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Fulfilling Career Components

Discover the components of a fulfilling career using specific examples.

Personal and professional fulfilment are not mutually exclusive. They are, however, intrinsically linked. Your sense of fulfilment, purpose, and meaning in relation to your career is made up of the following components:

Your sense of fulfilment, purpose, and meaning in relation to your career is made up of certain components

Let’s go ahead and break these components down…

Ownership: Psychological well-being at work includes a sense of purpose in one’s job and a feeling of accomplishment. One of the easiest ways of supporting employees’ sense of purpose is to give them ownership of their job.

Another way of giving employees ownership is to share information about the company. There is more meaning to your job when you know where and how your work contributes to a better result for your customers.

Examples include:

Personal ownership

  • I can choose and manage my own diary and schedule, within the constraints of my current position.
  • I have, to some extent, the choice to work on projects I feel more connected to.

Company ownership

  • My boss is transparent and forthcoming with company updates.
  • I know what direction the company is going in and I understand why.

Development and growth: This is to provide employees with relevant opportunities to gain and build knowledge and skills that will support their job responsibilities and personal development. Providing an employee with training and learning opportunities can increase motivation and job satisfaction. It also allows the employer to support development of employees for new job opportunities such as a promotion.

Opportunities for employee growth and development include:

  • Continuing education courses
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Opportunities for promotion and internal career advancement

Health: Providing a safe, healthy place to work for employees is a key driver in employee satisfaction.

Having a healthy work environment is about feeling supported both physically and mentally by your company and management. This goes beyond the statutory health and safety regulations in an employment handbook.

Examples include:

  • My employers promote a healthy culture at work, explaining how lifestyle choices affect workplace health and wellbeing.
  • Flexible working arrangements, such as part-time work, flexitime or working from home are supported.

Engagement: Employee engagement does not mean employee happiness. Someone might be happy at work, but that doesn’t mean they are working productively on behalf of the organisation.

Employee engagement also doesn’t mean employee satisfaction. Many companies have “employee satisfaction” surveys, but the bar is set too low. A satisfied employee might show up for his/her daily 9-to-5 without complaint, but that same “satisfied” employee might not go the extra effort on their own, and will probably take a head-hunter’s call, luring them away with a 10% bump in pay. ‘Satisfied’ isn’t enough.

Employee engagement means employees actually care about their work and their company. They work on behalf of the organisation’s goals.

  • “When employees care — when they are engaged — they use discretionary effort.” [1]

Examples include:

  • I genuinely enjoy my work.
  • I go the extra mile when needed because I want to.
  • I am committed to the goals and values of the business.

Meaningful contribution: “More than salary, benefits, work environment or status, the ultimate determinant of whether you enjoy going to work each day is whether you believe the work you do makes some sort of meaningful contribution” [2]

Examples include:

  • My work has a clear purpose.
  • I am making something better.
  • I believe in what my company stands for and know I’m making a difference.

Stability and security: The word stability here is in relation to how secure and safe you feel in your job/your position and how stable the company is. This can also be related to the permanency of a role. For some, contracting and ‘temping’ is the ideal scenario so stability and security may not be a priority. For others, a permanent position in a stable company is essential for their sense of wellbeing.

Remember that change is completely unavoidable and out of our hands. A company making redundancies, or a company under new management, could all factor in to you feeling less secure and stable in your role.

The ability to have confidence in yourself and how you deal with the above situations, is in your control.

Examples include:

  • I feel safe in the knowledge that I have the skills to find a new job if I need to.
  • I am confident I am employable and capable.

Financials and benefits: It is important that you are paid the appropriate amount for your level, in your industry. If you are being underpaid and undervalued, you will often feel unsatisfied. Also contributing to this section are benefit schemes your company may offer, including commission, medical cover, holidays, company socials, pension, and maternity cover.

Examples include:

  • I can meet personal financial commitments.
  • I understand the level others are paid in my industry/job type and my salary falls within this bracket.
  • There is clear opportunity and discussion around my salary increasing.

 

References

[1] What Is Employee Engagement?

[2] What Employees Want From a Job

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