When I was younger, I wanted to be a school teacher. Then a tax attorney. Of course, I’m neither of those things. But that’s okay. I’m happy with what I do.
More importantly, I’m content with the possibility that what I do right now will change. In fact, that could be quite exciting. Today’s business world is moving so quickly that it’s possible I’ll do something in the future that hasn’t even been invented yet!
That’s why I really loved this Time Well Spent from our friends at Kronos. It reminded me that I have the ability to do new and different things. It made me feel like I don’t have to ever grow up. Let me clarify that doesn’t mean I have license to act like a petulant child. It means that we don’t have to settle for jobs that don’t make us happy and satisfy our passions.
Here are a few things to think about.
Take an inventory of what matters to you. Both in terms of work and perks. Jobs are complex things. There will always be something in our job that we don’t like (example: filing). The question becomes can we live with it. Same with compensation, benefits, and perks. I don’t know if we’ll ever have everything we want (Would you turn down more money?). But do you have “enough”? That’s for each of us to decide.
Compare what you want with what you have. Sometimes it’s easy to focus on all of those things we don’t have (such as paid parental leave) that we lose sight of those things we do (like short-term disability). I’m not saying one is better than or replaces the other. But sometimes we need to carve out a few moments to think about the number of things that we want (see above) versus what we already have.
Make it a regularly scheduled event. Your list of priorities will change over time. So will the list of things you have access to. Maybe when you started at your current job, flexible work wasn’t available. Now it is. So it’s place on the list changes. It’s also possible that when you started, phased retirement wasn’t on your radar. Now it is so it matters. Our wants and needs are a constantly moving target, so give this exercise the attention it deserves.
It doesn’t matter if you’re doing the job you’ve always dreamed of since kindergarten. Or whether you’re doing something related to what your college degree is in. Or whether you have a college degree. Because we never really have to grow up…we can continue to grow, learn, and create the job we want.11