What Is Career Wellbeing?
“Career Wellbeing” can be simply defined as how you feel about your job today, your career goals tomorrow, and how your employment can help you accomplish what you want to in life. Career Wellbeing is more than just how we feel about work, it makes a significant impact throughout our lives. High Career Wellbeing is the goal, however it can be easy to get stuck in a low Career Wellbeing trap.
We can get stuck in a career rut, resenting today, wondering where we are going tomorrow, and whether our work even serves any real purpose in the bigger scheme of our lives. And this kind of thinking only makes us feel worse.
Lots of people get caught-up in negative, pessimistic or low patterns of thinking, and can find it impossible to get themselves out of that funk. It’s human, but it isn’t healthy for us in the long run. Research shows that low Career Wellbeing impacts our productivity and performance. Research has found that those with low Career Wellbeing begin to disengage from work after just 20 hours of work in a given week. They spend less than 50% of the working week engaged and productive.
Being aware of our Career Wellbeing, and understanding how important it is, can help us to recognize when we may not be at our best.
Emotions related to feeling -
Misunderstood by your leader or colleagues and didn’t feel that you had friends at work,
Fearful for your future in an organization that was restructuring, or
Frustrated that you weren’t where you felt you should be in your career.
Let’s think about the times when you have really enjoyed work (hopefully that’s where you are right now).
When you reflect on those times you might see a pattern where you:
Understood what was important to you.
Had a goal that work was helping you to achieve.
Surrounded by people you trusted and respected.
Used your strengths and really enjoyed being challenged.
Understood the practical reality of getting things done in the organization.
Two very simple steps to improving your Career Wellbeing are understanding why you are at work, and talking to people you respect and trust.
Why are you at work? It could be to buy a house, to support your family, to go travelling, to make a difference in the world. The reason doesn’t matter, what matters is that you know what your purpose is. That clarity helps to motivate you at work.
When you talk to people you respect and trust, you engage in a community. Work isn’t perfect, and you may be in a team where you don’t feel completely safe to speak-up or ask questions. Reach out to people you do respect and trust, whether that is in your organization or outside. Connection is critical to our mental health and wellbeing. Make sure you are regularly connecting with people you like. Loneliness is a real danger in organizations so make sure you are aware of the tools and resources that are out there to help you connect.
The great news is that you are already well on your way to understanding Career Wellbeing. The next step is making Career Wellbeing mean something real to you. Ultimately, you want to enjoy your job today, feel confident about your career prospects tomorrow and be clear on how work is contributing to what you want to get out of life.