“I don’t like my job. But, I don’t know what else I can do.” so said Alyssa, a mid-level business executive in New Haven, Connecticut.
“What have you done to figure out your career path?” I asked.
“I look at job openings…” Alyssa replied.
I have heard variations of this story so many times that I grew to realize that the epidemic of career unhappiness stems from the lack of meaningful career exploration.
Looking for jobs does not count as meaningful career exploration. It is some type of career seeking but one that provides little likelihood of finding career happiness.
The reason is metaphorically similar to the way people watched old style network TV versus modern DVD/Netflix. In the “old days” when I grew up, outside of scheduled time to watch favorite shows, if someone wanted to watch TV at a random time, they would turn the TV on and hope that something good was available. Given the limited choice, reruns of Gilligan’s Island might have been the best option. Today, you know what you want to watch and can turn the TV on and choose your option.
That’s the same difference between searching out jobs on Monster.com versus figuring out what you want and then seeking a meaningful career.