Did achieving your career goal make you as satisified/happy as you thought it would?

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    Mar 09, 2011 3:17 PM GMT



    As above.

    Have you 'ARRIVED' at your life goal that you have strived to achieve, studied for, climbed up the slippery work-ladder to reach, sacrificed other opportunities/llife-avenues in the name of said goal throughout your life?

    What have you dedicated your life to, and for those who made it happen, was it worth it once you got there? Why?

    What, pray tell, has brought you the most satisfaction/happiness in your life thus far?

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    [the older guys on the site will likely know more about this- i'm all ears]
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    Mar 09, 2011 7:37 PM GMT
    You were supposed to sing or dance, perhaps both while the music was being played.... QUOTED FOR TRUTH!

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    Mar 09, 2011 10:02 PM GMT
    Seeing something like this makes me grateful for my unconventional life.
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    Mar 09, 2011 10:29 PM GMT
    My career made me happy the first 10 years as a Graphics Technician. By my forth year I was a private contractor making 80K per year. Man was I living large!!!

    But, I ended up getting burned out and the contracts were running out. I probably should have invested the money but, I was irresponsible with it. Blew money on luxuries and wasn't paying taxes. I should have incorporated because I could have gotten out of owing Social Security tax.

    Things fell apart really bad this last time due to my fight with stage three cancer. I thought it was the end of the world because it was the end of my career. I even attempted suicide (yes it was very ugly) and denied as always, that I really wanted a new life.

    Well, it has been two years and I finally am getting my new life completely paid for as I live on my own and am gearing up to go back to school full-time. I realize now to what extent I really hated what I use to do and now I am setting my goals a bit higher than I did the first time around.

    I have an incredible story to write about as I have survived so many things that should have killed me and I SWEAR TO GOD I am going to write a novel someday. My college major has been changed from Graphics Technology to English. I haven't even begun English classes yet (I am sure my writing suggests that) but, I did pass the placement tests recently.

    It amazes me how many times I have climbed back to the top after years of living on Skid Row... Anything is possible. YOU CAN accomplish your dreams. But, it begins by staying connected with your true passions.
  • commoncoll

    Posts: 1222

    Mar 10, 2011 4:32 AM GMT
    What a great topic!

    So far in life I have had one dream realized: to be a father. I do like it. I feel content. I'm much happier than I have ever been in life.

    I have begun law school. We will see how much will change in the coming years. It will probably feel no different than finishing my Bachelor's.
    The American Dream is a seductive temptation.
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    Mar 10, 2011 6:14 PM GMT
    Yes. But it becomes hard to see this sometimes.

    My answer is going to be muddled. I am not exactly sure about the answer.

    I planned on being a physician when I was about 16 or so after my father passed away. It took 10 years after that. I got by with sheer will and persistence. Trust me, I lost the illusions associated with being a doctor long before I became one.

    To this day, while I like my job and I like the knowledge and opportunity that I gain through it, I wonder about the what if. I struggle to get through my days sometimes. I hate seeing my loan repayment schedule and knowing that I won't be done with it anytime soon. I worry about the upcoming Obamacare. I despise night shifts. God knows how many times I convinced myself to quit in residency, but didn't. What else would I do? I wish that I would have less obligations and more time with my family. I have attended maybe 3 birthday parties for our kids. I have never done a parent/teacher conference. I can't be counted on to go pick up a sick kid from school, go to a doctor's appointment, chaperone a field trip, etc. And I am actually in a family-friendly field.

    I knew what I was getting into before I got here and decided my career was worth it. I just focus on the time when I will be done with my training; life will be better. I will always have a job and will always make a comfortable living. I get a fair amount of respect and I will have autonomy. I think I would like to do research along with clinical medicine.

    I try to perform my tasks as efficiently and compassionately as I can. I try to get by each day hoping that I made life easier for others, and I thank God for this.
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    Mar 10, 2011 6:45 PM GMT
    I've found great contentment in 3 of my careers. (Now on my 3rd one).. However, it would be a terrible mistake if one were to seek fulfillment in and happiness solely on the basis of ones career. Happiness comes from within, and most importantly, one must be happy with the decisions they make, the people they surround themselves with and accept their station in life to achieve true happiness. I've found that giving unconditional love to those in my life (including myself) without being narcissistic, has been the greatest source of happiness and fulfillment. Happiness in all other aspects, including work/career just seem to fall in place.
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    Mar 10, 2011 6:54 PM GMT
    Overall, I think I have achieved or is at least close to achieving all my professional goals. While I'm very satisfied and happy with this aspect of my life, I also realized that I may have neglected my personal life over the last few years.

    Work, in many ways, have been a way to hide from the demands and complications of a personal life, including coming out of the closet. I had relationships with women before, of course, but none were serious. It's really only been the last year that I started to take a step back from work and refocus my life. I wish I did it sooner, although I don't regret working my butt off to achieve financial stability.
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    Mar 10, 2011 7:50 PM GMT
    I distinctly remember my dad reading to me a newspaper article when I was about eight years old, about this family friend who graduated at the top of his class at Wharton Business School. He was genuinely happy for this kid, and I was thinking, gosh, what I would do for my dad to be just as proud of me.

