As we continue on our series of articles on Mental Health & Wellness, there is a dire need of becoming aware of the root causes that lead to stress and anxiety. It is important to take steps to minimise them before they become full-blown problems requiring external help. In this article, let us examine the role of your career choices on your state of happiness and wellness.
- How does your career / profession affect your Wellness
- Benefits of career planning
- Achieving Occupational Wellness
How does your Career affect your wellness?
Almost everyone would have heard/read/know a lot about the importance of Career Planning and the various ways that you can go about planning your career for success and recognition.
Therefore, we shall only be summarising some of the benefits that will accrue from a well-planned career and then move on to Career planning and its effect on your overall wellness.
Benefits of Career Planning
Whether it is in a job, business, or any other chosen profession, lack of planning may well be the difference between success and failure.
Unfortunately, most of us realise this a bit late by which time we would have already embarked on a career journey that was ‘not planned’ but ‘just happened’. If you have the desire to excel and move on to higher heights in your career, you should consider having a career plan. Interested in creating one now? Here are a few benefits of having a career plan:
Life has become fast-paced and highly competitive. Having a career plan will give you clarity when selecting the right profession and help you set your priorities right. The process of career planning helps an individual to be aware of various career opportunities.
Once you are aware of the choices available, you should be able to select a career that matches your interest, skills, and competencies and not get muddled in the midst of many career options.
You will need discipline, focus, strong will, strength, and training to be able to pick a career path and stick to it. In the end, these traits will definitely pay off and will be of immense advantage to you in the future. A regular personal career review is mandatory – be it annual or any other periodic assessment.
4. Career contentment
Most employees today are so busy competing with others or are running after achieving materialistic gains that their only career compass is designations and salaries. Achieving satisfaction with their career choice is fast losing importance and this reflects on the output of their work and on their physical and mental well-being as well. Being in a career of your choice will boost your morale, help you stay motivated, give meaning to your life, and keep you committed to your workplace.
If you are satisfied with your chosen career path, it will always reflect in your performance. Should you continue to perform well, it will leave a good impression on your colleagues and bosses. The senior management will also become aware of your capacity and capability and this may provide you with better opportunities for both personal and professional growth.
6. Retirement plan
Working in your dream job should not be the ultimate goal of your career plan. It is not just about work; it is also about your future. A career plan backed with financial planning, life goal attainment, emotional satisfaction, a good social network, etc., will make your retirement life easy and contented. You will be able to look back with smiles and enjoy the rewards of your efforts and labour.
Achieving Career (Occupation) Wellness?
We define Occupational Wellness as…
“Deriving job satisfaction, remaining motivated at work feeling valued to increase your productivity, and achieving professional growth.”
Maintaining positive vocational wellness improves your overall physical and mental wellness. Gallup conducted a study to evaluate career wellbeing. This study found that those employees, who actively and satisfactorily engaged in their work, were significantly happier and more interested throughout the day than those not engaged or disengaged.
Let us now look at a broader understanding of what you need to know to achieve Occupational Wellness.
There are four focus areas:
1. There is a meaning to what you do
Your chosen career or profession should not be a mere compulsion, or just an instrument to earn money or be like someone else. Above all, it should be meaningful to you so that you are constantly motivated to continue to work every single day. Moreover, it is up to you to understand, realise, and look out for that meaning. Do not look at any job merely as a need to perform a series of actions in a mundane manner, but view it as something that you really want to achieve from within and which gives you immense satisfaction.
You will derive this satisfaction if you know that you are able to contribute to your organisation in a productive manner and make a positive difference. Should this not happen, you will gradually lose interest in your work and you may stop putting your best efforts to achieve the desired results. Always ensure that your actions are adding value to your organisation. Your work or your chosen career needs to be so interesting that you should feel it is giving you a purpose and a direction in life to achieve both your personal and organisational goals.
Moreover, your own value system has a great role to play. If your values are in alignment with those of the organisation or with the work that you do, you will remain satisfied and will not have any inhibitions to performing your roles effectively. The moment you encounter a disconnect or are forced to do something against your will and wish or which is not in sync with your inner values, you will face discomfort and will not be able to perform to the best of your ability.
2. A sense of empowerment
All of us like to be empowered. But how? Is someone going to empower us, or do we need to make a way for becoming empowered? It is a blend of both. By virtue of your designation, you may have the power, authority, responsibility, accountability, etc. However, it is essential that you have clarity of what you need to do, have a direction, and a supporting mechanism and tools to fulfil your job responsibilities. You also need to provide and take feedback intermittently so that you know that you and your team are on the right path.
When you are able to maintain a work-life balance, you are in control of your life and feel empowered. When you can manage your work with the available resources – man, money, material, and machine, you experience a feeling of empowerment. When you have the freedom or liberty to complete your work in a manner that you want to and within the specified boundaries, you may be able to produce better results. If you also allow others to do so, will also lead to empowerment. When you are able to pursue your work or career with passion, it gives you a sense of achievement.
3. The need for recognition
When we work in an organisation, we all look for appreciation and acknowledgement. Should anyone tell you that you did a great job, and gives you a pat on the back, you feel elated and it motivates you to do more and better. If you and your work are acknowledged in public, that takes your morale to a very different level. If you work in an organisation where the culture believes in inclusion, mutual recognition, and has a human and humane approach to things, you will be able to perform better. In difficult times, if your needs are taken care of, you will also stand by the organisation in times of its need.
When you perform well and you are recognised and rewarded in different ways like getting a promotion, bonus, added responsibilities, larger team, etc. you feel you are being cared for. This is very essential for anyone to continue working in an organisation. This also leads to professional growth. All of the above enhances personal growth as well because added responsibilities bring in opportunities for new learning, acquiring new skills, gaining new knowledge, etc. and above all – the right kind of attitude.
4. Being constantly motivated
Motivation is a very important factor in our personal and professional lives. It is the reason why we behave in a certain manner in a given situation and a major reason for achieving our goals. Motivation could be either intrinsic or extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation comes from within whereas external factors are responsible for extrinsic motivation. You cannot expect someone to motivate you all the time. You need to see what factors motivate you and look out for those factors at your workplace. If you are happy with the career choice you have made, that is a great reason for your motivation. At times, you may not get everything that you want or desire at your workplace. However, you have to find new ways and means to continue to make your work interesting for yourself.
For that, you need to be constantly stimulated and focus on your learning and development. You could find ways to make your job interesting and enriching through job rotation, acquiring related or lateral skills, taking more initiative, etc. This may increase your satisfaction levels. Only then will you look forward to going to work every day, else, it could result in absenteeism and other negative factors.
Start managing your Occupational Wellness…NOW.
Ajay Mahajan | Wellness Coach & Consultant
+91 9654889815 | firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTE: To know more about our online course/workshop on Occupational Wellness – Click Here.