Alpha Framing: Are You Valued In Your Career?

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Happiness is objective. This applies to our everyday life as well as our experience in our career. Our goals should be defined by what we desire most for our future. If the largest payday is at the top of the list, we should prioritize accordingly. If starting a family is more important, working 40-hour weeks while making a smaller paycheck may be more suitable. Ultimately, our value in our career is incredibly important and deciding when it is time for a change is based on our personal values.

What do employees desire most regarding their work and their personal lives? According to HMAbenefits.ca, “76 percent of employees put their family and personal lives above of the work they do on their priority lists.” Life is short; finding a balance between work and family/personal time is incredibly important. If we find ourselves too focused on either, we may find ourselves unbalanced and unhappy. Having a comfortable balance allows our financial and personal lives to be fulfilled.

Those of us that value personal time over a larger salary should reflect on our career. If you are working 50-60 hours during the week, a career change would be advisable. Taking care of a child is hard work in itself; if you don’t have time to be a parent, finding a career that allows you enough personal time to do so could be a better life decision. At the end of the day, finding that perfect balance is of the utmost importance.

Similarly, benefits such as healthcare, vacation time, and company values are also important. In government jobs like the postal service and police, vacation time and health benefits are extensive; however, the salary involved is not nearly as high as other careers. Certain companies buy meals for employees or have company outings to resorts or expensive restaurants. If these benefits are important, we should find careers that fulfill these needs.

In some select fields, especially relevant in non-profit careers, the purpose of our careers is the most important. Especially in today’s selfish culture, helping others is very impactful. Careers like healthcare, family services, and education drive some of us more than other needs. It is admirable to care about helping other people more than other factors.

For single or very driven individuals, salary is the most important. In our society, building financial success leads to various levels of happiness. If your current salary is not suitable for your workload, it is clearly time to ask for a raise. If you don’t receive a fair or any raise, it is clearly time to move on. We deserve to make as much money as we are worth.

We also need the opportunity to ascend the career ladder. Certain careers have a limited ceiling, restricting our ability to grow as an employee regardless of our skill set. Regardless of our needs, the opportunity to grow and be promoted is essential. If our personal life outweighs our desire to become more senior at our career, that is our choice to make; however, the opportunity to grow is incredibly important, especially to help us achieve our highest levels of production.

In every field, some employees are undervalued and underpaid. Whether we don’t ask for enough money or benefits or we work more than we are required, our value in our career should be equal to our output. For example, the salesmen bringing in the most business to the company should be paid more than other sales’ employees with lower numbers. We should be earning our salaries based on our contributions to the company’s bottom line.

While working for the right company is important, it is equally important to remember that all of us are replaceable in the eyes of our employers. Career decisions should be based on our needs instead of what’s best for the company. In every case, our employers will do what’s best for the company; in these scenarios, our personal needs are irrelevant if it hurts the bottom line. We should learn from our employers by realizing that our needs are more important than our company’s plans, especially if our results are undervalued.

Our value at our career is based on our values. We need to find the best career for works best for our desires and priorities. If family and personal time is more important than a higher salary, shorter hourly careers are more suitable. If money is the highest priority, corporate or commission-based careers make perfect sense. Ultimately, our decisions in life are shaped by our goals; finding a career that aligns best with those goals is what will bring us happiness. If our goals change, it’s perfectly normal to change our careers accordingly. Happiness is objective; we should do everything in our power to be as happy and successful as we can be.