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Happy Is Not Just About Doing What You Love

Having a career path leads to happiness at work

Trust your gutWorking at something you love doesn’t necessarily lead to job satisfaction. You need to have a career track too. It seems that people who have a defined career path at work are more satisfied than those who don’t, according to a survey by Accountemps.

In fact 54 percent of respondents said that having a clear idea of how to get ahead – knowing their career path – was very important, 31 percent said it was at least somewhat important, while only 14 percent said they didn’t care. People want to know what’s next and how to get there.

This should be a wake-up call to employers who don’t want to lose their top talent. While the economy hasn’t completely bounced back from the 2008 – 2009 recession, candidates are feeling more confident about their ability to find another job. According to a March 2014 Gallup report, 28 percent of Americans say now is a good time to find a quality job. The report notes that this is the highest reading since 2008.

If you’re dissatisfied at the office you need to take some of the responsibility as well.  Start by exploring your options. If possible, schedule time to talk to your manager about your potential to grow within the company. Ask if there are any new projects that you can take on to expand your skill set. Talk to him or her about your strengths and weaknesses. Find out if you need additional development and/or education to move ahead.

Don’t stop with your boss. Meet with human resources to find out what opportunities may be available for employees. For example, you company may have a formal mentorship program or offer tuition reimbursement. If they have a mentorship program enroll, if not take steps to find a mentor, or better yet a sponsor, on your own. Begin by networking with key players both inside and outside of your company who may be able to offer you guidance.     

It’s certainly helpful if your employer can help develop a roadmap. But, in the end, it’s up to you to take responsibility for your own career.


About Annette Richmond, MA

Annette Richmond, MA, CARW, CCELW, is a Certified Resume Writer, Certified LinkedIn Profile Writer, and former recruiter. Her career advice has been featured by Huffington Post, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, Business Insider, Monster, Vault, and WSJ. She helps motivated, senior level professionals tell their unique career story. She also serves as executive editor of career-intelligence.com.


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