Guest Blogger: Sean Leitzell
Every so often we have those moments that change our lives forever. Many happen in regards to a relationship, some under certain family circumstances, and others could be career related. I had one of these career “gut-check” moments only a few months into my first job. Even more interesting was when I told my friends, I found out my particular experience wasn’t an isolated case. Many of my friends had the same revelation.
I was used to my past life as a college student where I studied hard, volunteered in my community, and played golf 5 or 6 days per week. Like many others, I strategically scheduled classes to begin no earlier than 10am to facilitate my budding social schedule. All was well in the world until my first new job began with a large Fortune 500 company.
My job required me to wake up at 6:30am and work hard throughout the day until 5 or 6 in the evening ensuring projects were completed on time (and ensuring that our company was making the largest possible profit). By the time I got home and ate dinner it was pretty much time for bed again. This was ok for the first few months but then BOOM, it hit me like a ton of rocks.
I was only 6 months on the job, but I was feeling like a robot. I was completely worn out. Although I was well paid, I didn’t enjoy going into work anymore. I felt that my main role was to achieve profit for my company even when certain situations were out of my ethical comfort zone. This was a grind, and I realized I would be going through this same grind for the rest of my work life!
In Harmony in Your Career and in Your Soul, author Donna Rae Styer writes “People who have career satisfaction look forward to going to work each day. In fact, they don’t really think of it as work – their careers are more like natural expressions of their authentic selves.”
I reflected on what I was doing. I thought about the parts of my job I liked and the parts I didn’t like. Although my days were just as long back when I was in school as when I was working, I was still much more exhausted in my working life.
I realized the main difference was that I enjoyed and believed in the things I did while I was in school, regardless of my new income. I didn’t have the same fulfillment from my job. I decided enough was enough and made the switch to a career where I no longer feel pressured to make business decisions against my ethical compass. Now I fill my day with activities that I find truly rewarding and fulfilling. I no longer feel exhausted at the end of the day and I believe I am making a small but positive impact on this world day by day.
Key takeaways: Your career role and the decisions you make in your job will have a direct impact on your quality of life. Choose a career you truly enjoy and when it is time to make difficult decisions, never forget about your ethical values. If you find yourself in a career that does not provide fulfillment or doesn’t appreciate your ethical standards, have the strength to change your situation.
What is your situation? Have you ever been unhappy with your job?