The Most Important Question To Answer About Your Job Or Career

Does this describe your feelings toward your work or career?

Monday morning rolls around and you’re indifferent about going into the office or whatever setting you work in.

On the one hand, you don’t hate your work.

It’s not terrible, and maybe you enjoy your co-workers, have a decent boss, and are earning a decent salary.

On the other hand, you also don’t love what you’re doing.

There’s a part of you that is continually wondering whether you could be doing something more meaningful, something more significant with your life, even if you’re not sure what that might be.

You feel conflicted.

And maybe you’ve felt that way for a while.

If that describes your situation, then here’s the most important question to answer about your job or career:

Am I doing something that is worthy of my single, precious human life?

In my opinion, that is by far the most important question to answer about your work or career, particularly if you feel conflicted about what you’re doing.

Remember, every time you go to work, you’re exchanging something of tremendous value – your life.

Are you receiving something of equal value in return?

If your answer to the question above is “no”, if what you’re doing isn’t worthy of your single, precious life, then that’s a clear signal that it’s time to start making plans to do something else.

It doesn’t mean that you have to go into your boss’ office today and quit your job.

It does mean that you need to start making plans for getting out and for finding something that IS worthy of your life.

Another way to think about it is this way.

If you never make a change, if you continue doing what you’re doing for the next 20 or 30 or 40 years, how will you feel about that?

Happy? Proud? Sad? Disappointed? Something else?

If you can’t give an unequivocally positive answer to that question, then that’s another signal that you definitely need to make a change.

Let me give you an example from my life.

I’ve spoken before about my work situation and how I reached a point where I had to get out.

Leaving wasn’t easy though.

I was making a great salary, I enjoyed my co-workers, and the job was low stress. There were definite positives about my work.

But at the end of the day, that wasn’t enough.

I needed more, much more.

I was spending my days writing memos that didn’t matter, manipulating numbers on spreadsheets that I didn’t care about, and attending meetings that I found pointless.

What I was doing simply wasn’t worthy of my life.

And so I took the necessary steps to get out, to find a career that I do feel is worthy of my one wild and precious life.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.

Making that decision, quitting a job that wasn’t worthy of my life, and finding more own unique and authentic path in life was by far the best decision I’ve ever made.

So there you have it…the most important question to answer about your job or your career.

If you’re feeling at all conflicted about what you’re doing, then I suggest that you spend some time reflecting on or journaling about the question above.

Before I wrap up, I want to make two final points.

First of all, no one can answer this question for you.

Only you can decide if what you’re doing is worthy of your single, precious human life.

In fact, two people can have the same job or career and answer the question differently.

Second of all, even if you answer “yes” to the question above, you may still want to consider making a job or career change.

For example, you may be doing something that’s worthy of your life but doesn’t bring in enough to pay the bills.

Or you may be in a situation where your boss if verbally abusive to you.

The question above is simply the most important one to ask in my opinion. It’s the question to start with.

If you answer “no”, then that’s a clear signal that you need to find something that’s worthier of your life.

If you answer “yes”, but remain conflicted, then you’ll need to keep digging to discover the exact source of your conflicted feelings.

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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. I recently did the same thing after finally realizing that it was not worth it anymore. It only took me 30 years to come to grasps with something that I have know since I was young. I chose greed over passion, but learned THE MOST important life lesson doing so. My next 30 should be pretty much the best ever though… Well said, and I hope ,any of our younger population comes across this before they get stuck as well.

    1. Hi Cody – Thanks for your comment and I’m glad that you found a career that`s a better fit for you! As I’m sure you know, it definitely takes courage to step away from one path and forge another one. So many people aren’t willing to take that risk and prefer to cling to the sage path. Kudos to you!

  2. Hi Ed

    I am feeling really motivated with your articles because m thinking to quit my current job..because there are frequent changes in teams and work and shift timings as well..I love to learn more things but frequent changes in timings disturbing work life balance..I work with royal bank of Scotland(india)..

    1. Hi Pratibha – I’m glad that you’re finding value in my articles. Sounds like you have a challenging work situation and I hope that you’re able to find something that fits better for you. Life is too short to spend it doing something that you don’t feel passionate about!

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