Our work, our career and our jobs are only a part of our lives.  What we do for a living is important, but the import it takes ebbs and flows during the course of time.

This is not only OK, it is to be expected.  There are a number of factors that influence how we view our work, and how big a role it plays in our lives, at any given point.

Stage of Career

In our 20’s, we are often making our mark in the work world.  It’s the time where we test our skills, build our work reputation, and dedicate a large part of our time and energy to our careers. However, for some of us, our twenties might be the time when we are trying different things out, trying to figure out where to land, and continuing to study and build a skill set to move into an area that moves us.

Each of these mindsets is OK, and they ‘fit’ just right for certain folks. Some of us are just born knowing what we were made to do. All we have to do is get the training, and then it’s a simple task to work hard and follow the trajectory upwards.

We go from discovering what career we want and preparing for our career, to building our career, the foundation and network we need, to reaping the benefits of our hard work and reaching the pinnacle of success. 

But some of us take our time to find our ‘passion’ and it might take years, or decades. And many of us will have multiple careers over the course of our lives. 

Stage of Life

There are times in our lives where our jobs may seem like the most important thing (or close to it!), but at other times, our families take priority, a particular hobby or recreational activity takes over, or we dedicate our efforts to a community effort or cause.

Big Life Events

No matter how busy or important we think we are, there are certain events that will take precedence no matter what.  Sudden discovery of the serious illness of a close family member will be much more important than anything else – no matter what you thought yesterday.

Likewise, the advent of a new baby may make us reconsider our priorities and cause us to reevaluate how we spend our time.  I’m sure you can think of other life events that shake up our work lives.

Changing/Discovering Career

We might decide that we want to pursue a different career path, so the one we’re currently in becomes less of a priority, or we’re at a point where we’re discovering our way, and trying out multiple options.

For example, you might have ‘work’ that is not what you do to pay the bills (currently). In this case, you may be more systematically developing a career outside of what everyone thinks of as your ‘job.’

No matter where you are, you can learn and grow. Sometimes we have laser-like focus on our career goals, and other times our work life takes a back seat.

In another post, we talked about the ‘big picture’ of your work. Today, I’d like you to step back further and take a look at the landscape of your life. Decide how your work fits in, and how you WANT it to fit in.  Where is your career within your life right now?

Aurelia Flores is Senior Counsel at a Fortune 500 company and former Fulbright Fellow who graduated from Stanford Law School. Her website, PowerfulLatinas.com, offers stories of success, along with resources and programs focused on Latino empowerment.

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Aurelia Flores is Senior Counsel at a Fortune 500 company and former Fulbright Fellow who graduated from Stanford Law School. Her website, PowerfulLatinas.com, offers stories of success, along with resources and programs focused on Latino empowerment.

 

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