Thursday, January 27, 2011

Finding the Happiest Version of Yourself

by Social Media Working Girl

The other day, I was chatting with some friends, weighing the pros and cons of our current jobs--a fairly normal topic of conversation for 20-something working girls, I'd say.

Are we truly happy? Are we following our passions? Are we finding value and joy in the careers we have chosen? Should we go back to school? Should we ask for a raise?

For some, these questions remain unanswered--which, to be fair, is completely understandable for this time in our lives. I mean, it's hard enough to remember the items on our to-do list, let alone deeply reflect on our chosen life path, right?

Nonetheless, this conversation put a lot of things in perspective and made me evaluate my current status as a working girl. As I've mentioned before, I am hoping for lots of exciting changes this year. And with that comes the opportunity to look inward at my career path and answer some of those questions.

Where do my passions lie? What do I excel at? Where can I improve? Am I the happiest version of myself? Where will I be in five, 10, 20 years?

Obviously, there are a few things I must consider:
  • I'm extremely passionate about social media.
  • I love technology.
  • I'm a good writer.
  • I'm slightly obsessed with AP style and grammar.
  • I enjoy a flexible work schedule.
  • I like telecommuting, when possible.
  • I must have good benefits, including a 401(k) and health insurance.
  • I like being challenged in my career.
  • I thrive on a busy workload.
  • I need to know that there are opportunities for upward movement.
  • I like having a fancy coffee machine in the office.
  • I need a parking spot (preferably a free one).
  • I like a hefty paycheck.
(Among other things, of course. But you get the point.)

And while I don't yet have the answers to the aforementioned questions, I am now starting to come to terms that these are the kinds of things I need to address--especially before the job hunt takes full swing.

So for now, I leave you with one last thought.

What are your career pros and cons? Are you the happiest version of yourself? If not, what will it take to get there?


Ms. Attitude said...

I really like this post. Just a few short months ago, I asked myself the same questions and I am not sure if have an answer for all of them. It's definitely something I want to work on.

Social Media Working Girl said...

Glad you could relate to this post! It's amazing how much we question ourselves and our life decisions sometimes, isn't it? Best of luck at answering those working girl questions.

Suz said...

One of the most important things that is missing from your list is the people you work with. In my career that has been one of the most important things that makes or breaks a job for me.

And I think the "follow your passion" thing is a myth for most people. A job is a job. Even if you are passionate about one particular thing there are going to be parts about the actual job that you don't like and passion waxes and wanes in life. Most of the time it is what you make of what you are given to do and your own inner drive to improve things and succeed factoring in the obstacles that are thrown in your path.

I finally found a job I love and wrote about why I fell in love with it. Here's my blog about it:

Maybe there is something helpful in there :)

Social Media Working Girl said...

You are absolutely right, Suz. The people you work with are a key piece of the puzzle. As I mentioned in my piece, the list only included some of the things I must consider.

You also bring up an interesting point about following your passions. Sure, a job pays the bills. But for many (myself included) it can and should be so much more than that. It's imperative that I am passionate about what I do for a living, mostly because I spend more time at the office than I do anywhere else.

Thanks for your input and congratulations on finding a job you love!

Melinda said...

I'm in my late 20's and this is something I'm currently struggling with. I feel like I could be happy, but I'm not at the moment. I'm in marketing which I enjoy, but not the marketing position I'm in now. It's not challenging and I'm way underpaid. However, as far as other jobs that would be better suited for me, they're just not out there at the moment. Right now, I'm just trying to do the best I can in the job I have so that I'm ready to move up when a better opportunity comes a long.

Deb said...

I'd like to comment on what Suz said, about "a job is a job". While I agree with this, it also helps to pick a topic you enjoy because you actually know something about that topic.

If you are knowledgeable and people come to you as a resource you definitely have a business in the making.

Maura said...

This is the exact thing that has been on my mind today! I graduated in May and have been working at my job since September but lately I've been wondering if this is really what I want to be doing and what I do want to do if it's not this.
I think you need to be passionate about what you do. Yes, a job is a job but you spend A LOT of time doing it so it should be something you like, if not love.

nessabirdie said...

I am the exact same way ... hopefully!! I can basically relate to everything that you are saying! absolutely love it!

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