Experiencing successful career development across our lives requires a consistent evaluation of our long-term goals while balancing our need for instant gratification versus our delayed benefits. It can also require us to follow our gut and learn when to say “yes” or “no” to opportunities that come our way.
We look at what we have and wonder, “would I be happier elsewhere? Have I picked the right career? Should I accept a different job for a better salary?” All these factors come into play and make us question our decision to accept a new role, join a new company, or stay exactly where we are.
Is there a perfect job out there for you? Is there the professional equivalent to finding “the one”? As with love, this feeling is subjective and elusive, but there are clear signs that you may have found the perfect job! Let’s take a closer look at what these could look like.
Sign #1 You’re excited, motivated, and engaged by your day-to-day work
When you’re in the right job, having to sit down and work through your to-do list doesn't feel grueling or daunting. Rather, your work can feel enjoyable, and sometimes even fun! The thought of new projects excites you as they can result in a positive impact and subsequent upwards mobility. You may even experience a mental state of “flow”, where you’re completely absorbed and immersed in what you’re doing.
Sign #2 You feel comfortable taking initiative and trusting your instincts
When you’re doing well in your job and you’re feeling good about the outcomes, you’ll experience small wins that continuously build and lead to increased confidence. Where you may have once experienced a degree of imposter syndrome, a new sense of trust in your instincts and decisions will take its place! This increased awareness of your own abilities will help you feel more comfortable taking initiative and growing outside your comfort zone.
Sign #3 You don’t have the Sunday blues
The Sunday blues can hit you hard when you’re unhappy at work. In fact, 62% of people report experiencing regular Sunday Blues. But when you’re in the right job, and you can easily focus on what you enjoy about your work, Sundays don’t feel so bad! Of course, you would rather be sleeping in and enjoying downtime, but someone who views their job as a manageable and important component of their career won’t be watching the clock or constantly living for the weekend.
Additionally, if you’re on a team you love, Sunday also means you get to catch up with your colleagues over coffee on Monday, something to look forward to!
Sign #4 You don’t find yourself scrolling job boards
Sure, other jobs may pay more, be closer to home, or offer better vacation. But the thought of giving up what you have for any of these added bonuses just doesn’t interest you. In a recent Gallup study, 51% of employees reported browsing for a new job. If you don’t feel the temptation to join this statistic, it's definitely a good sign!
Sign #5 You’re playing to your strengths, not your weaknesses
It can be difficult to recognize and identify your own strengths and talents. We find ourselves constantly trying to improve our shortcomings, rather than focusing on our natural talents, and maximizing our potential. In the right job, you will be energized by the work that you’re doing because it plays to your strengths. Conversely, in the wrong job, you'll be pulling on the skills that are less natural for you, and this can be intensely draining.
Sign #6 You’re constantly learning, growing, and stretching
When you’re in the right job, you’ll feel inspired to learn more and push yourself to grow. Though companies can offer certain development opportunities, ultimately, you’ll be in charge of your own growth. When you’re feeling engaged and happy in your role, you will be more likely to seek out growth opportunities, and actually, take time for self-improvement.
Sign #7 You identify with your work and feel a sense of purpose
More than ever, employees want to work with a sense of purpose. So much so, that 50% of millennials would accept a lower salary for a job that was more in line with their core values. When employees feel their work has a greater social impact, they demonstrate greater levels of loyalty and dedication to their work. This could be because younger generations are more inclined to emphasize the importance of intrinsic satisfaction over external rewards.
Of course, no job will ever be as good as relaxing on a beach with a pina colada in hand. However, if you wake up feeling any of these signs, you’re in good shape!
Stacy Pollack is a Learning Specialist with an MA in educational technology. She is passionate about building leadership programs that engage and contribute to the success of her organization. She loves to share her perspective on job hunting, career building, and networking for success. Connect with her on LinkedIn or Twitter.