Monday, August 3, 2009

My Career Formula is Laughable

"I'd like to be happy," I respond. I receive a chuckle and a quizzical look, but I still share a grin with my inquisitive conversational partner. The reaction's expected. I've answered with this sound bite before and I'll repeat it again in the future.

The question?

"So, what do you want to be after you graduate?"

It's not a conventional answer, my "happy" response. As a matter of fact, it could (and may well) be categorized as the wrong answer. I should say that I want to be a strategist or a gaffer or an account executive or a carnival worker. Really, anything would better than "happy" according to the look on most inquiring faces.

However, for me, that is my answer: I want to be happy. No matter the position, no matter the company, no matter the cubicle, office, or flickering light above my desk that facilities says is on the to-do list but has remained flickering for weeks, I want to be happy with my work.

Too broad? Too optimistic? Too sentimental? Maybe. But not lacking in metrics. Happiness, specifically at work, requires the following:
  1. Positively affecting others.
  2. Constantly expanding knowledge for personal, professional, and emotional growth.
That's my career formula. Basic, but mine. Idealistic, but mine. Laughable, but mine,

What's your formula?

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