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While some of us have found the happy zone, there’s a significant number who aren’t feeling it. Gallup reveals people who have a high sense of career wellbeing are more than twice as likely to thrive in their lives overall. A 2023 study reveals 65% of U.S. workers are happy with their jobs. Still only 20% say they are passionate about their work. About 49% of American workers report they are very satisfied with their jobs.
Job dissatisfaction is highest among Millennials and Gen Z. Deloitte found 36% of Millennials and 56% of Gen Z say they will change employers within the next two years — a jump from pre-pandemic years.
What role does it play in overall well-being? Jim Harter, PhD, is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author and chief scientist for Gallup’s Workplace Management and Well-Being Practice. He says career well-being is critical. His book, Well-being: The Five Essential Elements, reveals of the five elements of well-being (career, financial, physical, community and social). Career well-being is the most foundational element. Poor career well-being is even linked to poor health.
It’s clear, our good health and well-being depend on having something meaningful to look forward to each day. If you are a reluctant 9-to-5er and feel your true purpose is to provide a safe and happy home for your family, you can still feel fulfilled and at peace with your current job because you are tending to your personal values. Your job makes possible something that is important to you.
Also, think about what inspired you when you first accepted your job. Did something speak to you? Has the job changed, or have you forgotten why you wanted it in the first place? Try to reconnect with what you were excited about originally. You can also explore ways to better align your job with your personal interests.
Remember to also look for fulfillment in your personal life, too. We’ve all heard the saying, "If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” Unfortunately, that may not happen for everyone. That’s why it is so important to find our passions and purpose inside and outside the jobs we do to pay the bills.
Do you have something you are truly passionate about and wish you could get paid to do it? Let us know about it in the comments.
Originally published 7/5/2017; Revised 2021, 2023
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