Especially new Expats are struggling with the so-called Expat syndrome: We tend to see only the negative parts of the new culture we are living in and praise our own culture from back home. It is human and does not define your character. It’s more of a coping strategy of the human brain for an overload of uncertainty and new beginnings. However, this attitude won’t make you happy when living abroad.
Are you still happy with your job? Is it time for a career change?
Are you still happy with your job? Is it time for a career change?
How reflective are you with your current choice of career? We tend to question our diet, our partner, friends… but how happy are we in our current job environment? If we are unhappy, is this just for the moment or does it reflect a long-term frustration?
Career happiness: Assess the status quo
Let’s shift the topic from an emotional place to a reflective assessment based on several factors. If you are questioning whether your current job is causing you stress but you are not sure whether it is already to a degree that you need a change, check out these 8 factors that influence your happiness with your job. On the bottom of this page you will find an evaluation sheet so you can see black on white what your situation is like. It’s a fun little game but also a great starting point for a potential career change.
The 8 P: factors that define a happy career
Many career coaches argue that there are 8 factors that influence how happy we are in our current work environment. And yes they all start with the letter P…
It’s all about human connections. People can influence our happiness to a positive or negative extent. You either learn from your colleagues and grow together or you are feeling uncomfortable if not stressed. We spend way more time with our colleagues than our family so it is a valid factor to include when thinking about changing jobs/career.
Last week I learned in a seminar for career coaches, that 80% of employees that have asked for a raise did get one. However, only 19% of employees are happy with their current salary. So if you are unhappy money-wise think about asking for a raise and express this to your employer instead of immediately thinking of a new career with a new employer.
How meaningful are your projects? Do you see any progress in the things you are doing compared to the start of your career? Are your projects recognizes by the company? Do you feel responsible for your tasks? These factors can play a major impact when deciding how happy you are with your current job. Think about your current and most recent projects.
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Are you still learning? Or are you buried in micromanagement tasks? People value learning differently so ask yourself how important this is to you. For me personally, learning is one of my core drivers and I know this for some time now. Therefore I rate my work not only based on salary and immediate effect but most of all the by the learning curve my work brings along.
This is a factor that many expats have become experts in. Moving abroad forces you to reflect and by this many of us start to question our purpose. How do we want to design our life? What is important to us in the long-run? These can be really big questions but we can also drill them down a bit to come to a conclusion on how much purpose we can find in our job. What is our private purpose in relation to our professional purpose? Are those connected at all? The more they are connected, the more meaningful we define our work. And with meaningful I don’t mean sustainable, humanitarian, charitable but how meaningful it is to you personally.
Do not mix this up with purpose. Passion is something inside you and not inside the job. What do you care about personally? What do other people say about you? How passionate do you feel about your work? How about the general career outlook?
This is a rather new-age category. I doubt that our parents thought about this when thinking about whether or not to change jobs. Perks are all the little things employees receive from their employer. This is mainly driven by the start-up and tech industry that started to use food, activities, and smaller incentives to make employees stay longer at work. On a more serious level, especially in the US, health care and retirement plans are to be mentioned here (less so in Germany where this is a must).
This factor is all about the work-life balance. How satisfied are you with your hours? Your days-off? Do you need to work during vacation time or is your employer leaving you be? Can you flexibly react to family matters?
So what now? Assessment step
Now it’s time to value each category. Are you happy with your current team environment, salary, projects and so on? Write 1 for yes and 0 for no. So when you add up all the factors you will get a result between 0 (not happy in any of the categories described above) and 8 (happy in each and every category). If you are ending up with a value of 6 or higher you are absolutely fine! You can even step up this game to a higher level by rating each section differently. In my case, I appreciate learning much more than other factors so I valued this number more than others.
So when is it time to think about a career change?
Now take out your math skills (my husband would argue that this is a simple calculation and miles away from being a skill) and calculate based on the points how high your happiness percentage is. If you are getting out 6 points out of 8 your happiness score would be 75% for instance. Check your score with the chart below. Of course, this is just a broad method but it’s a great place to start!
So, I am curious! What is your score? Let me know in the comments below and let’s share our experience! Hope this was helpful! If so, please feel free to share with friends & family.
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