I just read an interesting article about What Millennials Really Want Out of Work by Adam Grant, a Professor at Wharton, who states that “At the end of the day, we all want the same basic things out of work. Whether we’re Boomers, Gen Xers, or Millennials, we’re searching for interesting, meaningful jobs that challenge and stretch us. For jobs that allow us to support our lives and families outside work, earn respect and form significant relationships, and make a difference in the lives of others.”
For many, the thought of winning that $20m jackpot lottery so that we can retire for good and just go have fun everyday seems like a dream come true. Yet, speaking from personal experience, the grass is not always greener on the other side. To be clear, (sadly) I have not won anything more than $20 from any lottery ! But I have taken long sabbaticals from work so that I can finally do all the things I never seemed to have time for before. Interestingly, that ‘high’ wasn’t sustainable and after a while, albeit quite a long while, I started getting restless. I realised that despite all that stress and constant deadlines, I missed that sense of purpose and feeling like you made a difference that work provides. The million dollar question then was “how did I want to make difference in terms of the work that I do ?”.
Some of us are lucky – not in the lottery sense, but in doing work that not only leverages our skills but also allows us to contribute in a way that makes us happy and fulfilled. Is it really “luck” though that we find this…or rather some serious soul searching to find that perfect match ?
So what am I saying ? One – work is good. You might not necessarily miss that particular job but I’m willing to bet that most of us will miss working (even it’s only after a long while !). Two – don’t sell yourself short. Do search for that job that will challenge and stretch you; and enable you to make a difference in ways that are meaningful to you. It might not be easy or fast, but it’ll be worth it. And Three – take the vacation time that you’ve been putting off ! Or even better, if you can afford it, take a long sabbatical. I’m a firm believer in its benefits. Your body, mind and soul will thank you for it !