It’s a new year. And I love New Year for the opportunities it presents. Renewal. Focus. Setting Goals. Deciding what needs to change and then planning for how to manifest it. You need look no further than a gym in these first few weeks to see that nearly everyone seeks to improve in some way.
We all know when it comes to our careers, there are several ways to figure out what needs to improve. We can seek advice and observation from colleagues. I hope that your company conducts regular performance reviews, so you can receive and give objective feedback about your role within the company and what your development path is.
When is the last time you talked about, or thought about, how you actually feel about what you do for a living? How you feel about your job is as important as how you perform at your job. And I don’t think we talk about it enough. The good news is that it is never too late to figure out how you feel.
Ask yourself the following questions:
Do I believe in what I’m doing?
If you’re in the graphics arts, I hope that fundamentally you’re excited about what is going on. There are new technologies, new substrates, new equipment, and other new innovations. If you need more inspiration, you can check out Project Peacock and make a note to attend with your clients when it comes to your area.
Does my company leadership support me, respect me, and value me?
How you are treated, the kinds of investments that your company makes in you and your development, and the voice that you are given are all crucial to your job satisfaction. The absence of these things, or even worse, a negative in any of these areas can spell disaster for you and your relationship with your company. There’s no way to feel good as hell if the treatment and growth path are not there. It might be time for you to consider walking your fine @$$ out the door.
Am I being compensated fairly for what I do?
I’m not saying you must be the highest paid press operator. I’m not even suggesting that you are entitled to regular salary increases. What I am suggesting is that there is a band of compensation for every role in the world, and the internet makes it really easy to figure out what that is. Make sure that your compensation is a fair match with your talents and contributions to the organization. If it’s not, look at what else is out there. There is a tremendous amount of opportunity in our industry, and there will continue to be as an entire generation prepares to retire in the next decade or two.
Do I have a sustainable recipe for professional and personal aspects of my life for a satisfying WHOLE life?
Whether it’s a sick kid, vacation, or even tokens of appreciation from management, it is important that organizations realize that you are a human being with a life outside of work. You are probably a member of a family that needs to see your face at the dinner table, at the basketball game, and even in the classroom occasionally. I once had a client tell me that he had not been on vacation for nearly 30 years. My heart broke for him, but I was also mad at both him and his company. No one should tolerate that. It is not healthy for any individual or any company to function like that. If you can’t leave the plant for fear of what will happen in your absence, you need some mad team-building training, yo.
How should you feel?
Good as Hell. That’s how you should feel. And if you don’t, it’s time to stop tolerating misery and make some changes.