    Even when I was studying abroad, my goal was to eventually get into Wharton - it IS the only school for me- and so fast forward sixteen years later, I got in, and the most satisfaction was when I called my dad and told him the news- he was so proud, and it just made me extremely happy.

    Cheesy as it might seem, but the satisfaction of seeing my parents happy (i mean after all they went through in money and pain and headache with me), makes me the happiest.
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    Mar 10, 2011 8:49 PM GMT
    RoccoO said
    Happiness comes from within, and most importantly, one must be happy with the decisions they make, the people they surround themselves with and accept their station in life to achieve true happiness. I've found that giving unconditional love to those in my life (including myself) without being narcissistic, has been the greatest source of happiness and fulfillment. Happiness in all other aspects, including work/career just seem to fall in place.


    Everything falls into place when when you let unconditional love, for yourself and others, be the greatest source of happiness and fulfillment n your life.

    I'm blessed with a very unconventional lifestyle that I worked hard for. When you realize the hero inside yourself things just get better and better.

    There is so much truth in the saying "you can'tlove/be happy with the world if you don't first love yourself". When you like/love yourself, the world responds and the cycle feeds on itself and the process in limitless.

    It's all about you. You have lot's of power if you let it happen and many people have no dea what tha'ts all about.
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    Mar 10, 2011 10:19 PM GMT
    I put my life on hold (i.e. dating, maintaining old friendships, working out) to build up my career. I was going through grad/professional school. I always thought that after I'm done, I would start dating and make new friends. I assumed it would be very easy. After two years, I find that it's not (at all). I feel achieving my carrier goals costed me a great deal. What's worse, I think I'll be going back to school. But, this time, I plan to date (that is if I can find someone to date) and work out regularly. I cannot focus too much on only one aspect of my life if I expect to be happy.
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    Mar 10, 2011 11:16 PM GMT
    I do not undermind the degree of satisafaction in achieving one's career goal. However, that is only a small aspect of one's life. Yes, my career is important to me, and there are days when I receive enormous satisfaction and happiness from it. I also experience moments in which I curse the day I ever entered into that career. So be it!

    In looking at the big picture, my career is a very minuscule part of my life's happiness and satisfaction. What makes me realize my blessings in life is family, friends, and even a few great guys I have met through RJ. Life is much more than just defining yourself as a lawyer, doctor, teacher, etc. When all is said and done, it is about how one has allowed others to share in his life through the gift of love.
  • macguyver32

    Posts: 75

    Mar 10, 2011 11:43 PM GMT
    No,

    I get paid to perform tasks.

    The only fulfilling work I do is helping others in whatever capacity I can.
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    Mar 11, 2011 12:22 AM GMT
    I'm finally doing what I wanted to do for the last 15 years. When I left Wisconsin for southern california, that day, my old employer posted a job listing that I knew that I wanted to do.

    It was too late, I had made commitments to move to Southern California and take that job.

    However; through the next 14 years I did many different types of work, and I enjoyed all of them. When this opportunity to work for an international company presented itself in October of 2010. I knew that 2011 was going to be a better year. I am doing what I wanted to do. Sales Engineering. I get to design things for customers and make them happy and make some $$ at it. The harder I work, the more I get $. A decent base salary helps and holiday time off based on european standards is not that hard to throw a stick at either!. I was going to negotiate 3 weeks of vacation, but I get 4 + American Holidays!

    So, yes, I'm happy. And I think it will go very well. I'm currently in the UK visiting the home office and getting training. I have never been to the UK and find it fascinating. Going to be playing Tourist in and around London this weekend. Weather is supposed to be good Saturday and a bit of rain on Sunday.

    Cheerio!
  • Ironman4U

    Posts: 738

    Mar 11, 2011 12:57 AM GMT
    As you gain experience (both life and professional), you grow and change. So goals that were important to you at 25 are usually irrelevant at 45. I find that what I want out of a career as definitely shifted. I've achieved success in my field of consulting, have been able to travel the world to speak and present, written a book and countless articles, been noted as an expert, etc. It all brings satisfaction but there is always more on the horizon.

    And that more is not necessarily for career success. I've focused more on balance and joy in my life in the past year. I sold the business I founded 10 years ago and spend more time helping others who are less fortunate. For me, it has become less about "feeding my ego" (with how I measure success) and more about "nurturing my soul."
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    Mar 11, 2011 1:35 AM GMT
    i arrived several years ago working at small architecture firm. i still stay in contact with the firm and owner but left to pursue other dreams. I arrived here in DC, and now seeking other fields in the world. "to arrive" is a cliched term to mean to met the financial quota or position you desired. i desire pleasure which derives from helping others seek their dreams and building their future. For me, i want to spend more time traveling and meeting people, which i do, and introducing others to a little known piece of life known as happiness.

