What does work mean to you?

Does your work align with your abilities and deepest interests? Is your work simply a way to earn a living? Do you enjoy your work so much you could do this work forever? Is Monday your best day of the week and Friday the worst because you have to wait until Monday to continue? Does your work only represent a small part of your life and not that important? As we age, especially after 40, the answers to these questions become more important. When work does not involve activities which a person really enjoys, it becomes a sure recipe for a lackluster life. When work becomes just a way to earn a living and nothing more, this leads to an overall sense of loss in one’s life. Of course, we have to work to earn a living, but there are different ways, that is what is most important. There are many ways to earn a living doing what one enjoys. This takes self-insight and reflection. When work is simply a path to retirement, this is the biggest waste of one’s life. Much can and will get in the way on the path towards finally retiring. If the weekend becomes the only part of life which is enjoyable, then a new recipe for life and work becomes mandatory.

How does the work affect your well-being?

Take a moment and analyze how you are feeling right now as you think about your work. Are you excited? Are you looking forward to working today? Do you feel joyful when you think about your work? Or, does your work cause you anxiety, stress and worry leading to illness several days a month. One’s work is the most important element in life because it can and will affect everything else health, your mood, and relationships. Are you unhealthy now BECAUSE of your work? Then you must make plans NOW to change what you do.

The importance of doing the right work!

Everything changes in one’s life when doing the right work. Your self-esteem is improved; you feel happier and more joyful about your life. Loved one’s are appreciated more and there is a greater sense of a life being lived in the moment vs. always planning for someday. Most important when doing right work, one can stop competing for the promotion, the manager’s attention, the next reward. The reward becomes the work itself.

How to transition from a job to right work

Start with deep reflection. What are your most important values? How do you know if you are following them and if you are not? Which goals might you align around what is most important to you in your life. How can you make your work align around these goals vs. trying to force fit your life into work which you do not enjoy?

Are you always negative about your work?

If thinking about your work makes you feel bad, then only you can change this. Despite today’s situation, you can and must change. It all starts with a dream as to what would be perfect for you with regards to your life and your work. Does this involve radical change? Sometimes, yes. And in some cases just smaller changes which can add up over time.

A brighter future

Most important is not to settle for work which is just a job, a means to an end. For this is the worst way to live one’s life. Step back; think deeply about what you want with regards to your work. Start with small steps, and soon the momentum will shift in your favor. This is how energy works when it is going in the right motion!

I'll be cheering you on as you go!

Craig Nathanson

Author's Bio: 

Craig is a 25 year management veteran, Executive coach, college professor, author, and workshop leader. Also, Craig Nathanson is The Vocational Coach helping people and organizations thrive in their work and life.

Craig Nathanson is the founder of The Best Manager , workshops and products aimed at bringing out the best in those who manage and lead others.