be temporary, it could be for the day, or a few hours, especially if your gratitude hasn’t been a daily practice for you. But keep going.
In the beginning, you may feel that the only thing you have to be thankful for is having a job at all. But this is a start. If you continue to look for what’s good and you put into practice the other points we’ve covered, you’ll soon start to realize that you have more to be grateful for in your job than you initially thought.
5. Set yourself goals
We all like to experience a sense of achievement. Whether it’s for the reward, the praise, or the recognition, achieving things makes us feel good.
While research has shown that there are lots of strategies people use when it comes to getting through difficult tasks or challenges, one of the most effective strategies for getting through challenges is by focusing on the bigger picture or the goal.
Since getting through the workday can be a real challenge when you’re not happy in your job, setting yourself goals can help to make your job more fulfilling.
Setting personal goals will give you something to work towards, and provides an added sense of achievement, providing more fulfillment.
If you want to find fulfillment in the job you’re in right now:
- Figure out what your gifts, strengths, and talents are and look for ways to use them every day however small or indirect
- Expand what you consider to be your gifts and talents, beyond your job-related skills and technical skills. Being able to make people laugh is a talent use it!
- Find a way to make someone’s day better every single day
- Look for opportunities to learn new things. Document what you’re learning and how you’re developing to keep you motivated and track your progress.
- Focus your attention outward, on making the lives of those around you better in any way you can.
- Focus on what’s good and be grateful
- Set and work towards goals. These can be as big or small as you like and can be daily to keep you motivated
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