    I'm very happy living my life. i curse some days at work like everyone, but overall, i am happy. Plus, i am blessed to spend my days with great people, a loving partner, friends, and a supportive family. life is beautiful....

    i arrived...
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    Mar 11, 2011 2:44 AM GMT
    sweetyork saidI put my life on hold (i.e. dating, maintaining old friendships, working out) to build up my career. I was going through grad/professional school. I always thought that after I'm done, I would start dating and make new friends. I assumed it would be very easy. After two years, I find that it's not (at all). I feel achieving my carrier goals costed me a great deal. What's worse, I think I'll be going back to school. But, this time, I plan to date (that is if I can find someone to date) and work out regularly. I cannot focus too much on only one aspect of my life if I expect to be happy.


    I have a very similar situation to this.
    Going through college, it wasn't going out and having fun, it was really staying in and trying to push through my degree. I dated in my freshmen year, but really that was it.
    Now, while I was able to get nearly the best job I could have gotten, I'm in a new state with no friends and probably a good number of social inadequacies. I'm right where I need to be to get to where (I think) I want to go, but surprisingly not nearly as satisfied as I'd hoped I'd be.
    It's very early for me, and I still plan to goto graduate school, but I think I'll slow down, stop worrying that I probably won't have a phD till after I'm 30..... ugh, reality is though that's much easier said than done.
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    Mar 11, 2011 3:14 AM GMT
    Such a great story and associated cartoon! Love it. Definitely quote this short film for truth.
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    Mar 11, 2011 3:45 AM GMT
    Great question!

    In some ways yes and in some ways no.

    I can identify with the video for sure:

    5 years of undergrad (2 bachelors)
    2 years of Master's
    6 years for PhD

    To become.....drum roll please.....A PROFESSOR!

    I teach statistics (something I never set out to teach, but its fun) and psychology.

    I knew I was going to be some kind of teacher as early as 9th grade. Previous career goals were (in order): writer, poet, astronaut, writer, english teacher, english professor, psychology professor, therapist, psychology professor. I get to all of that stuff now, but it took me much much much longer to do it than I ever thought, and it was much much much harder than I thought it would be. I LOVE my job, but I don't make as much money as I thought. Well, to tell the whole truth, I make MORE money than I thought I would but now I realize how little that money actually is. I make about $52,000 if I also teach in the summer. My original money goal was $30,000. Clearly, I'm from a blue-collar family that knew nothing about money. But, I have a lot of school debt. I'm managing it well, because I'm smart and disciplined, but the monthly payments keep me pretty modest in what I can actually afford. My job also takes up more time than I thought. I work probably 50-60 hours a week. 8am to 8pm days are not uncommon for me. And, I work on weekends sometimes, too. Often Saturday and Sunday.

    BUT, sometimes (and sometimes happens quite frequently) I look around when I am standing in front of a classroom, or leading a class through a discussion, or listening to students debate, or watch the work that students create and marvel that I am involved in all of this. I love, and am quite proud of, my teaching style. I am constantly redirecting comments and questions and frustrations toward learning. When a student has something to add, I tie it into something BIGGER; when a student has a question, I try to help her find the answer; when a student is frustrated, I help him see how a clear and calm mind is the first step to the answer. It can be draining; it can be energizing.

    This is a really great question, specifically for me right now, because I have been realizing that I haven't been allowing myself to be aware of it all as much as I should. I just posted on facebook today "May your journey be as fun as your destination" because I wanted to remind people, mainly myself, to laugh more and play more and enjoy more. I am trying to find ways to make my job more manageable right now so that I'm not working 50 - 60 hour weeks.

    My solution at this point is to use time management to allow that to happen. Meditation, free time, relaxation, play time, creative time, hikes, writing, etc. can be as easily fixed in a schedule as a faculty meeting. Sundays can be mandatory free days, totally unscheduled. The day must end at 5 so that I can get to my next meeting: free writing about things that open my mind, things that make me stop and look around the room (as you might be doing right now) and say "wow, here I am".

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    Mar 11, 2011 4:07 AM GMT
    I haven't figured out what will make me feel "satisfied"... I live a great life, but it's my normal... my friends and family think it's amazing.

    IDK, things, money, accolades, not motivating for me.
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    Mar 11, 2011 8:32 AM GMT
    Rare is the person whose life trajectory coincides exactly with the aspirations set out in callow youth. Your life is the accretion of all the consequences of all the decisions you’ve ever made, including paths you’ve chosen not to follow. (If I was in a more cynical mood I’d say that life is a series of missed opportunities. icon_smile.gif)

    I can’t say I’ve ever sat down and mapped out what I wanted to do in life, certainly not to the point of specifying what I wanted to achieve by what date. That being said, I’ve accomplished a fair amount. My initial career path follows very closely what Rockbiter has experienced (dude, we should swap stories) but after deciding to exit academia I now find myself in a profession that I enjoy and where I can exercise my training and talent to its fullest.

    But with all I’ve achieved, I find my greatest reward and fulfillment in an unexpected place—-raising children. When I made the decision to be a gay dad, I had no conception that my kids would affect me so deeply. Sometimes I just stare into my younger son’s eyes and marvel at the fact that this little guy is my child. When people ask me on job interviews what is my greatest achievement, I’m half-inclined to reply: “my children."

    Child-raising is all about the journey. I recommend it highly.