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Careers and Personal Fulfillment: How Much Are You Expecting Your Job to Satisfy You?

Careers and Personal Fulfillment: How Much Are You Expecting Your Job to Satisfy You?

Most people think about a career as something that will align to their interests and personality. Most people even have a few alternatives for a “dream job” (which sometimes aren’t realistic, depending on their age and other factors). We did a survey a few years back with high school and college students about what their expectations of careers were (you could call them millennials), and the results were really interesting. Do your opinions line up with theirs?

  • 80% believe a career should be something that brings enjoyment and fulfillment to their life
  • 53% believe their career will play a role in defining them as an individual
  • 72% said they want to choose a career that aligns with their passions
  • 78% believe they will achieve the most success in a career for which they have a passion and that they enjoy on a daily basis

In addition, many see their job as being about more than merely making a living. They are willing to take less pay and fewer benefits for a job they are passionate about. Consider that 58% believe “enjoyment of the work itself” is the primary motivator for people who are highly successful in their career—more than money and a desire for power, influence, and respect, among other choices.

The millennial generation (probably many of you reading this) will soon become the majority of the workforce in the United States, so opinions and perceptions about how they want to work and when they want to work has a large influence on how companies will operate going forward. Even the idea of working remotely is ingrained in the upbringing of millennials—you don’t need to rent a physical DVD anymore to watch a movie, or even go to a brick-and-mortar bank to complete financial transactions, so why would companies demand that you be physically present to get your work done? Often, millennials (no matter their MBTI type) are looking for work options that reflect the time and circumstances they’ve grown up in—flexible, instant, inspiring, and virtual. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average young adult had held 6.2 jobs by the age of 26. PwC also did a “future of work” study of hundreds of millennials, finding that they’re less likely than prior generations to stay loyal to one company, and that work/life balance is more important to them than financial reward.

Though your MBTI preferences, upbringing, and other factors can all tell you something about what you value in a job, you are the one who knows yourself best. Try the following little exercise and remember that, depending on where you are in life, your answers won’t always be constant.

Write down or print out the bullet points below representing 15 benefits employers could offer. Then rank these benefits from most important (1) to least important (15) to help you understand which career or company might give you the most satisfaction.

  • Training & development
  • Flexible working hours
  • Cash bonuses
  • Free private healthcare
  • Pension scheme or other retirement funding
  • Greater vacation allowance
  • Financial assistance with housing
  • Company car
  • Assistance with clearing debts attained while studying
  • Maternity/paternity benefits
  • Subsidized travel costs
  • Free child care
  • Access to low-interest loans or borrowing options
  • Time off work to do community service or charity work
  • Higher wages

Was there anything in how you ranked the benefits that surprised you? If you haven’t read the blog about motivation and MBTI preferences, take a look at the blogs How to Find a Career You Love and Using Your MBTI Preferences to Find Your Career Fit and compare what they say about MBTI preferences and motivation to the top five benefits you considered most important in your work. As you look at those top five benefits, ask yourself why each is important to you. Digging deeper into why you value the benefits you do will help you better understand yourself, your motivation, and your personality.