3 Ways to Turn Your 9-5 into a Fulfilling Career
I’ve talked to several of my peers lately about the challenges we typically face while navigating the corporate world. We even got to the point where we questioned if investing time in the corporate path was even worth it in the end. As millennials, it’s easy for us to get lost in routine tasks and corporate environments that don’t support growth. At times you may feel like you’re putting a lot of yourself into the job, but not really getting anything out of it besides a check. Under most circumstances, I think we have the power to change this norm. There are ways to improve your daily life at work and still perform at the same high level. I work in accounting as an auditor that specializes in construction for a CPA firm. Your first thought might be (yea, yea boring..), but I found ways to make it work for me and still enjoy what I do every single day.
Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want
One of the biggest mistakes people make at work is falling under the radar. As young professionals, we usually do this when we aren’t being challenged enough or only enjoy bits and pieces of the work we do. When I started my corporate job I didn’t mind the work I was doing, but I could tell that it would get old to me quickly. I’ve never been a fan of repetitive tasks! At the time I was the youngest person in my office, and I walked up to my boss to ask for what I wanted out of my career. Not what I can do for them, but what they can do for me. I ended up completely switching paths that same day. My boss even complimented me for knowing what I wanted and never tried to stop me from pursuing it. It was nerve-racking, but it was the single most helpful thing I did for myself. Find what you are passionate about and then work with people you trust in your office to steer your career in the direction that motivates you.
Put your tangible skills to work
Mastering your everyday tasks is important, but what do you do outside of that at work? I compare it to college in that our main focus is always on grades. We still go out of our way to get involved in clubs, fraternities, and other organizations to enhance the college experience. The same applies to the corporate environment. Find ways to use what you can do to elevate your position in the office. This is one of the easiest ways to gain recognition and bring out your full capabilities. Some jobs only require you to use 50% of your true skill set. Never confine yourself to the bare minimum. I always loved being on stage speaking to others, but it was something I had to work at for a while in college. After leading a few meetings in front of my whole office I was put in charge of eight people in our leadership group that works with our board to push innovation out to the firm. It is honestly the thing I enjoy the most about my job now and it has nothing to do with accounting.
Every person is different and unique in their own way. So that means we as young professionals should never go un-noticed in any environment. Actively find ways to bring a little bit of yourself into the office. The people you work with will appreciate your genuineness. More importantly, building strong connections with your co-workers improves your overall quality of life. A lot of us spend the majority of our day interacting with our co-workers. They can more important to your personal growth than some may think. Learn from each other, but always be yourself. If you feel like you can’t be yourself in the workplace then that’s almost always a sign that your dream job is still out there waiting for you. Don’t be afraid to take that step.
What are your ways to turn your 9-5 into a fulfilling career? Comment below!