Most of us won’t stay in the same job forever. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average baby boomer (born between 1957 and 1964) held 11.7 jobs between the ages of 18 and 48. Although no longitudinal survey has tracked workers for their entire career, this data shows the fact that many people do change jobs frequently during their working years.
Sometimes people change careers, and sometimes they simply move forward in the same field and take on a different job title. We all want to have the right job for us, but it can be difficult to be sure we do. A Gallup study found that 70% of workers are not engaged at work. If you are unhappy in your job, it might be time to look for a new one. However, determining whether you have the right job can be difficult. Here are four signs that you have the right job for you.
1. You are engaged
Being engaged at work is important, and the Gallup study shows us that employee engagement is rare. If you are engaged at work, then this is a good sign that you have the right job for you. A 2013 study from the Institute of Management Studies in India considered what makes an employee engaged (according to the study, an engaged worker is involved in and enthusiastic about their work, and attempts to further the organization’s interests). The study found that opportunities for job enrichment, the ability to grow in the job, and a satisfactory work environment were all important parts of employee engagement.
If you feel attached and loyal to your company, and you believe that you have the ability to learn new skills, to grow in your job, and you enjoy your work environment, then that is a good sign that your in the right position.
2. You feel at home
Many aspects of a job can be learned, but this isn’t true of every skill. Hopefully if you were hired into your position, then you have the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed. If you find that your skills and experience match up well with your current job, and you are confident that you can succeed, then these are good indicators that your current job is a good fit. However, if you feel like you are drowning in work that is way above your skill level, or you are so bored because your job is too easy for you, then your job is not a good fit.
In addition to the job duties, you should be comfortable in your work environment. In order to feel at home, your contributions should be appreciated, you must like your coworkers and boss (or at least, you can stomach them), and also agree with the company’s mission; if you agree with these things, you likely have a great job.
3. You are getting what you need
While your ideal job might include everything you want, for most of us, those jobs are just a dream. If your job gives you everything that you need, that is a good sign that your job is the right one (at least for now). If you are making the amount of money you need to pay your bills and meet your financial goals, if you feel confident that you have the ability to move up through promotions, if your company is friendly toward your individual needs (whether that be time off with your family, travel time, medical leave, etc.), then that part of your job is meeting expectations.
On the other hand, if you have been at your company for a long time, but no raise is in sight, you might need to move on. However, if the job is the right fit for you in other ways, you can try to request a raise first. Many Americans never even ask for a raise, so you should start there. Also, be sure that a raise is really what you need: according to Glassdoor, 79% of employees would prefer new or additional benefits over a pay increase.
4. You feel it
Sometimes, our gut feeling is the best one to follow. If you feel that your job is a good fit, then it probably is. If you’ve always wanted to be a teacher (or a doctor, or a chef…) and now you are, and you get up every morning and you look forward to going to work, then you are in the right place. If you imagine yourself down the road still doing what you are doing now (and especially, where you currently are or in your specific position) then your current job is a great fit. Another great clue is being excited to talk about your job when you meet new people. Lastly, if the days go by quickly, but you feel that you accomplished a lot, your job sounds like the right one.
Having the right job can make the rest of your life even better; this is especially true if you are happy and fulfilled by your worklife. Feeling content and proud of your job can help you have a positive attitude towards the rest of your life too. On the other hand, being unhappy at work can leave you sick, stressed, and overworked, all of which can affect other parts of your life.
Finding the right job for you can benefit you in so many ways. Salary and benefits are important, but so is loving your job and agreeing with your company’s mission. The right job right now might not be the right job down the line, and it’s okay to change jobs later. However, if you truly feel that you are in the right place right now, enjoy it.