How Can Your Overall Well-Being Be Enhanced Through Your Career?

Enjoying what we do is critical to our overall well-being. How can your well-being be enhanced through your career?

Most individuals spend a ton of time working. It consumes a good chuck of our days, week, and life in general. Because we spend more time working than anything else, we should be able to enjoy what we do.

First, career or occupational well-being is actually a thing. I did not make it up. So what is it exactly?

  • It refers to feeling good about the work you do
  • It allows you to achieve a true work-life balance
  • It helps to maintain positive work relationships
  • It helps to manage and reduce work-related stress
  • It includes how you occupy your time. This can go beyond having a paid role and can include, domestic or volunteer work, community involvement, school or learning, and other related activities.
  • Most importantly, occupational well-being entails how you feel about your work, i.e., your career choice is aligned with who you are and you feel positively challenged or inspired

Why is career/occupational well-being important?

Having strong career well-being can enhance your overall happiness, health, and present you as more successful in your professional AND personal life. Having a great level of happiness and satisfaction in your career is found to be linked to a greater sense of meaning and purpose in life.

How is career/occupational well-being tied to identity?

Many people look for careers or jobs that align with who they are and what they believe in. Also, when we meet people, one of the most common questions asked is, “what do you do for a living?” We all tie this to our identity or the identity of someone else. While we know that your career does not completely define who you are, it is a very large part of us and who we are. Again, because we spend a good portion of our time working in one form or another, our work does shape our identity. Having a high sense of career well-being will better allow you to answer what it is that you do with a sense of pride because you find meaning and fulfillment in your work and life.

How to assess your career/occupational well-being:

If you’ve gotten this far in this post, you’re probably wondering how you can assess your career or occupational well-being. For starters, you can ask yourself the following questions:

  • Am I happy with my career choice or my current role?
  • Do I find my work stimulating?
  • Am I inspired by my career?
  • Does my career give me any personal satisfaction?
  • Are my responsibilities consistent with my values?
  • Do I look forward to going (or logging) into work most days?
  • Do I enjoy work most days?
  • Is my workload manageable?
  • Am I happy with my work-life balance?
  • Do I even have a work-life balance?

If you have answered “no” to any of these questions, these are areas that may need improvement in your career well-being.

How can I improve my career/occupational well-being?

Your mindset and attitude impacts everything that you do and determines how satisfied and enriched you are in your life. Because your career is a major part of your life, it is important that you find a high-level of satisfaction and enrichment in it. Career/occupational well-being is about helping you to find meaning and purpose in your career, as well as allowing you to have a work-life balance. To improve upon this, you can start by finding something that you enjoy about your career, role, or how you currently spend your time. Focus on the positives and not the negatives. This is not to say that you must stay planted where you are if you know that you aren’t spending your time the way that you wish or if you do not have a career that provides you with meaning, purpose, or a work-life balance. This approach helps you to be able to reduce some of the stress you encounter and manage your workload as you figure out what it is that you want to accomplish or next steps.

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