No matter what industry or field you’re in, I believe you deserve three fundamental things from your work.
Obviously. You should be fairly compensated for the work that you’re providing to your company.
Unfortunately, I talked to a lot of people who have been asked to take on more and more work without any additional compensation. Maybe someone has left the team and you’ve been asked to fill in. It could even be that your manager is the one who left, and you’re in an acting manager role taking over their responsibilities. If you’re being asked to take on more work or the work of more people and that hasn’t yet been reflected in your salary, there’s a conversation you can have. These aren’t always easy, but they are important. The key is to be strategic about it. You’ll want to prepare, so you can present your case thoughtfully and respectfully. Knowing what to say and how to say it will give you the best chance of getting the outcome you want.
I believe everyone deserves to have work that they find interesting, where there’s room to learn and grow. Work in any field can be an opportunity to use your strengths and expand your skillset. It should feel like you’re expanding – not every moment of every day, but over time. If that’s not true for you, that’s another area to explore. Are there projects that you could take on or responsibilities that would serve as a growth opportunity for you?
Satisfaction also means that your job fits into your whole life in a satisfying way. Work shouldn’t take up all of your life. It should be a piece of it, among other pieces that are important to you. If you’re in a job that requires you to work from the time you wake up until the time you go to bed, there’s room to make a change. You deserve to have room in your days to take care of yourself, look after your health, take care of your family, be there for your kids. This is true even if you love your work. We all need boundaries and opportunities to refresh.
Finally, your work should be an opportunity for you to make a contribution that matters to you. You deserve to feel like your work is having some kind of impact. When you can’t see the impact of your work or aren’t clear about it, that can be really draining. And if you feel like the impact your work has goes against your values, that’s an even bigger problem. That’s why it’s so important to work in a field, a company, and an industry that aligns with your values.
I don’t mean everyone should stop what they’re doing and run off to work for their favorite non-profit organization. I just mean that you deserve to be able to feel good about the contribution your work is making in the world.
Here are some examples of what that could look like, from my morning coffee outing today: The barista who served my coffee contributed to me and the other patrons feeling well cared for and ready to start our days. The janitor who cleaned the café last night contributed to creating a clean and healthy environment where we could have breakfast. The marketing manager who publicized the cafe made it possible for those of us there to find a healthy, delicious breakfast. The point is, whatever you’re doing if you can see through from your job to the larger contribution, that’s a way to make meaning of your days. Whether that meaning matters to you or not is part of what constitutes “fit” between you and your job. You deserve a meaningful job that fits for you.
Each of these is like a leg of the stool, that has to be in place so that you have a solid footing in your career. They contribute to your feeling happy and satisfied in your work.
Unfortunately, too many people let these things slide and put up with jobs that don’t give them all three of these critical elements. Maybe they’re afraid to move or they’re afraid to rock the boat or it just feels like too much work.
My experience in helping my clients put these fundamentals in place in their careers is that the short-term work it takes to achieve them is absolutely worth it. They end up much happier – not only at work but in the rest of their lives. Sometimes all it takes is renegotiating boundaries. Other times, it takes a bit more effort like renegotiating your role or salary, even looking for an entirely different job somewhere else. Regardless, putting in the effort in the short term can have a big payoff for the rest of your career.
If you’re in a place in your career where one or more of these fundamentals isn’t where it should be, it’s time to do something about it. A simple step you can take is to schedule time to talk with my team. We’ll get on the phone with you for about 45 minutes and unpack your situation with you. From there, we’ll help map out a plan to have the income, satisfaction, and impact you want from your career.
You deserve it. Let’s talk.
Book that call now at https://www.zmcoach.com/apply.
If you prefer to watch a video on this topic, watch this: