I talk a lot about the signs that you’re ready for a career change. I even have a quiz that will tell you if your career is a good fit. But in today’s episode of the podcast, we are flipping that script. I am telling you 7 sure-fire signs that you are actually in the right job. These 7 signs will help you shift your perspective on your career while also letting you know where your gaps are. Which you know, I will tell you should become the areas of development for you and your career. If you’re wondering if your career is a good match and if what you have is great as-is, then this is the episode for you.
What You’ll Learn
The 7 signs you’re in the right job
The proven tool you can use that will confirm if your career is a good fit
What to do if all or parts of your career need a change
Featured in This Episode
Apply for 1-1 coaching at www.melissamlawrence.com/apply
Take the free quiz: Are you in the right career? and get a free bonus guide by going to www.melissamlawrence.com/quiz.
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Welcome to Navigating Your Career, the only podcast that blends personal development, professional skills and psychology to help you get happy at work and live the life you want if you want to stop feeling stuck and start feeling better. This is the place for you. I’m your host, Melissa.
Let’s get started.
Hello and welcome to this week’s episode of the podcast, how are you? We are about to head into summer. The kids are getting done with school depending on their home life. This could be a good thing or it could mean that the chaos is just about to begin. So good luck wherever you are heading into this summer. I hope that it is better than last year. And if there is chaos, that you have the support that you need to help manage it, because we are going to have some fun this summer.
All right. So I’ve talked a lot about how to know if you need a job change, if your career is not a fit. The tell tale signs. I have podcast on that you can go back and listen to. But today I’m going to flip that script on you. So you are going to learn the signs that you are in the right job because, you know, not all challenges are ones that you should leave. Not all rough patches are ones to run from.
So you are going to learn seven telltale signs that you are in the right job before we dig in.
Did you know that my website has a free quiz that you can take that will tell you if your job is a great fit? I do.
And quizzes are so fine. They take me back to the days of reading Cosmo or fashion magazines and you take the quiz to know your perfect summer color or if you should dump your boyfriend. So I may have channeled some of that for inspiration with this quiz. But when you go take the quiz, I might even provide an extra bonus guide for you to work through so that no matter what the outcome of your quiz is, you will have extra support to know exactly what to do.
In less than three minutes. You will know if you are in the right career or not. How cool is that? So you can access it directly over at www.melissamlawrence.com and I will put a link in the show notes. Now let’s dig in. I love this topic. So when you’re struggling at work, it can be easy to start scrolling indeed. Or LinkedIn to start comparing yourself, to start questioning your decisions.
I mean, there has to be a better manager than the one you have, right.
Or maybe you’re bored out of your mind and you just can’t take it anymore. But before spending hours updating your resumé and upgrading to LinkedIn premium, let’s talk about some signs that you are actually in the right job and how to approach some challenges that you may be having when.
So the first one I want you to think about how you feel on Sundays or the day before you go into work. If that’s not on a Sunday, if you’re excited for work, not just to get out of the house or away from home responsibilities, but because you actually look forward to contributing to being productive at work, then this is a good sign that your job is a good fit, at least what you’re doing for your job. If you aren’t always looking forward to time off and it never seeming like it is enough time, then you are on the right track.
Number two, when you think about your strengths and your interests, do you get to do work you enjoy? And that leverage is what you’re good at.
It’s important to be able to use your skills and do work that you actually love doing.
One thing to note on this, though, is just because something is a strength doesn’t mean it has to be part of your job.
That is why I ask if you are using the strength that you enjoy. So, for example, I am really good at planning things, but I don’t want to be the company assistant, so if you think about your strengths and your interests, the things that you love to do, how often are you doing that work? If it is regularly, then that is a good sign.
But I really want you to think about the things that you enjoy.
And this is where I kind of have a bone to pick with, like the Clifton strength finders. So I do a different type of strength assessment around character strengths with my coaching clients. And the Clinton strength finder is different because it’s looking at your work strengths. And when I’ve seen that used in a career corporate setting, it’s almost used to your detriment where if these are your five strengths, then people will think that that’s what they need to build their career around.
And that’s not necessarily the case. You really need to be looking at also what you enjoy doing because they’re not always the same thing.
But if you are in a job and you are using your strengths and you are doing work that is of interest to you and you are enjoying it, then my friend, that is a good sign.
Number three, all of my clients seem to be drawn to wanting to have purpose, to know that their work matters and that they are making a difference. Do you feel this way about your work? Do you feel that it matters when you come to work, that the world, the company, a person or patient, is better off because you chose to do your job today? Do you think that your work has meaning if you’re connected to your work and you have a feeling of purpose?
This is great. So many people are driven by this. Honestly, all of my clients have this same type of drive where they want their work to mean something. And I don’t know if that’s just something that maybe everybody has in them, or it could be, because that’s also very important to me. And so I’m drawing in people that that have that shared sort of purpose and ambition in life. But I really do think it’s a basic need for many people, if not all, to really feel that what they’re doing matters.
So think about whether or not you think your work matters. If if you don’t show up today or tomorrow, what difference will that make? Will it be noticed? And is what you do day in and day out connecting to that greater purpose for you?
And if it is, you’re amazing and I’m so happy for you. Now, number four, I’m a little thirsty today.
And before I think about how your days look, how do you feel when you wake up throughout your day and the end of the day, do you have energy?
Do you feel drained from the stress at work? Are you going to work coming home, opening a bottle of wine and just trying to get through the evening, checking your email and you just it’s overpowering you. If not, that’s awesome, but pay attention to how you’re spending that time at home, how you’re feeling when you’re at work. Think about how you’re sleeping, how is your nutrition?
