Job Search: Why Are You Doing What You Do?

November 15, 2012 by Linda Hardenstein

graduation caps

Sometimes you don’t have the luxury of turning down a job opportunity.  You may have a family to feed, bills, a car payment, or school loans to pay, or you just want to eat!  So you accept a job, “just for the money.”  It may not make you happy, but at least you know why you’re doing it.

There are many people who find themselves unhappy at work who have forgotten why they’re doing what they do, or they’ve outgrown the reason they accepted a job.  It just no longer fits who they are or who they want to be.

If you’re asking yourself “Why am I doing this?” everyday, or every time you run up against a tough or unappreciative boss, hard-to-deal-with co-workers, unsatisfying tasks or because you’re never able to get things done like you’d like, you’re mostly likely at a dead end on your career path.  It may be time to think about why you’re doing what you do and how to get more satisfaction from your career. Career satisfaction comes from fulfilling a real need, or motivation you have.  For most people I know, that need is beyond just making money. What motivation does your job or career need to fulfill?  Here’s a partial list I’ve came up with to get you thinking:

a.  Experiencing my power to achieve
b.  Making a contribution
c.  Inventing, or fixing something to make life better
d.  Being intellectually stimulated every day
e.  Meeting a challenge to see if you can do it
f.  Working with interesting, dynamic people
g.  Fulfilling your potential or mission in life
h.  Fighting for a cause

As you evaluate your satisfaction at work, it’s important to identify what motivates you.  You can making a list of what you like/don’t like about your current job, or if you don’t want to go it alone, consider hiring a career coach like me who can help you find these answers.  If you’re making  a decision about a job opportunity in addition to asking yourself “why am I doing this?”  here are  8 other things to consider.

What other needs or motivations would you add to the list above for career satisfaction?  Leave me your comment.

Linda Hardenstein is an accomplished career strategist with extensive experience serving hundreds of professionals in technology, law, accounting, education and government by leading them to discover what motivates them and their authentic career path.  She provides the tools needed to land a satisfying job and achieve your career and life goals.