Education expands one's career opportunities and skill set but isn't exactly a guarantor of contentment or success. While degrees open doors, they don't necessarily mean a particular position — or even path — will ultimately prove the most viable, comfortable fit. Some pretty basic factors need meeting before true happiness settles in. Basic factors requiring give and take on the part of employee, employers, and even consumers must take place for a positive career situation, and we'll take a look at the 12 most important here.
Many people enjoy touting how much they thrive under pressure, and most of them probably do. But that momentum, often propelled by youthful vigor, almost always stalls and sputters eventually. And once it does, the stress really starts ravaging one's health. A truly satisfying, sustainable career is a career lessening the risk of heart disease, obesity, depression and other not-so-enjoyable medical conditions. Which, in turn, also saves a right fair amount of money.
Positive work environment
Despite laws protecting against workplace harassment, the issue annoyingly persists year after year. Negative environments, traditional office settings or not, compromise career satisfaction for obvious reasons. Most workers don't enjoy feeling unsafe or dehumanized day after day after day after day after you get the idea. And if the problem trickles down from higher up in the hierarchy, filing reports only renders the situation even more desperate. Even genuinely rewarding, enjoyable responsibilities lose spark when surroundings get off on humiliation and degradation.
Save for the most ardent slackers, most workers like feeling as if they've accomplished something, even if they still have a ways to go before finishing a project. Productivity increases positivity, and while positivity doesn't cure mental health issues, it is a nice, supplementary self-respect boost. And those who love their careers but hate their companies have something to flaunt once resumes get sent out.
Greed isn't good, but everyone must meet their basic needs, hopefully with a little cushion leftover for savings and bit of fun. A fair salary (and benefits, if applicable) should be a basic human right, although one rarely met when one considers global economics. Nobody who works tirelessly to support him- or herself (maybe even a family or loved one) should have to worry about food, shelter and nourishment. Gratifying careers cannot sit on a foundation of hand-wringing over necessities.
Safety and security
Everyone's risk-taking comfort levels vary, of course, but even (especially!) Hollywood stuntpeople and deep sea welders deserve the utmost safety standards. All employers must ensure their staff should never show up to work afraid their number may be up today. In fact, it really should stand as the utmost priority, with no expense spared. Most adrenaline junkies and seemingly fearless individuals still want some degree of security while doing their jobs.
The majority of workers, from the most isolationist to the resident social butterfly, still need something piquing their senses and intellects. Stimulation doesn't have to be interpersonal: satisfying careers keep both bodies and brains happy in multiple ways. Individual workers should seek out jobs preventing slippage, while companies themselves might want to consider initiating activities promoting better mental flow.
People like being asked for their input and ideas, even if what they have to say doesn't necessarily come to pass. Satisfying careers make sure to include everyone wanting to be a part of things, and while it's impossible to implement everything, just taking time to listen often proves enough. Managers and executives should especially exert the effort. Feeling valued bolsters motivation and productivity, so dehumanizing workers won't get a company terribly far.
Like safety, health also significantly factors into overall career contentment. Even beyond stress-related medical conditions, workers might fall victim to inadequately-ventilated or moldy buildings, food- and water-borne illnesses in company commissaries and other hazards. Although no solution for 100% prevention exists — and never will — businesses should still consider healthy, safe and secure customers and employees their utmost concern.
The job doesn't take over everything
All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. All work and no play make Jack … something something … Go crazy?! DON'T MIND IF I DO!!!
Room for growth
If businesses and career paths hope to grow, there's no way they'll sustain success if they don't allow the individuals involved to do so as well. Few people stay the same as they age, and most improve their valuable job skills over time. It makes perfect sense that they want their positions to accommodate their promise and abilities rather than shoving them into a rigid, restrictive box.
It is the best policy, after all. A career path littered with liars, cheaters and other underhanded folks is really only gratifying to liars, cheats and other underhanded folk. All of whom must constantly look over their back and worry about whether or not their cockiness will finally signify their downfall. Really, staying honest with everyone just makes life that much easier. Just don't forget to pair it up with…
No matter one's career path, earning respect from coworkers, higher ups and customers (if applicable) renders even the most groan-inducing tasks at least a shred bearable. "Earning," of course, is the operative word here. But few things conjure up more dehumanizing emotions than genuinely caring for others' needs and receiving nothing — or, even worse, outright degradation — in kind. Retail, education and service jobs often needlessly inspire shoddy treatment, hence many individuals' reluctance to even bother with them.