Be Honest With Yourself

How To Achieve Career Happiness

Our lives are ruled by the opinions that influence us and the resultant choices that we make.

The thing is that society encourages us to compare ourselves to others. You should be driving this car. You should be eating this food. You should be behaving in this way. You should be feeling like this. You get the idea.

We are bombarded by an ‘ideal’ that very few of us live up to, but many of us strive towards. Of course, there is nothing wrong with wanting to be a better version of ourselves, this is perfectly commendable, but many of us could do with a few more reality checks to make the rollercoaster a little smoother.

It is in the work arena that some people suffer the most. We might see our peers from school or university becoming Directors in super quick time. We might see someone leapfrog us into a management role. We might see people leave the company for a 40% pay rise and flash new company car.

Why doesn’t that happen to us? What have they got that we haven’t?

Well, can I let you into a secret. If you spend your life comparing yourself to others, you will always find someone more successful or with a nicer car. The “I want to be like them” mindset will slowly eat away at your core being that you are no longer living your own authentic life. You will be nearly (but not quite) living the life of someone else.

That is not why we are here.

The pursuit of career happiness (as well as all other sorts) starts from within.

Look at your strengths and weaknesses. Analyse the situations where you excel and those where you struggle to hit the mark. Think about how people react to you and how you react to others. Make a list of what you enjoy doing at work and a list of the tasks that you avoid like the plague. Think about what you regret most about your past and what you dream about most in the future.

As long as you make yourself the centre of all these thoughts, you will be able to paint a picture of who you truly are and what you contribute to your business.

Once you have this picture, it is worth thinking where your opportunities for growth may come from. Being true to yourself, and your capabilities is especially important at this point. Overstretch yourself, and you will find yourself in a no-mans-land of unfulfilled ambitions and unhappy reality.

If your development plan is based on a true reflection of where you are and where you can get to, then the majority of the time you will be able to achieve your goals. If it is based on ‘I want to be like Jon’, then your life is probably doomed to follow a frustrating pattern.

If you stay true to yourself, then you will be happy.

If that means staying in your job, in your company for another year or two, then there is nothing wrong with that. Consolidation is an incredibly important part of life sometimes. You don’t need to be traveling at 100mph to grow.

Written by David Ford