How many times have you heard the word “Workaholic”? It is one of the most commonly used words in the workplace, and it has a positive and negative connotation. On one hand you could be saying: “I tend to be what people call a ‘workaholic,’ but I just say I’m ‘motivated.’ This is good. This is positive. This is beneficial to your mental stability and view on workload. On the other hand, you could be saying: “I’m such a workaholic that sometimes I think my mental health in in jeopardy.” This is not positive. This is not beneficial to your growth and view of work.
Identifying what being a “workaholic” means to you is one of the most important aspects of your career. Many of us have been in the place where our job is just, well… a job. A job is something you don’t want to wake up for, or the feeling you get when you walk into the office knowing those emails are lingering in your inbox; or when you feel stuck in a role making little impact. A career is something we want to wake up for every day, something in which we want to make a change, something we believe in.
Here are 4 ways to turn your job into a life-long career:
Find a company you love
This is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. What is the point of assisting a boss who you don’t believe is a good leader? What is the point of being a marketer for a company whose product you think is the most pointless product on the shelf? What is the point of managing a team who think they aren’t appreciated as employees? A company that believes in itself will sell itself to you, and you want to be a part of this.
Try new roles
We all think we know what we want to do in life. “Career” is a very loaded word these days, and it takes someone with a focused mind to figure out what that is early on. Recently, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released a report that stated that the average worker changed his or her job 11.7 times between the ages of 18 and 48. That is 11 jobs in the span of 30 years. This could be anything from changing roles, to changing companies, even to changing careers and progressing in your new role. We have so many opportunities to learn skills that we never learned in school. Take every opportunity you can if it means learning something new, because how will you know if you like or don’t like that job until you’ve tried it?
Don’t be afraid to speak up
When you try new roles, you learn what you like and what you don’t like; you learn what you’re good at, and what you’re not. Once you find these, voice them to higher-ups. Take a hold of what you want to be, and let them know. If you find a good company, try different roles, and voice these opinions, you are closer to achieving your long-term career. If you are not happy in your role, a company, more often than not, will want to switch you to a new department rather than just flat out firing you or making you suffer. Many people complain about their jobs, but have they tried to change that job? Take your job by the horns, look it in the eye, and be confident that you know what direction it needs to go in. Maybe you’re great with sales, but not so great with numbers: try marketing or even management. Maybe you’re great at creating advertisements, but not so great with copy writing: try design associate or even advertising sales. If you don’t speak up, no one will know, and if no one knows what you want, you will remain unhappy.
Be a motivated workaholic
If you want a job that makes you money without the gratification, then you go for it. You make that living and you find other ways to make yourself happy – it is definitely possible. In today’s world, though, most of us want it all and want to do it all. We are living in an age where people realize they can do almost anything they put their mind to, but you’re not going to get there if you don’t do the work. Being a hard worker comes with nights of exhaustion, stress, and probably heavy drinking; but, if you have a goal in mind, and you work for it, it will pay off. However, don’t be afraid to admit when your work is misdirected. If you think you want to be a creative director and you’re working your hardest churning out copy for advertisements, you’re never going to get there. After a while, take your efforts and think about where you should be focusing in order to achieve that goal. Learn more about design, learn more about color balance, learn more about web statistics, learn more about photography. Yes, that means taking more onto your plate, but hey, Steve Jobs didn’t just build the first Apple product knowing what a computer is–he had to learn everything about it in order to build it.
A job is temporary; a career is a lifetime. If you ever get stuck in a job that does not suit you as a person, does not suit your long terms goals, does not make you happy, reassess what you are looking for. So many people are afraid to understand themselves as an important part of their environment. You are valuable, you are needed, and you can do this. Don’t let habit suck you into a life of unhappiness. If you take these 4 career elements into account, your life will feel more fulfilled and worth waking up for every morning.