While reflecting on the idea of setting a New Year’s resolution for 2022, I realized that my personal and professional goals and desires are different than they used to be. I first sensed this shift in my perspective over the last few years as I participated in the year-end annual review process with my manager at a large technology company. When he asked what I wanted my next job to be, I realized that for the first time I didn’t have a clear vision of my career “next”.
There was definitely a time when the promise of a bigger paycheck or a bigger title would have been all the reason I needed to make a job change. But now I find myself weighing quality of life and family support considerations much more heavily than I would have in the past. When evaluating a potential new opportunity, I now include quality of life questions like:
- Will I enjoy the work more than what I am doing today?
- Will I be able to maintain my preferred work/life balance?
- Will I be able to continue to support the needs of my family “sandwich” (my children and aging parents)?
- Will I be able to live where I want to be?
- Will I be able to continue to participate in the extra-curricular and volunteer activities that are important to me?
More than once, I have decided to NOT pursue a job change or promotion because the answer to one or more of the above questions was “No”. And, in conversation with friends and colleagues at a similar life stage, I have discovered that this seems to be a natural evolution of mid-life goals and preferences.
It is sometimes hard to let go of the desire and expectation to always reach for more. With a personal history of a job change or promotion every three or four years, I will admit it is a bit overwhelming and uncomfortable to consider the possibility of continuing in the same job for the foreseeable future. But I have come to realize that there doesn’t always have to be a “next” if I am happy, successful, and satisfied with my current situation.
I am no longer a starry-eyed, recent college graduate with visions of big jobs, big houses, and big promotions that will help me climb the corporate ladder. Instead, I am grateful to enjoy the work that I do and to be in a stage of my life where the jobs we have provide “enough” for us to comfortably support our family. I am striving to acknowledge and accept what is most important to me both personally and professionally. So, my resolution for 2022 is to enjoy and embrace all that I already have.
It isn’t always necessary to reach for more. Goals can and do change with the changing seasons of life!
Written by: Darra Wray
Darra Wray is a Care Consultant and Certified Senior Advisor with My Care Companions in Boise, Idaho, a company she founded to streamline and simplify the administrative side of care. You can learn more about My Care Companions and the My Data Diary+ family information management software solution at www.mycarecompanions.com.