I’ll be honest: I’ve hopped from job-to-job a bit since I graduated from college in 2014. I worked in insurance post-grad, then at a dental school, then at a real estate office, and now at a study abroad institution. You’re probably thinking “wow, all of those industries are vastly different.” And you’re right; they are. Insurance has nothing to do with dentistry, which has nothing to do with real estate, which certainly has nothing to do with study abroad.
So, what gives?
Well, my job title evolved from working in administration (which was okay) to working in marketing (which I love). I hopped a bit because I wasn’t passionate about what the companies were promoting, even though I enjoyed the jobs themselves. There is absolutely nothing wrong with working in fields like insurance, dentistry, or real estate. In fact, all of these industries are extremely important parts of the workforce and reputable paths of employment. But, at the end of the day, even though my salary, benefits, and job responsibilities in these industries were scratching the surface of my employment happiness, I wasn’t sold on them enough to stay. That is, until I landed my current job at a study abroad institution.
You may know I’ve written about the perks of studying abroad a few times on GenTwenty. I studied abroad twice during my college career and can’t say enough amazing things about each experience. Now that I am working in a job I love (marketing) in an industry I’m passionate about (study abroad and education) I feel excited about my career. I feel as though I’ve finally reached the employment happiness I formerly struggled to find.
Why? Because the industry you work in matters just as much as the job. Here are four solid reasons why this is true:
1. Work won’t feel like work.
If you love your job and the industry you’re in, work will feel less like “work” and more like a solid investment of your time and skills. Sure, meeting deadlines and working long hours is rarely fun, but when your interests align with the product or service your company offers, you are bound to feel excited by your career.
I used to feel uninspired by the work I was doing in past companies because my heart was not in insurance or dentistry. Now I am motivated by the study abroad programs I help advertise. Yes, work is challenging and we all have good days and bad days, but when you feel connected to not only your job, but also what your company and industry is all about, your are far likelier to have many more good days.
[click_to_tweet tweet=”When you feel connected to not only your job, but also what your company and industry is all about, your are far likelier to have many more good days.” quote=”When you feel connected to not only your job, but also what your company and industry is all about, your are far likelier to have many more good days.”]
2. Your values and your industry’s values will align.
If you’re not passionate about math, it might be hard to teach math. Do you love animals but aren’t passionate about working with them? It’s not the best fit. If you don’t care about numbers, working as an accountant is probably the wrong choice.
The point is, you need to find an industry you share values with. When you care about the product or service, your values match the values of your industry. That connection will keep you feeling tied to the work you’re doing.
[click_to_tweet tweet=”You need to find an industry you share values with. ” quote=”You need to find an industry you share values with. “]
3. You will feel proud of your career.
Have you ever had a job working for a company in an industry that you just weren’t excited to tell people about? It stinks being at a party or function where people typically ask you what you do for work and you’re unenthusiastic about your career. When you find yourself working in an industry you’re proud to be part of you’ll never feel awkward talking about your job. When it’s the right fit, you want to tell everyone about it and you’re proud to talk about it.
4. You will likely stay with the company.
When you feel fulfilled by where you are career wise and you’re doing what you are most passionate about, you will create longevity in your work. You won’t feel inspired to leave a job or change industries when you find the perfect fit.
It took me four moves to finally find an industry I identified with. I love where I am now and you deserve to feel the same sense of employment happiness that I now feel. Think long and hard about what types of industries call to you. When you find the right one, you won’t want to job hunt again.
Finding the right industry to get into can most definitely take a bit to discover. I graduated from college four years ago and finally found my best fit. For some people, it’s an immediate connection. For others, it can take most of their lives to figure out.
The point is, don’t give up. Whether you find your industry right out of school or twenty years down the road, it’s never too late to find your best fit. Be selective about the industry you align yourself with. You deserve to not only love your job, but love the field you’re in as well. Keep looking until you find your dream job, dream career, and dream industry!