Career Wellness: What It Is, Why It’s Important, and How to Cultivate It.
What does it mean to have Career Wellness? Career wellness, or being professionally well, means that you gain personal satisfaction and enrichment from your work. It also means that your work is consistent with your values, goals, and lifestyle (1).
Why is Career Wellness important? While most of us students aren’t employed full-time, our classes and extracurricular activities form much of the basis of our careers. Whether we’ve identified our dream job since we were young or are still trying to find our passion, thinking about career wellness can help inform our decisions and guide our thinking. Career wellness is important because our careers will likely be a huge part of our life. Maintaining a positive relationship with our work can have ripple effects throughout the rest of our life. Rosso, Dekas, and Wrzesniewski found that finding meaning in one’s work was associated with increased job satisfaction and personal fulfillment as well as decreased stress (2).
How do you cultivate Career Wellness? Finding a job that you love or the career path that’s right for you isn’t always easy. You can start by considering your own values and goals (3). What do you like to do with your free time? What excites you? Which classes or school projects do you particularly enjoy? Thinking about the answers to these questions can be helpful when searching for a job or career. Penn State has many resources to guide you along your path to finding a fulfilling profession. It’s worth taking time to visit Career Services. Check their website to learn about when drop-in career counseling is offered. You can also join a student organization: there are a wide variety of academic and professional clubs at Penn State.
Here are a few links to get you started:
- Career Services: http://studentaffairs.psu.edu/career/
- Student Organization Directory: https://studentaffairs.psu.edu/hub/studentorgs/orgdirectory/ You can search by organization name, category, or keyword.
- Ohio State University Student Wellness Center https://swc.osu.edu/about-us/9-dimensions-of-wellness/
- Rosso, B. D., Dekas, K. H., Wrzesniewski A. (2010). On the meaning of work: A theoretical integration and review. Research in Organizational Behavior, 30, 91-127.
- American Psychological Association: More Than Job Satisfaction http://www.apa.org/monitor/2013/12/job-satisfaction.aspx