How to have a happy career

If you want to find a job you love, you’re not alone. 16% of people surveyed by SEEK stated their main reason for wanting to make a career change was to either “do something more fulfilling” or to “pursue their passion”.

But how do you have a happy career? It’s all about figuring out what you love and finding a practical way to pursue that passion. Follow our tips below for how to get started.

  • Find your passion. First, take a look at your current job – are there particular tasks you enjoy that you wished were a bigger part of your daily responsibilities? Or perhaps there are things you do outside of your job that you enjoy, and want to do more of. Whether they’re big or small, once you identify the things you love to do, you can take action to incorporate them more into your working life.
  • Strike a balance between work and life. It’s all good if you’ve got a job you love, but if you never get to see your family or take care of yourself then it’s not a sustainable option long-term. If you’re working too hard, consider whether it’s because of your own expectations of yourself, or your employer’s. If it’s the former, you need to ease up on yourself and reconnect with your life outside of work. If it’s the latter, you need to talk to your boss about restructuring your responsibilities for a healthier work-life balance.
  • Have the confidence to let go of what’s not working and try something new. Sometimes we get stuck on an idea of what we think we should be doing, and get so caught up in trying to pursue that that we may not realise if it’s not making us happy. If you’re having a really hard time pursuing what you thought was your dream job, it might be best to put that goal aside for a while and pursue something new. A different approach can yield fresh results and that in itself can bring you career happiness.
  • Assemble a support network. For times when your career is challenging – or perhaps not challenging enough – you’ll need a support network to seek outside opinions from, and sometimes just simply vent to. This can come in the form of friends, family or colleagues, but be careful with the latter – sometimes a friendly coworker can turn out to be a frenemy. Friends and family are often the best support networks as they likely know you from outside of work and so their perspective on you and how your job fits your life can be invaluable.
  • Understand your finances and expectations. Usually a happy career means it fulfills your passion and challenges you in a good way, but there are also practical elements to pursuing your passion. A dream job isn’t really a dream if you can’t pay your bills and you’re struggling paycheck to paycheck. Find a job that aligns with your passion and fits your financial requirements.

To recap: pursue your passion and shoot for a job that gives you work-life balance and financial security. And if you have trouble, lean on your network and try a new approach. At the end of the day it’s more important that your job brings you joy, not that it fits other people’s definition of success.

At the end of the day it’s more important that your job brings you joy, not that it fits other people’s definition of success.