You spend more than half of your waking hours at work, so if it doesn’t bring you any fulfilment professionally, your day to day experience will suffer. Actually, if you are not too fond of your job that only means that life isn’t looking that great either.
You are miserable, so what decision do you make, what steps do you take to get yourself out of the decision. Will it come down to fulfillment or necessity? You need the job to pay your bills, do you keep being miserable for a full belly and a warm sweater, or do you take the risk of searching for fulfilment elsewhere. The job market in Kenya is currently not as welcoming as it was during our parent’s time. Everything has become more competitive, it’s not just your degree that matter, your interpersonal skills and other stuff piled up on the ‘qualification’ list as well. Ever seen that meme of a two year old applying for a job so that in twenty years they would be able to tick that box of plus ten years’ experience? Funny and sad at the same time.
Youth unemployment is one of the main reasons why people are turning to entrepreneurship. In 2017, the estimated youth unemployment rate in Kenya was at 26.21 percent. Recent data from the Ministry of Education indicate that of the 1 million young people entering the job market from universities and colleges every year, only one out of five is likely to get a job in the formal sector.
Fulfillment Vs. Happiness
Fulfillment is different from happiness. There has been a lot of discussion about it and personally, I’m not concerned with the happiness debate. I’m not interested in the pinpointing or existence of happiness or any expert opinion. I’m interested in fulfillment. Fulfillment is the new happiness.
I know when I’ve felt fulfilled and I know that it feels different from happiness. It feels good to help others by calling upon my skills and experience, that gives me a sense a fulfilment and that’s so different from happiness. Happiness can cease at the flick of a switch—as soon as something unhappy happens. But fulfillment is robust. It’s something I can hold on to. It can stand tall and strong like a marble statue resisting the daily weather of mood.
The results of fulfilment are tangible and savory. They require me to be fully present and they call upon something that I have to offer: my prowess, my compassion, or my wisdom gained from mistakes made.
When we’re facing a tough career decision and ask ourselves, “Will this decision make me happy?” or “Is this the right decision?”, we are setting ourselves up for a brick wall of indecision. We are asking the wrong questions because happiness is fickle, elusive, and often times comes attached with pain.
Here is the question of the day: which path would you choose and what factors motivate your decision?
How about fulfillment of a dream or goal? Is that a motivating factor? Ask yourself, “What has felt fulfilling in the past and what might feel fulfilling in the future?” If you know what fulfills you, it’s easier to make decisions that lead to that outcome.
Two important characteristics of a good work environment are supervisors who trust their workers and who see them as more than machines to fulfill a task. If you have these things in your workplace, it might be a place worth staying even if your actual job isn’t everything you’ve dreamed of and more. Here are 10 signs that your current job might be worth staying at, at least until you have your dream job in the bag.
- Your Boss Wants to Use You to Your Fullest Potential. If it matters to your boss when you are under-utilized, that indicates that he values you as a person and not just as an employee. Which, in turn, means that he cares about your overall well-being at work, and not just your performance. Bosses like this are often more open to things like letting you telecommute, minimize your hours, or tweak your job and procedures in it so your work conditions are as good as possible.
- Your Boss Listens to Your Suggestions. A boss who truly listens is a boss you can communicate honestly with. Having a real “say” in what happens at work will give you a lift — it might not be what you truly care about, but at least you are a person whose opinion matters.
- You Have Real Responsibility for Things That Matter in Your Workplace. Giving you autonomous responsibility says that your boss trusts you and that you are trustworthy. Clearly, you are a valued employee.
- You Have a Good (Working) Relationship with Your Coworkers. Bad coworkers make for a miserable work environment, and good coworkers are hard to find. If you’re at a job where you like working with the people around you, you’re in quite a good place.
- You Can Bring Questions and Concerns to Your Coworkers and Boss. This is similar to the others. You’re respected, valued, and trustworthy.
- Your Boss Recognizes Strengths in You That Don’t Strictly Pertain to Your Job. Similar to 5.
- Your Boss and Company Don’t Micromanage Your Time. Aside from trustworthiness this also indicates that your boss respects you and the decisions you make.
- Your Boss and Company Aren’t Constantly Looking Over Your Shoulder. They respect you enough as a person with a life outside of the job to realize that, sometimes, you have to make a personal call on the job. They know you’ll get the job done, and so don’t keep on you to always work on “work stuff” at work.
- Your Boss Trusts You to Make Decisions and Work with Him to Implement Them. Clearly, an employer who trusts you is one to consider staying with if you’re not sure what else is out there, or until you are sure.
- You Get to Do New Things as You Demonstrate Your Commitment and Show Yourself Capable. You are a person with growing and developing strengths and ideas. In a situation like this, it just might be possible, depending on what you ultimately want to do, to turn a job you don’t really like into one you do. You might not have to go solo to fulfill your dreams, but be able to pursue them in the environment you’re already it. It’s at least worth looking that.