students playing a board game

When the Job is Right For You

by Sarah Wilkinson, Class of ’17

I have to be honest with you…I’m worried that I’m not going to enjoy the job I land post-graduation. A lot of people, especially starting out, have to work their way up to where they want to be. Often, that means working in positions that they don’t particularly enjoy for a time. The trick is to not get stuck in a job you don’t love. Be picky. Don’t settle. Keep reaching.

So how will you know when you’ve found the kind of work you want to be doing? It may seem obvious, but there are five signs and all five should be present for you to be sure you’ve finally made it to where you want to be. To get there, though, it may take a lot of career hopping and exploration. Be open and take risks.

You’ll know you’ve made it when:

career services career passion

Photo by Stephen Mease

  1. You stop going to work merely for the paycheck. By virtue, we exchange our time and effort for the money we need to survive. But for most people, working for an external reward like money isn’t enough to create job satisfaction. When you begin working for the inner satisfaction it brings, you begin to enjoy working and even to look forward to it.
  2. Time flies by. When you don’t enjoy your job or can’t get lost in the work, you watch every minute tick slowly away until the day is finally over. When you enjoy your work, when it challenges you and makes you grow, you can get lost in it. It makes you feel comfortable and valuable; it’s never a burden. And when that happens, it’s 5 o’clock before you know it.
  3. You feel pride at the end of a project. After putting many hours and days into a project, as you hold it in your hands to present it to your client, team, or manager, you feel proud of your work and ready to show it off. You like to see the happiness that your hard work brings to other people. And when you’re back at your desk, you’re ready to start the next project.
  4. You find higher meaning and purpose in your work. You know that your work is important to the larger good and it makes you happy to contribute your efforts. It’s not the only the work you should enjoy, but also the company you’re doing the work for. Feeling like you belong to an organization and believing in its goal is critical in your job satisfaction.
  5. Your work is your passion. You do your work not just because you want to, but because there’s a fire burning inside you, a passion that becomes an obsession. You have to do your work. For me personally, it’s writing. For you, it may be photography or analyzing marketing statistics. Find your passion, work your way up into a job that allows you to do your passion every day. That’s the secret to career satisfaction.

Sources: The Medium