How to Be Fulfilled in Your Career

May 9, 2021

Today I want to talk to you about a trend that’s been growing steadily for the last several decades. And that is the degree to which we’re fulfilled at work. 

Or to be more specific, the degree to which we’re UNfulfilled.

According to a Gallup poll conducted a few years ago, more than two thirds of workers say they’re NOT ENGAGED in their job. 

Think about that for a minute. Only one in three of us say we’re ENGAGED in the work we do?

Wow.

No wonder so many of us LIVE for Friday nights and despise Sundays, right?

Honestly, that’s why I decided to release my new podcasts on Sunday. I want to give workers a little lift and some helpful perspective to add positive fuel to their workweek.

This is something that’s universal and there’s a lot to talk about here, so let’s dive in.

Back to the poll, I don’t think it’s an accident, that Gallup measured “engaged” vs. “fulfilled.” 

“Engaged” is a MUCH lower bar than “fulfilled” but by anyone’s standards, 33% is a really low number. 

And if they’d asked how many workers were “fulfilled” they might’ve come back with a number like 10%. 

Maybe even less.  

According to Webster’s dictionary, “engaged” means “involved in activity; occupied or busy.” 

Whereas the definition of “fulfilled” is “feeling satisfied or happy because of fully developing one’s abilities or character.” 

See the difference?

And the problem?

We’re not even hitting a good percentage of people who feel INVOLVED IN their job. Let alone feeling satisfied or happy.

Obviously, that’s a huge issue for companies, because it translates into lower productivity, lackluster business results, employee turnover.

And it’s also responsible for delivering the things so many of us complain about including bad bosses (who are probably ALSO not engaged or not engaged enough to bother to be inspiring or helpful).

It creates toxic cultures. 

Hyper political colleagues. 

And all the other stuff that drains us of our energy and satisfaction.

I GET IT. Trust me. 

Anyone who’s been in their career for more than a handful of years has stories to tell. And I could share many. But I want to shift our focus from what’s wrong with the workplaces of today to what we can do about it.

And there’s plenty. 

But first a word of caution.

When you find yourself in a situation where you feel “Unengaged” for a long period of time – when it’s about having more than just a bad or challenging week – it’s easy to assume you’re just in the wrong place. 

That it’s all about the bad boss or the toxic culture or the hyper political colleagues. Or whatever.

Now I’m not telling you those things don’t exist. 

They do. And I know how they can affect how you feel in your job and even how effectively you perform your job.

But here’s the problem with assuming that those things must be fixed BEFORE you can feel engaged or happy or fulfilled in your work. 

You’re NOT IN CONTROL of any of those things.

This puts the power of your fulfillment or satisfaction in the hands of a bunch of other people who aren’t happy themselves. 

Not a great recipe for change, right?

Sure, you could go out and find a NEW JOB – and there are many times when that IS the right answer. Like if you’re looking to grow or evolve or whatever.

But I’m here to tell you from experience that if you change jobs solely to escape the toxicity of the one you have for something you perceive to be better – a job you think might be a GREENER pasture – isn’t always the sure-fire fix we want it to be.

Want to hear more? Give it a listen.

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