When we were young girls we were told that we could have it all – a husband, kids, career success and happiness. And we really believed that to be true.
And, while it can be hard work, it is possible to have it all.
Career success and happiness can go hand in hand. Here is how…
#1 – Don’t settle for a career you don’t love.
Unless your career is something that is just a means to an end and isn’t an important part of your self-worth there is NO WAY that you will find happiness in your life if you aren’t happy in your career.
If your career is important to your self worth then it’s essential that you don’t settle for a career that you don’t love.
Many of us start out in a job, any job, just so we can start to earn money. And many of us get trapped in that job, whether we like it or not, because the money is good or the prospect of going out and getting a new job is too daunting.
If you find yourself in that spot, in a career that you don’t love and that is causing your unhappiness, move heaven and earth to get out of that job and find one that you love.
Today, right now, think about what kind of career you would like to have if you were in charge of the world. Just think about it. And when you know GO FOR IT. (Let me know if I can help!)
#2 – Don’t neglect yourself.
Are you one of those people who works so hard at your career that you have stopped taking care of yourself?
Do you tell yourself that the lack of sleep or the weight gain or the hair loss (from stress) is a small price to pay for career success?
If this is you, I am guessing that your happiness level is pretty low, even if your career is going strong. Because you simply can’t be happy in your life if you aren’t taking care of yourself. You might think you are happy. But are you really?
So take the time to take care of yourself and work hard. Get some sleep, eat well, indulge yourself when you can. Taking care of you will ensure you a lot of happiness. I promise.
#3 – Don’t stop learning, both in your life and your career.
Many of us, as we settle into the grown up life of parent, spouse and career person, stop learning. We figured that we paid our dues in high school and college and that is that. No more learning required.
I would argue that learning is essential for growth and happiness and they say it keeps your brain young.
I am not saying that you need to go back to school full time but do make an effort to learn something new every day.
Are you given a project at work that you know nothing about? Dive in! Are you wondering just what is all this hype about apple cider vinegar? Get online and find out. Wondering what you can do to learn some marketing tools so that you can get that promotion? Take a seminar. Hoping for some guidance on love and relationships? Check out the 5 Love Languages.
My point is is that every day there is an opportunity to learn something new. Grab that opportunity. Use your brain. It will get you far.
#4 – Don’t lose touch with friends and family.
Are you the one who is always missing the family event because of work? Are you the one whose friends don’t invite you out for happy hour because they know that you will say no?
If you are this person I am going to plead with you to STOP.
Very old people say that at the end of their life they don’t wish that they had stayed for that one important meeting or that they could have climbed just a little higher on that corporate ladder. At the end of their lives, old people regret the times that they missed with loved ones, precious lost time that they can never get back.
So if you want career success and happiness work hard but not too hard. Your loved ones need you, and you need them for when the going gets rough.
#5 – Don’t prioritize your career over love.
This is one that I wish I would say over and over and over. I will say it one more time.
Don’t prioritize your career over love.
One career is incredibly important both for personal and financial reasons. But if you put it before your love then you will be setting yourself up for neither career success or happiness.
I have a client whose husband worked all the time, who was never home for dinner and who always missed dates with her. She tried to get him to let go of work a bit and be with her but his career was too important to him.
So she left him. And what happened next? He was alone, living in a small apartment. He had his kids every other week and that was stressful because he had to manage them and work. He didn’t have someone to come home to and support him. Everything suffered.
In the end, my client’s ex lost a promotion because of the chaos that was his life after his divorce.
On top of that, my client’s ex was lonely and sad and left wondering what he had done with this life.
So look up right now at the one you love and decide to make them a priority going forward.
Career success and happiness can definitely go hand in hand.
The key is making sure that you are doing work that you love, that you take care of yourself and that your priorities are on straight.
I love coaching more than any other career that I have had and it has brought me much personal happiness. But I know that I wouldn’t have that happiness without my health, the man sitting beside me and the kids on their way over for dinner.
So go for it. You can have it all too!
I am a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. My writing has been published on The Huffington Post, Prevention, Psych Central, Pop Sugar, MSN and The Good Man Project, among others. I work with all kinds of people to help them go from depressed and overwhelmed to confident and happy in their relationships and in their world.