Benovate’s Expert Blogger
Benovate’s Expert Blogger
Use These Career Questions to Design a Happy Life Full of Growth.
Could you more satisfied at work? It’s easy to wait for happiness to come to you, but the truth is, happiness isn’t an end goal. It isn’t a light at the end of the road; it’s a feeling that comes and goes throughout life, and it requires constant effort. Stop waiting for your big break by taking things into your own hands. Design a happy life for yourself, full of career growth. Ask yourself these eight career questions to discover exactly what you’re looking for in your career.
8 Questions to Ask Yourself at Every Point in Your Career:
1. What about your company do you believe in?
Sometimes employees can get bogged down by the everyday troubles of work, but try to remember what drew you to your company in the first place. Are you passionate about what you provide to your customers? Does your company help your community or a cause you believe in? Are you leaders in the industry? Do you believe in the products you create? Everyone applies for a reason. Remembering what you enjoy about your company can help you see over the horizon to a more happy life.
2. What is the purpose of your job?
Now that you’ve identified what you love about your place of work, it’s time to think about where you fit into those values. How do you help create those things? Do you work directly with customers to ensure their health, happiness, or satisfaction? Do you design or build products that excite you? Maybe your creativity strengthens your company’s brand, and therefore, the services they offer.
Try to come up with several ways you personally make a difference at work, focus on them during each shift, and pay attention to how you feel at the end of each week. Keeping the positives in mind will help you feel happier as each week passes. If you think of something you would love to help with, ask your supervisor about it and other opportunities for career growth. They’ll be happy to hear that you’re excited to be involved.
3. Why do you go to work each day?
You may have seen this question on job applications. What gets you out of bed in the morning? There are many different answers, and none of them are wrong: feeling useful, working in a team, personal development, social contact, financial stability, daily structure. The options are endless. Don’t limit yourself to the brief list I’ve mentioned—write down as many reasons as you can. Once you have your list, compare it to your actual experiences at work, and seek out opportunities that match your values. If you find purpose in teamwork or social interaction, volunteer to help with a new project, or ask a coworker for their opinions. Even a short discussion can vastly improve what might otherwise be done alone.
4. How do you make the most of each shift?
Do you spend each day overwhelmed and stressed? Or do you find yourself struggling to fill the hours? It’s possible that you’ll experience both of these feelings depending on the week, month, or season. There are plenty of techniques for handling both of these situations; all of them will help you with personal development and career growth. During your slow shifts, learn new skills applicable to your job, offer to help a coworker, or ask your supervisor for an early assignment. During your busy times, practice time management skills, communication, and relaxation. This means keeping a detailed calendar, being okay with asking for help, and taking the time to breathe and stretch throughout the day.
5. How do you engage with your coworkers?
Some workplaces are chatty and some are quiet. Which do you prefer? If you like more conversation, what do you talk about? It can be healthy to discuss issues as long as you’re productive and brainstorm ways to fix things. Grumbling about everything without proposing solutions won’t help you move forward; it’ll only make you feel more unhappy.
If you aren’t happy with the interactions that you’re part of or that you observe, what can you do to change that? It takes some practice, but changing a conversation from negative to positive can be quick and easy. A company’s culture can also be changed by planning more positive opportunities for bonding. Look into local community gardens and ask your team to pitch in, then you can have a pot luck with healthy, home-grown food. Try having regular lunch meetings. These can be fun and informal while still being productive. Since you spend so much time together, your relationship with coworkers has a big effect on your life and career.
6. Are you in the position you want?
Starting a new job can be exhilarating, but the same position might not fit your personality and goals forever. Everybody grows, and work itself is often a main source of personal and professional development. Sometimes, in order to keep growing, it’s necessary to take on a new position with new challenges and opportunities—this could even be in your current company. What is your least favorite part of your daily duties? If you could add anything to your job description, what would it be? Answer these career questions and seek out opportunities for growth.
7. What hopes do you have for the next five years in your career?
It’s important to focus on the present to build a happy life, but you also need to plan for your future. Where do you want to be in five years? If you set monthly or yearly goals, you can begin a purposeful journey toward career growth. Choose a new technology or skill to learn, then research how long it will take to master it. Write your goals down accordingly. Your team members are a good resource for achieving keeping you on track and recommending opportunities.
8. Which skills have you always wanted to develop?
Maybe you don’t have a specific vision for five years from now. Ask yourself more narrow career questions. What abilities do you admire in other people? What do you wish you knew? If you respect people who know programming languages, check YouTube or your local library for learning resources. If you want to sharpen your eye for color and design, check out Adobe’s color wheel and Canva. If you’re prepared to purchase a membership, Lynda has an enormous library of tutorials for a wide variety of professional skills. Choose something you find interesting and that will have a meaningful impact on your career now or where you want to be in the future.
Start Building a Happier Life and a Happier Career Today…
If you’ve asked yourself these career questions and are ready to build a happy life, be sure to request performance reviews at least once each year. These meetings are ideally face-to-face, and they’re the perfect opportunity to ask for ideas of things you can improve about yourself. It’s also a good time to talk to your supervisor about your values and goals. Don’t forget to plan quarterly or biannual check-ins. These will help you stay on track with your goals and are also an opportunity to bring up any concerns you have or request resources you might be lacking to meet them.
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