We all have things that are important to us in our careers and jobs. These are called our non-negotiables. These things are so important to us that when we have them, we are able to thrive in our jobs and we love what we do. We actually look forward to going to work. When we don’t have these things, work can be a drag, frustrating and in some cases pure misery.
Figure out what your non-negotiables are now. As I write this, I have a sick child sitting next to me. One of my non negotiables is the flexibility to take care of my children when needed and I will not accept guilt or inflexibility from an employer. By figuring out those non-negotiables now and staying true to them, you’ll save yourself a lot of stress and frustration down the road.
Your non-negotiables WILL change. What is important to you today may not be the same as tomorrow, one year from now or even two years from now. It is a good exercise to revisit your non-negotiables from time to time to make sure you have what you need to be successful and fulfilled in your career. Ask yourself these questions:
- What is most important to me in a career or job?
- What have I liked most about previous jobs?
- What have I liked the least about previous jobs?
Examples of answers may include: pay, responsibilities, title, location, opportunity for growth, relationships with coworkers, professional development, etc.)
Last of all, ask yourself:
- Are there responsibilities outside of my job that I need to consider? (extra curricular activities, children, ailing parents, traveling spouse, service or missions work, etc.)
Now that you have all of these things listed out, prioritize what is most important to you given your season in life. In every job and company, there is likely some compromise needed to be realistic. What is important is that your career, your passions and responsibilities outside of the office are able to live in harmony with one another. Through continual re-evaluation, honesty, openness and creative problem solving, you will be able to maintain a balance.
What are your non negotiables? We would love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org.