I just found out about a book I need to read, it’s called Wellbeing by Tim Rath and Jim Hart. They analyzed a gigantic Gallop poll that was given in over 150 countries, and identified “Career wellbeing” as being “one of the five interdependent elements of well-being, identified by the GWP. The other four are social, financial, physical, and community well-being.”
They begin their chapter on career well-being with its defining question, “Do you like what you do each day?” They continue, “This might be the most basic, yet important, well-being question we can ask ourselves. Yet only 20% of people give a strong “yes” in response.
Only 20% of people wake up each say and like what they are doing.
When my children were young, my husband was also starting out in his police career. Now, if you know anything about rookie cops, you will know that their schedules are hectic, erratic, and can change with very little notice. We both felt that, in order to give our kids some sort of stability, I would work part-time, and stay home with the kiddos. Since I was in MASSIVE mommy love, I had no problem at all with this.
But when I did work, it was outside of my counseling career, which was probably my first mistake (hey, I had never done this before, gimme a break) and after a few “clinker” jobs, I decided that if I was going to leave my hubby and kids and cut into my time with them, their school functions, and activities, I had better REALLY love what I was doing. Since I’ve gotten back into my counseling career, and most of all as a career counselor, I have felt like I have done that AND have found my calling.
The book goes on, “At a fundamental level, you need something to do, and ideally something to look forward to, when you wake up every day. What you spend your time doing each day shapes your identity, whether you are a student, parent, volunteer, retiree, or have a more conventional job” (p. 15).
I just get a kick of energy each time someone walks out of my office with a plan of action and the resources they need. I love it when a student gets that “A-ha!” moment after we talk about assessments. Last week I collected some student intern experiences from private colleges across the state, it just brought tears to my eyes to see how excited and engaged the students were in starting their careers.
I know I am where I need to be. Are you?