Did you know that today’s young professionals will work approximately 96,000 hours during their careers? All that time on the job means it’s essential to find work that is personally meaningful and to create a productive professional environment.
Although there is no magic formula for finding the ideal workplace, knowing yourself and taking the initiative to be your own career manager can help you make informed decisions. Below are some tips to help you create the best work situation possible:
- Develop your core values. They will help you evaluate the best fit for you in a work situation. Consider what values are essential and whether there are areas where you are willing to compromise.
- Find ways to build your identity in the workplace. Consider joining or starting an employee-related group. Beyond creating social ties, these types of groups can provide valuable networking opportunities that can lead to career advancement.
- Since your work life will likely include multiple positions for multiple organizations, being intentional about learning from each job “stepping stone” will help you create a unique set of transferable skills. This builds your marketable experience and could allow you a wider range of professional opportunities.
- Nurture interests both in and outside the workplace. Take on a pet project or start a new program to give your work routine a breath of fresh air. Outside of work, nurture a hobby or find ways to give back to your community. These efforts can help you build new skills and/or stay in touch with skills you may not use as often.
Periodically, assess each of these above pointers to keep your work life humming at the optimal level. Here’s wishing you joy on the job!
By Kristin Nisbet-White, assistant director of the Millikin Career Center