For some people, a successful career is all about achieving power and prestige. For others, it is more important to feel like they are making a difference. And still for others, it is simply a matter of doing what they love. There is no single definition of “career fulfilment.” What matters most is finding a job that makes you happy and satisfied. And that it is different for everyone.
As our lives change, so too does our definition of what it means to be fulfilled at work. So, whether you are just starting out in your career or you are nearing retirement, remember that there is no single answer to the question of career fulfilment. What matters is that you find a way to work that works for you.
Different Types of Career Fulfilment
Money isn’t everything, but let’s be real: it does matter. A fulfilling career should offer you not only financial stability but also the opportunity to earn a good salary. If you’re not making enough money to support yourself (and your family, if you have one), then it’s tough to find fulfilment in your work. But once your basic needs are met, there are other factors that can contribute to career fulfilment. Here are a few examples:
Doing What You Love: This is probably the most common type of career fulfilment. If you excel at your job and enjoy the work you do, then chances are you’re fulfilled in your career. Of course, not everyone is lucky enough to find a job that perfectly meshes with their passions and interests. But if you’re able to find even a partial match, that’s still better than nothing. And that could get you close enough to get started. Who knows what more you could achieve!
Making a Difference: Another common source of career fulfilment is feeling like you’re making a positive impact on the world. This could mean anything from working in a role where you directly help other people (e.g., social work, teaching) to working in a role that supports someone else’s efforts to make a difference (e.g., fundraising, marketing). If you want to feel like your work is truly meaningful, this might be the route for you.
Achieving Power and Prestige: Finally, there are some people who derive fulfilment from having power and prestige within their field. If you’re ambitious and driven, this might be the right path for you. Keep in mind, though, that power and prestige don’t always equate to happiness—so don’t sacrifice your well-being in pursuit of these goals!
No matter what type of career fulfilment you’re looking for, there’s no single right or wrong answer. Ideally many people would like to achieve all three types of fulfilment at once. The important thing is to find a job that makes you happy and satisfied — whatever that may mean for you now.