People tend to be happiest when their job is a match for them in several key areas. I’ve talked before about the importance of your job matching at least some of your core values. What’s also important to career happiness is that your job feels like a vibrational, or energetic, match for you. When your job is a good fit, you tend to feel more excited, content, satisfied, and rewarded by your work. And by energy, I don’t mean the physical kind, though obviously if your job involves say, shepherding people up a steep mountain, you do need to have the physical stamina to match your job duties. 😉 If you’re not even sure what type of job may be ideal for you, then go back and start with my earlier post on 5 Mindful Questions to Ask Yourself to Help Determine Your Ideal Career.
In terms of a good vibrational match, if you are more introverted, an open and loud office might feel overwhelming to you yet doing the same exact job in a quiet and peaceful space may feel entirely different. An emergency room doctor who thrives in a chaotic environment is going to have a different vibrational set-point than a scientist or researcher who prefers working alone in a lab, so the key is just figuring out your personal energy and whether what you’re doing for work fits that energy well.
The best way to assess the energy or vibration of a job is how you feel both when you are there and when you leave at the end of the day. When you walk out the door, do you feel happy and content? Or tired, but rewarded, like you made a difference that day? Or do you just feel drained when you’re there and when you leave, like all you want is to lay on the couch and binge-watch Netflix?
Do negative thoughts about work overshadow your personal time when you are with your family or doing social activities, even on the weekends? For many of my career coaching clients, this is the point at which they reach out for coaching because they feel their important relationships are being impacted by their dissatisfaction with work. Pay attention to what is causing the negative feelings in you and try journaling those things to gain clarity. Some clients realize they love the job itself, but it’s their co-workers or the actual environment and/or building itself that is not a good energetic match. For instance, they may work in a dark space without much light or windows, or they walk away from a meeting with their supervisor feeling unheard rather than supported. Or conversely, they love their co-workers and feel great energy with them but realize the corporate culture or the organization is not a great fit. I had a client who loved sales and her co-workers but realized the energetic disconnect was that she did not believe in the specific product she was required to sell and felt she was “scamming” people which also goes back to the values exercise I recommended previously.
Energetic Fit Exercise:
When you begin your job tomorrow (whether it’s in an office, at home, on the road, etc.) pay attention to how you feel when you begin the workday and notice the emotions that arise during the day. When you get home, how do you feel? Jot down notes around specifics, including a) feelings about the job tasks you completed (or started) that day, b) the people: your co-workers, your clients, your supervisor(s), c) the workspace itself from the parking lot to the office to the break room, etc. and d) anything else that struck you as important. Now, which things made you feel good or happy? Which things made you feel drained or stressed?
If you have a match with multiple things on your list, yay, you’re likely fairly satisfied with your job. But if you notice that you only love one thing, such as your office window or that one co-worker who brings in donuts every week, you might not be in the best possible fit for you. If you realize you have more negative feelings about your job than positive ones, it might be worth exploring a change. Whether you pursue a career change on your own or want to try online career coaching, take a step today. Life is too short to spend it doing a job you don’t love.
Kristi Helvig, Ph.D., CPC is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Certified Life Coach who helps clients reach their goals all over the world through the magic of Skype. If you would like more help reaching your goals or would like a free consultation to see if coaching is right for you, please email Dr. Kristi at email@example.com.