The importance of enjoying where you work
Choosing a career is a complicated endeavour. Balancing long-term career objectives with short-term financial needs can leave many job seekers in a tailspin. While the pull of a paycheque is strong, many professionals underestimate the importance of enjoying the *where, why and how* of a career; After all, individuals spend upwards of 30% of their lives at their jobs, not including the countless hours lost to out-of-office work-related stresses and concerns that can bleed into your personal life.
So consider the following equations before choosing your next job and career opportunity:
1. Happiness = Healthiness Studies have shown that prolonged happiness is correlated to how healthy you are. Consider this: According to this 10-year Canadian study conducted in 2010, people who are happier at work had a 22% lower likelihood of heart disease. Not convinced? In a 2008 study conducted on over 10,000 Australian workers revealed that people with stress from work were 150% more likely to have long-term health conditions (like chronic pains, vision issues, and even breast-cancer!)
2. Time = Limited Humans, on average spend 8.9 hours per day on work-related tasks. That’s 37% your day! It’s a truly significant number. When viewed from that vantage point, it’s critical to find a purpose in your work. If your work is not meaningful (to you or to the world), you may feel as though you’re slaving away your life. Simon Sinek considers that Finding Your Why. As he puts it, “I believe fulfillment is a right and not a privilege. We are all entitled to wake up in the morning inspired to go to work, feel safe when we’re there and return home fulfilled at the end of the day. Achieving that fulfillment starts with understanding exactly WHY we do what we do.” Now isn’t that a better way of spending 1/3 of your life!
3. Time = Money In general, when valuing career opportunities, people tend to look at wealth strictly in absolute terms: how much will this job pay me. What we often forget to measure are the inputs required to achieve that amount. In simpler terms, imagine you are a consultant working at a top consultancy spending 80 hours a week at the office and earning $150,000 per year. While that sounds like a lot, right? In actually, that comes out to about $36 per hour! Comparatively, to earn the same amount on an hourly basis, you would only require an annual salary of $90,000.
So when considering career opportunities, it’s important to analyze:
a.What is the absolute dollar amount of money you can make
b.How long will it take you to earn that amount
c.What else could you be doing with the delta? Like picking up a hobby, learning a new language, working on a side project or just spending more quality time with your family.
4. Being Challenged > Being Bored Tired of filling out those tedious TPS reports or attending meetings on meetings? Well, you are not alone. A recent Gallup poll indicated that over 70% of the population is bored or unchallenged at work.
Sure it’s ok to be unmotivated occasionally, but those prolonged games of minesweeper can have long-term consequences on your well-being. A German study of over one thousand participants over the age of 75 concluded that those who are stimulated at work are more likely to score higher in mental engagement assessments later in life. So when choosing your career, aim for jobs that will push you, rather than just coasting by.
P.S. – Word is that KBD Insurance has a great work environment. 😉