Paul Goetzinger MPA
As an educator, for me, it was watching all the students, who I had worked with, walk across the graduation stage each June. That was very uplifting for me.
But, I have a simple philosophy, when it comes to careers. You know you have found the career you were meant for, when you love what you are doing so much, that even if you did not get paid to do it, you would still do it anyway. You must have an enthusiasm, which is so great, that it influences others around you to achieve great things in life. These people are the happiest and most content.
To answer your question from my experience. In terms of happiness, my friends who are the happiest are the ones that feel autonomous in their jobs to make their own decisions and think creatively. It’s not isolated to a particular industry or job. Rather I see entrepreneurs who work for themself as very happy. However, I also see people who have a flexible work environment who are able to think creatively at work as extremely happy.
That being said one thing I really wish I learned earlier or I think should be taught in school is that there is a difference between feeling fulfilled by what you do and feeling happy. Some people who feel like they are working towards making an impact in the world are very fulfilled but if they have a bad work environment or boss they might not be happy. Some people might be very happy by a relaxing job but not feel like they are contributing to society.
Hope this helps! You are not alone on trying to figure this out. It’s a great question to ask and think about.
Also, don't be afraid to look for other roles if you ever feel like a particular job/ field is not the right fit.