Welcome to my first post addressing occupational wellness. This is the first dimension in the 6 dimensions of wellness model developed by Dr. Bill Hettler, cofounder of the National Wellness Institute. Now you can go and read about his model and the generalities, but I am going to put my own spin on it – based on real life. Because honestly, we would all love to say that we are completely fulfilled by our jobs, we are living out our passions through our jobs and we have found our true purpose in life. If this is you, that is amazing! And I couldn’t be happier for you. Maybe you should email me and share your secret! However, for most people, I don’t think this is the case. Some of us may feel stuck in our jobs due to financial commitments, family obligations, or just feel uncertain about what we would do if we quit our current job.
I currently have two sons in college. My oldest will be graduating in December. During our discussions throughout his college career, we have talked many times about what he is going to do once he graduates. His future is so uncertain. Will he find a job? Will he be happy and enjoy his work? He hasn’t truly loved his classes in his degree field, and even considered changing his major during his Junior year. His trepidation is very real. What if he has worked this hard for so many years, only to go into a field that he doesn’t like?
So what can we do to ensure wellness in our occupation? First of all, we need to find ways to use our strengths and our gifts. By tapping into our best qualities, job satisfaction will rise as well as our happiness. If we can find things that we love to do within our current job, it only makes sense that we will be happier in our day to day tasks. For example, I really like to travel. At the middle school where I teach, I have volunteered to be the 8th grade trip advisor, and each spring 30 students along with myself and some hand picked chaperones will travel to Washington, DC for several days. This trip spurs me along throughout the school year and pulls me through those tough days.
What can you do to help you find joy and happiness in your job? I would love to hear your answers.