How to Find Joy in Your Executive Career
To misquote Simon and Garfunkel’s “Kodachrome,” I don’t remember a lot of what I learned in high school specifically. Significantly, however, I do remember learning about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, and this concept has always resonated with me. Particularly now in my practice as an executive resume writer and career coach, I think about what pushes executives to stay on their existing career paths—and what induces them to push harder to find joy in their careers.
Briefly, Maslow demonstrated that at the most basic level we need food, clothing, shelter, and all of the fundamental things that enable our bodies to survive. At the highest level, we self-actualize, which has been interpreted as reaching our full potential. In the realm of your executive career, your joy in your work is your self-actualization.
The idea that you’re at your best when you love what you do should not come as a complete surprise. I’m sure there have been many moments in your career that sparked a smile on your face, not to mention accolades from your team or boss. In aggregate, that’s your personal definition of career-related joy.
The harder question is this: How do you make those moments happen more often and more predictably. You can start by asking yourself the following questions:
- Are you dissatisfied with your company’s trajectory?
- Do you wish you could earn a promotion or better compensation faster?
- Are you sure your industry the right one for you?
- If you had no obstacles to a career change, would you immediately change industries or job functions to ones you’ve already thought about?
- Do you dread Monday mornings?
If you’ve answered “yes” to any or all of these questions, you might not be finding the joy every executive deserves in his or her career. Give me a call—we can talk about your specific situation and develop a strategy to identify the ways you can recover the joy you felt when you first started down this career path.
Image courtesy of freeimages.com / asifthebes