- Believe in your work.
- Excel at your work.
- Get the greatest return from your work.
Although we all have a different idea of the ideal work-life balance, it takes a certain base set of values to truly enjoy going to your job - whether you put in an 80-hour or a 4-hour workweek.
In addition to new year's resolutions focusing on physical health, family and important relationships, educational goals, and community involvement, the start of the year is a great time to conduct an audit of your career and determine whether your work is meeting your own objectives. For some people, work is life. For others, work facilitates a certain lifestyle. But no matter who you are, it makes for a more complete self to have a job you find valuable. And those of us who have jobs we love are always looking for a way to improve our own performance, get more out of it, and ensure our continued prosperity.
The start of January is such a perfect time for career evaluation not only because it is the start of a new calendar year and the traditional time for resolutions, but also because the job market starts hopping in January. Everyone has just received (or not received) their holiday bonus, vacation time / PTO has been replenished, and there's that feeling of movement in the air (and on the job boards) as workers begin transitioning between employers. New openings are popping up with greater frequency now than perhaps at any other time of year. Even if you're not ready to make a move yet, this is an excellent time to research employment options as companies publicize job openings and tell you exactly what they want from candidates and what they are willing to offer candidates. (Although I have lots of things to say about an active job search vs. a passive job search and about how relying on job postings to find work is absolutely ridiculous, there's also a lot to be gained from reading the job boards to see what's being listed out there, where the demand is, and what employers are willing to put on the table to the general population.)
If you're committed to believing in your work, excelling at your work, and getting the greatest return from your work, you'll find enjoyment and meaning in your work. Aligning your career with these objectives will lead to having a career that makes sense to you and pays you back for what you put into it.