Five steps for a happy and healthy career

24 August, 2016
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The world of business and finance is hardwired to climb the career ladder and achieve success but such high levels of ambition and drive can only take you so far. With an ageing population that's likely to work for much longer than previous generations it's important to think  holistically about our careers and focus on our long term health and happiness as well as the money that we make. Here are five top tips on how to achieve a happier and healthy long term career:

Reflect early on what matters to you 

Don’t follow the herd! It is important to focus on a career path that truly matters to you and is aligned with your own goals and values. Don’t choose a path because you think that it what is expected of you. Ask yourself these questions: is this career path going to make me happy? Is it something I enjoy?

Money and success may appeal to some or it could be the type of work, the ability to make a difference, helping others. Whatever the reason make sure that it is an honest reflection of you true self.  If you are unsure it may help to speak with a careers advisor to discuss your options.

Build real relationships 

We spend a significant time of working lives at work and it's important for workplace happiness that you build professional, real and long-lasting relationships with your colleagues. These connections will add to a lifelong support system, that may be able to help further down the line.  

Participate in CSR activities 

Many studies have shown that those who actively participate in corporate social responsibility related activities are in the longer run happier in their place of work, truly successful people add value to their communities and their organisations- get involved as much as possible 

Don’t be afraid! 

There is no room for fear within the workplace; nothing should make you feel scared. Making mistakes is a genuinely useful way to learn, and by taking ownership of your mistakes you will earn respect within your workplace. 

Maintain a work-life balance 

Our activities and performance at work do shape a significant part of our identities and well being but it is not everything.  Make sure to focus on outside activities; friends, exercise, family, hobbies and interests all help in our personal development and are equally important as our careers.

In the end, there is no real road map for a truly happy and healthy career. Think about what makes you happy and do your best to actively purse this within the workplace. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and support when needed, you’d be surprised how many of your colleagues will be willing to help! 

If you'd like some guidance on how to have a happy and healthy career, speak with a careers advisor, or contact our Careers and Employability team at careers@edu.ifslearning.ac.uk to arrange a meeting. 

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