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5 Strategies To Improve Career Happiness & Fulfillment

Career happiness and fulfillment are important to everyone. Especially considering we spend roughly 1/3 of our lives on the job. And while pay and benefits are a big part of the equation, there’s a lot more involved in creating enjoyable employment. Here are five career strategies to improve your quality of life.

Career Happiness Starts With Enthusiasm

It’s sounds trite, but the adage “don’t be a slave to money” is true. Far too often people base their career choices on financial compensation (rather than personal interest). And like other decisions in life, those based solely on money are often the biggest sources of regret.

Instead, consider what you would do if the paycheck didn’t matter. Ponder these ideas to get started.

Determine your interests - What gets you fired up, keeps you motivated, and is exciting to think about? As humans, we naturally gravitate towards the things we’re most passionate about. And passion equals results - both in your personal life and your career.

Focus on your strengths - Do others praise your abilities for particular tasks or project types? What have you done before that generated growth or improved outcomes? We each have skill sets that we excel in (and others that we don’t). Rather than going against the current, figure out how to use these gifts to your advantage.

Consider market demand - for the abilities you have and value you can provide. For example, the packaging industry is always looking for great sales and executive talent. Having these skills puts you in demand and creates a wealth of opportunities.

The intersection of these three elements is where you’ll find the most career fulfillment and happiness. Not to mention a more rewarding work-life experience.

Career Fulfillment Means Serving A Bigger Purpose

The new career paradigm is having purpose in the work we do. Our jobs are more than a means to survive, they’re a way to positively contribute to the world around us. To be part of something bigger than ourselves.

You don’t have to set the world on fire to make a difference either.

Lead by example, add value wherever you can, and help others along the way. Provide empathy for customers or clients, do work that’s meaningful to you, and extend a hand to others coming up the ranks.

Even seemingly small acts can produce a significant ripple effect. Here are a few other ideas to consider when talking about purpose.

Take ownership - see the success of the organization and others around you as your responsibility. Then act and do whatever is necessary to make it happen.

Become self-aware - and you’ll find what you focus on. Look for purpose in your daily activities and think about what you want to contribute. Assist others and give back every chance you get.  

Express gratitude - for all that you have and what’s yet to come. Studies show that gratitude can be a powerful factor in career fulfillment and happiness. Not to mention a huge boost to mental and physical health.

Simply put - think about the moments and activities when you are the happiest. Then find ways to create more of them.

Career Happiness Is About Attitude (Not Just Aptitude)

It’s no secret that staying positive can improve your outlook on life. But did you know it can do the same for your packaging career?

People tend to associate with others like themselves. If you walk around grumpy and complaining all the time, you’re attracting the wrong crowd. One that will quickly tarnish your reputation and harm your chances for promotion.

You’re better off walking away (vs. trying to please everyone).  

Instead, look for supportive colleagues who care about you and your success. Like-minded peers that offer praise and shower you with encouragement. The more you can find others who believe in you, the more you’ll believe in yourself.

If there’s one thing employers value, it’s confidence in their employees.

A Strong Network Unlocks Your Career Potential

Working hard and improving your skills is essential to career growth. But sometimes it’s not enough. In many cases, finding the right opportunities ties back to who you know. That’s why cultivating your network is so important.

An active network helps you spot opportunities you might otherwise miss. Because each new person added to your circle increases your reach. You gain access to their friends and associates, each of whom has personal networks of their own.

Many would argue that your network is the most important career asset you own.

Not to mention that networking can lead to other benefits - like finding a mentor. Studies have shown that mentorship can exponentially accelerate your career growth. These relationships can help you foster ideas and gain new perspectives in the packaging industry.

Most importantly, you avoid the pitfalls others have experienced along the way.

Your Biggest Career Advocate Is Easy To Find

Probably the biggest component of career happiness is personal accountability. Taking whatever comes your way - or letting others decide your professional fate - is a surefire recipe for mediocrity.

Whereas active career planning is an infinitely better strategy for career growth. Some common elements include:

Goal Setting - you’ll never feel satisfied without first defining what you want. Think about what the next destination of your career looks like, then create a plan that helps you get there. It’s okay to change course during the journey - as long as you continue making progress.

Skill Improvement - taking the initiative to stay on top of packaging trends and remain competitive in the marketplace. Whether it be products, technologies, or ways of doing business. Being “ready” allows you to take advantage of great opportunities as they present themselves.

Asking for Help - no one has all the answers, but each person holds a clue. Garnering outsider input helps you put the puzzle together faster. And surprisingly, most people are happy to assist (when given the chance).

Ultimately, career development is about having a vision and capitalizing on new opportunities along the way.

Conclusion

In the end, career fulfillment and happiness are about doing what you love and seeing the impact of your efforts. Sometimes that means trading better opportunities for less money. Or seeking out new challenges once you’ve mastered existing ones.

But more than anything, career happiness is about being true to yourself and your values. It’s about finding employers, workplaces, and people in alignment with who you are. Doing work that matters and feeling good about yourself because of it.

Otherwise, it’s just a job.

What tips do you have for creating a happy and fulfilling career?

Leave a comment below and let us know!

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