How to Know If You’re At the Right Job

Searching for a job in your desired career field is work in and of itself. Between sending out résumés, cover letters and going through multiple rounds of interviews, it feels rewarding once you’ve finally secured a position. You’ve probably done your homework before applying for the job, but actually working for that company is a completely different experience. After the “honeymoon phase” of getting your feet wet passes, reality sets in on whether you’ll find satisfaction and fulfillment from the job. Here are four tips for how to know if you’re at the right job.

It checks other boxes beyond your personal interests.

Jobs aren’t one-size-fits-all. In fact, a 2020 study published in the Journal of Vocational Behavior reveals that a position in your desired profession is only one aspect of job satisfaction. “Our main finding was that interest fit significantly predicts satisfaction, but it’s not as strong of a relation as people expect. Other things that lead to satisfaction include the organization you work for, your supervisor, colleagues and pay,” Kevin Hoff, lead study and professor at the University at Houston, says in a news release.

The research also finds that job interest correlates more with performance, raises and promotions than actually loving the position. “As long as it’s something you don’t hate doing, you may find yourself very satisfied if you have a good supervisor, like your coworkers, and are treated fairly by your organization,” Hoff adds.

The company culture reflects these important indicators.

Taking a deeper look into your company’s culture also helps you understand if you’re at the right job. Here are five of the 11 signs of a good company culture according to the editors at BioSpace.com:

  • Employees stay for long periods of time.
  • The organization’s core mission and values are clear to all employees.
  • Company leaders are accessible and visible.
  • The company is transparent and doesn’t foster secrets or lack of communication.
  • There’s a vibrant and inclusive employee demographic.

The job fits into your life.

It’s important to not only consider how you’re fitting into the company, but how the job’s matching with your lifestyle. This ranges from whether the position is remote, hybrid or in-person to the company’s benefits package for your role. Professional development coach Hana Ayoub explains to Glassdoor.com how examining your current job better informs whether it stimulates your knowledge and skill set or not.

“I like to look at an employee’s energy level to determine how aligned they are with their current role… I ask my clients to move through a typical workweek and consider when and how often their role takes them from a baseline level of energy to invigoration. This can potentially illuminate a lack of intellectual stimulation or motivation for their current role.” she writes.

You actually love what you do.

Yes, Hoff’s study earlier suggests that you may find yourself satisfied at your job even if you have to look beyond interest fit. However, everyone has to take different factors into account when seeing if they’re at the right job. Loving your job is a key indicator of this as you’ll find joy and fulfillment from your work. Also, it’s easier to be motivated, innovative and creative at a job that you’re enjoying compared to a position where you’re waiting for the clock to hit 5 p.m.

Here’s a final word from author and optimist Simon Sinek on why loving your job isn’t a luxury, it’s a right.

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