How to Determine If You Have Reached Career Nirvana

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When we are older, we can look back on our career and clearly recognize its pinnacle.  We will know which years were our best and which roles gave us the most satisfaction. 

But what criteria will we use?  And how do we stay satisfied once we’ve reached the top?  Here are some ways to determine if you have reached career nirvana.

What is Career Nirvana?

Career nirvana can be loosely defined as a state where work is a source of joy and satisfaction.  The pinnacle of a career is found at the intersection of three primary occurrences. The value you add to a company is high. The company acknowledges and appreciates your contributions. And finally, perhaps most importantly, you feel significant fulfillment from the work you perform.  

To Determine Career Nirvana, Ask Yourself These Powerful Questions

Artemis Consultants recruiters work with job seekers who chase different roles, new employers, or better funded companies in an effort to find career zen.  Each career move gets most people closer to career nirvana because they gain experience and understand what they want.  These are the kinds of questions all job seekers should ask themselves when seeking career nirvana:

  1. Do you understand what your strengths are? Are you in a job or career that plays to your strengths?  
  2. Schedule: what kind of work/life balance do you want? Performance Coach Katie McIntyre, Forbes, encourages her clients to ask themselves the following: “What type of work-life harmony do you want? How many hours do you want to work? Where do you want to live? What do you want your family life to look like? How much do you want your work to bleed into your personal life? It’s important to start with the end in mind and reverse engineer the path to get there.”
  3. Are you passionate about your work?  Does it feel like a calling?  Explore this Artemis article to explore the difference between a job, career, or calling.
  4. Are you in a positive work culture where you are able to grow? 

When in Career Nirvana, You Will Experience a Nirvana State of Flow

Individuals who find career nirvana often describe being so immersed in work they love that they are in a state of flow.  This is when you feel “in the zone” and are being challenged and are able to meet those challenges successfully.  “Our attention is most engaged when there’s a very specific relationship between the difficulty of a task and our ability to perform that task,” says Steven Kotler of Harvard Business Review.  “Flow appears near the emotional midpoint between boredom and anxiety, in what scientists call the “flow channel”–the spot where the task is hard enough to make us stretch; not hard enough to make us snap.”

To Determine Career Nirvana, Think of Its Opposite

Sometimes the easiest way to figure out what you want is by looking at its opposite. If you are experiencing several of these factors (based on a Harvard Business Review Survey), you are NOT in a state of career nirvana.

  • You do not know what you are expected to do at work and you do not feel safe asking questions.
  • Your boss does not recognize your work or empower you to think on your own.
  • You do not feel any purpose or meaning in your work. You never experience a sense of accomplishment.
  • You are bored or overwhelmed and feel like things are a waste of your time.
  • You feel taken advantage of.

If you resonate with these bullet points, you may be one of many people who feel nowhere near hitting career nirvana.  It may be time to step back and think about what you want.  Are there ways to make your current role better or is it time to move on?

If you are one of the lucky individuals currently experiencing career nirvana, take a moment to appreciate it.  Stay satisfied by mentoring others.  It is joyful to experience passion meeting purpose: share this with others.

Artemis Consultants recruiters strive daily to help companies and individuals find roles where passion meets purpose.  Please share any further insights you have on career nirvana in our comments.  

-Written exclusively for Artemis Consultants by Business Content Writer Mellody Melville

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