Yes, this is all assigned to are you able to take a breath to eat and have something you enjoy? Or are you always rushing?
Are you some of that says, I never have time to take lunch. When you get home, are you able to spend time on yourself and with your family be present and engaged, or are you preoccupied with work or what happened that day or what’s coming tomorrow? Are you waking up in the night thinking about work, having stressful dreams?
I remember a while ago in my corporate career, I would wake up in the night and I didn’t think I was even that stressed. But I would wake up in the night because I had a dream about my boss and some deliverable that was going to be put on me or some chaotic problem I was going to have to solve and it would wake me up out of a deep sleep. So that is an important thing to pay attention to if you aren’t experiencing any negative impact in your day from work, if you are energized, if you’re able to leave work at work, be present at home.
This is amazing. So many people strive for this. So if you have this, that is amazing. And that is a great sign that you are in the right place. Number five, another big area of concern for my clients and from my experience in corporate life, too, is having a career path or direction. Most people don’t want to go to work, not sure where they’re going if they have a future. It’s important to feel like you have a future that you’re growing and developing and that your work and your boss are invested in you.
How often do you get to work on new and exciting projects? How easy is it for you to learn and apply something new when you think about your future? Is it clear? Do you have belief in yourself and your company that you will continue to grow for as far as you can see? If so, you hit the jackpot. This is another sign that you are in the right space. Number six, let’s talk about culture now. My background is in organizational psychology, so culture is also one of my favorite topics.
And I’m going to include your boss on this one to your work environment, the people that you work with, how decisions are made, how your boss talks to you, whether or not they advocate for you or recognizes you, how employees are treated, your feeling of belonging and inclusion at work, your ability to speak up and share ideas freely. Is this an environment you are thriving in, that you feel excited to be a part of, or are you in a culture that always seems to have the same problems?
Do you work with a boss that isn’t clear on expectations, is always driving deliverables and doesn’t really seem to care about you at all? Now, if you love your culture, this makes a huge difference in how satisfied you are in your career and good cultures can be hard to come by.
So this is also a great time. If you are going to work and feeling like this is an environment that you can thrive and you are working with people that you can collaborate and be productive with that it’s very awesome.
Now, number seven, and this is the last sign. Let’s talk about recognition. I gave a whole separate bucket to recognition because being acknowledged for your talents and what you bring to the table is important.
And recognition is different for everyone. This isn’t about pats on the back and someone standing up in the middle of a town hall asking for her round of applause for you, OK?
For some people, recognition is going to be more private. It’s going to be just a one to one exchange acknowledgment that what you did matters. For some people, it’s going to be something written. And for some people, they want the big parade. But wanting to be acknowledged and recognized for what we contribute is a basic human need. It helps us feel seen when we are acknowledged for what we do. We spend so much time at work. And speaking to some of the other side, having a purpose, feeling like you’re making a difference, using your skills and your strengths and your interests, all of those things, when you’re giving your all to your work and you’re spending so much time there, of course, you want someone to acknowledge that what you’re doing is important and that it’s making a difference.
So think about when you make an effort, when you do something great, how does your team respond? How does your boss do you feel seen? Are you always trying to do more, searching for that thing that is going to give you the validation and the recognition and it just never seems to come if you are getting recognized in a way that is meaningful to you. This is a great time. And for my people, managers out there, I always recommend that you have this conversation with your employees around how they like to be recognized.
I think it’s best to do in one of your early one on ones, but if you haven’t done it yet, the best next time is to do it today or tomorrow and just talk to them about what it is that motivates them. How do they want to be recognized when they do a good job? Is it something more public? It’s something more private. That’s important for you to know because it’s going to make a world of difference. I can’t tell you how many people come to me as a career coach ready to leave their jobs because they’re not getting the recognition that they’ve earned.
So if you’re worried about employee retention and attrition, this is a very simple thing you can do.
And for my individual contributors out there, I see you, too. And if this is something that you’re struggling with, you can also bring this up to your manager, let them know how you like to be recognized. It might be awkward. You might feel like it’s not something that you want to talk about, but think about the consequences if you don’t if you never talk about this and you just go week after week and month and month and year without getting the recognition that you desire, you’re going to build resentment and you’re going to be ready to leave when really it’s just that maybe your manager manager’s a poor communicator and isn’t able to give you the recognition the way that you’d like it and doesn’t know how you’d like it.
So this could be a very simple thing for managers and employees alike to solve if this is something that you feel is a gap. OK, go ahead on that one. So these are the seven signs that you are in the right job if you look forward to going to work because you enjoy what you do, you use the strengths, skills and interests that you enjoy. If you feel that your work has meaning and purpose, if you enjoy your days, you have the work life balance that you want.
You are energized by your work and present and engaged at home. You know, you have a future and you can see it.
You might not know exactly what it is, but you feel confident that you have a future. You love your work culture and you thrive in it. And lastly, if you’re a recognized and acknowledged for what you do, if you have these seven things, then you hit the jackpot. And if you didn’t, don’t worry. You can definitely get happier work and improve on all of these areas. I have your back and head over to my website, and you can not only take the quiz I mentioned to confirm that your career is a good fit, but also going to send you a bonus guide that’s going to help you figure out what changes you can make to improve on these seven areas.
And that is all for this week’s episode.
I will talk to you next week. Coaching with me is the best way to guarantee you get happy at work and achieve your career and life goals. Getting started is easy. Head over to www.melissamlawrence.com to learn more and apply. It is the first step to get you from feeling stuck to knowing exactly what you want and have the tools to make it a reality. I will be by your side the entire way.