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Career Counsel 101: Seeking Job Euphoria               

Intense happiness and excitement about one’s job, also known as job euphoria, is an elusive element that most people seek but very few are rewarded with.  Job satisfaction may be present, but can dissipate over time due to monotony or interpersonal conflicts within one’s group.

People can be easily lured by the elite commercial status of an organization, fancy buildings, and well crafted job announcements that are filled with complex and extravagant words.  But, after being in the position for a while, the realization sets in that the euphoria that you thought existed actually never existed at all.

The truth of the matter is that most people never find job euphoria in their careers; they settle for job satisfaction instead.  In my opinion, the people that actually attain job euphoria are the people at the top of the corporate hierarchy and the ones who are on the fast-track to climbing the corporate ladder.  Everyone else is just satisfied with their job, or with having a job in the field that they are skilled at performing.

There are going to be two primary roadblocks to achieving workplace euphoria - your assignments and your interpersonal connections.  Throughout your career, you may be skilled at the work that you do, but you may find the projects that you are working on not as interesting as you would like them to be.  For example, as a database administrator, there were many times when I was assigned to work on projects that I did not find that interesting.  Creating tables for a general ledger were not as exciting as working on a database for other modules of a debt collection system.  But, it was a task that I was assigned to, so I had to complete it. 

Interpersonal conflicts can also kill any hopes of job euphoria.  I remember working on a project where we were building a new public portal for customers.  Me and a few other younger team members had some really cool ideas that we thought were great, and others did too, but more senior personnel who were used to doing things the “old” way were against the proposals.  And other teammates did not want to get involved because the older regime could get very cantankerous when they did not get their way.  So, we did not push back and we went down the more dated path.  Similarly, there was a continual push between “us” and “them” in regards to organizational processes and operating procedures and the old regime usually won the battles.  To make matters worse, our manager wanted to try new things, but was hesitant to side with the younger individuals due to the temperament of her older staff. 

When your ideas get stifled, you can become disenchanted quickly with your job, and even the organization.  But, you cannot let your dissatisfaction exhibit negative energy in the workforce.  Realize that you can run from your organization in search of job euphoria, but you are probably only going to find job satisfaction wherever you go.

But, there is a way to repurpose some of that disillusionment.  The first thing you need to do is identify the areas or elements within your career that is making you lose zeal for your job.  Then talk with your superiors to see if there is a way to negotiate taking on work that would reignite your passion.  If your issue is with others, see if any negotiations, compromises, or “truth and reconciliation” sessions will recalibrate the relationship.

If efforts to dispel the disenchantment do not work, you have alternatives.  If your work remains uninspiring, one thing that I have done is sought fulfillment outside of my place of employment through hobby projects or freelance work.  For example, the work on my primary job involved designing software solutions that I really was not interested in.  So, I spent my spare time at home building software applications that interested me and tried selling them online.  Only a few people downloaded it, and I did not make any money off of my App, but it helped me to nourish a creative desire that I had at the time.  I set up my own SQL database at home and experimented on designing and building tables at home to build databases that I was interested in.  And, as you can see, I started AJSmith365 so that I can work on content that I find interesting and that I think that I’m good at.

You can even try finding part-time work as a freelance contractor to try and find projects that align with your interest.  Or you can volunteer your services to non-profit organizations that will allow you to work in those areas of interest.  Your part-time work may lead to a full-time career.

And, if all else fails, you will have to weigh your options.  Do you risk leaving a job that brings you satisfaction but lacks the euphoria you seek, or do you gamble on another organization that promises to fulfill all of your dreams and expectations.

The choice is up to you.

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