Career choice & occupational wellbeing 

At times, as a career counselor or individual, we see many people as our clients or in our know  complaining about their occupational environment, workplace stress, work they do, unable to manage work-life balance or the financial aspect, there are ‘N’ number of reasons for it as to why people are not satisfied with their current careers. While listening to these I always remember my rollercoaster journey of career selection and how I landed up in a career where I now feel content and motivated to grow.

I was just like other kids and had an interest in many things. At times I wanted to be a chief or other times wanted to join the civil service or become a psychologist. Each field was equally interesting and inspiring to me. So with the baggage of confusion and questions I visited a career counselor and I still remember the day as it made me realize that selecting a career is not only about the work or the income but is also about living the career for the next 40 years, which will become my lifestyle inadvertently. Feeling passionate about it everyday, feeling satisfied and happy about the work I do, the environment and people around me and my ability to regulate work life balance give me satisfaction and contentment. In short, finding and living occupational well being. So what does occupational well being mean?

The word “occupational well being” refers to feeling good about the work you do and living a productive life. It is inclusive of preparing or using skills to gain happiness, satisfaction and building positive relationships with colleagues, managing workplace stress, and ascertaining whether your career choice stimulates and inspires you.

Let’s understand occupational wellbeing and how it is interrelated with career choices.

Roadmap for achieving occupational well being through career planning

Building a career is a continuous and self-exploring journey which occurs through learning, work and other aspects of life. 

To get a solution to any problem, first we need to understand the problem and the gap between the solution and the problem. Likewise, in solving career-related problems we need to focus on the current state and the goal that we want to reach and various means through which we can bridge the gap. Therefore, introspecting about self-interests, principles, skills and preferences is a must while shortlisting job roles and workplaces. This not only guides you to land up into the best fit career and work environment but also helps you to be prepared and planned for alternative career solutions in case of any bad luck.

Be it choosing a major, applying to graduate schools or searching for a job, when adequate career planning is focused on, it helps to continuously fine-tune your work and manage the changes in your personal and professional life.

  • Seek for options that are interesting, fulfilling and can contribute to larger society. 
  • Join with experts/associations to interface with who are working in the fields that you find interesting and satisfying to discover more about vocational paths. 
  • Plan for both short and long-term career goals.
  • Searching if workplace duties related to your selected career choice are consistent with your values.

Lastly, while making the right career choices it is crucial to keep in mind that individual-specific motivating aspects lead to successful and productive career life. 

Keywords:
Career choices, occupational wellbeing, work-life balance, planning, career goals.

Khushbu Gajbhiye

Psychologist

NEA Life, Pune