To be occupationally well, your career/job should be interesting, enjoyable, and meaningful, and one that contributes to the larger society. Keep learning in your career by completing continuing education to keep your mind sharp while adding to your knowledge base.
Occupational wellness refers to the state of a person’s paid or non-paid vocational or work activities and environment. A very healthy state of occupational wellness is a person doing exactly what they want to do in life while being comfortable and content with their personal and financial situation and future plans.
Occupational wellness is also the ability to achieve a balance between work and leisure in a way that promotes health, a sense of personal satisfaction and is (for most people) financially rewarding. Our attitude and ability to effectively deal with work, school, and career goals greatly affect wellness, performance, interactions with others and overall success.
Choosing and obtaining a career and/or job that is personally and financially rewarding and enjoyable is (very) difficult to achieve. Nevertheless, it’s what you should strive for in your life. Keep searching and taking small steps toward improving and achieving this goal.
Defining one’s occupational wellness could include:
- Stress – refers to your ability to handle the stress that you are dealt every day at either work and/or school.
- Rewarding – refers to situations that you find personally rewarding.
- Satisfaction and meaningful – refers to be in a workplace environment or situations that you find meaningful and creates a feeling of personal satisfaction.
- Relationships – refers to your ability to create and maintain interactions and relationships with people in the workplace. All though workplace environments can mean political games, a hostile workplace environment will negatively affect the health state of your wellness and well-being. We usually spend too much time in the workplace and cannot use the fight or flight scenario to help us deal with stress.
- Contributions – your ability to make contributions to the well-being of others and the community at large leads to a satisfying and meaningful feeling of being a contributing member of society.
- Balance – refers to a workplace environment where you’re able to get all our work done, while still having fun. All work and no play is unhealthy.
It also entails keeping the rest of our lives and the other dimensions of wellness in balance.
There are strong interconnecting relationships between occupational wellness and the impact it has on the other dimensions of wellness, especially one’s physical, emotional, and financial health.
The average professional spends a lot of time at work so it is important to find an occupation that you enjoy and meets or exceeds your personal and financial needs. An unpleasant and/or low paying occupation drains your energy level which can lead to stress-related illness.
So let’s begin to think about and assess the state of your Occupational Wellness.
First, you may wish to take the Occupational Wellness Assessment to help you ascertain your occupational wellness strength.
Signs of Occupational Wellness
- Doing work that you find motivating and interesting
- Understanding how to balance leisure with work
- Working in a way that fits into your personal learning style
- Communicating and collaborating with others
- Working independently and with others
- Feeling inspired and challenged
- Feeling good at the end of the day about the work you accomplished
Improve Occupational Wellness
- Don’t settle, keep motivated to work towards what you want
- Increase your skills and knowledge to advance your occupational wellness goals
- Find the benefits and positives in your current job
- Create connections with your co-workers
- Avoid over working yourself, find a work/life balance
- Enjoy what you do, do what you enjoy
- Write out your occupational goals and create a plan to reach them – then start working the plan
The following are all important aspects towards achieving a high state or optimal level of occupational wellness and finding a profession that you enjoy:
- Explore your talents and interests
- Accurately assess your qualities, strengths and weaknesses
- Ponder and assess your hobbies, interests, and activities which bring you pleasure
- Consider whether these leisure activities could become a personal or financially rewarding occupation you might want to do as a career
- Think about what you want to do with your life
- Ponder and assess the direction of your future plans
- Consider what motivates you
- Ponder on which occupations you find interesting; when possible, try to interview someone who is already working in a particular profession to find out about their work, lifestyle, financial and hiring opportunities as well as what qualifications are needed to enter the field.
- Think about if you are most interesting in learning through reading and lectures or do you prefer practical and hands-on experience
- Ponder on if would you prefer working with others on teams, committees, or group projects; or, do you prefer to work alone
- Think about if you would describe yourself as a leader or a follower
- Consider how comfortable you are with taking risks
- Think about if you believe you have the qualities of a valued employee or the qualities of an entrepreneur
- Ponder on whether your current or future choice of profession is marketable within a changing economy
- Think about your fantasy job and then assess how to get there.
There is an abundance of challenges and obstacles in trying to achieve and maintain a healthy state of occupational wellness. It can be hard to feel comfortable and secure in a workplace that is impacted by constant change and the state of a difficult economy. There usually are customers, colleagues, partners as well as supervisors and managers who all feel strained but must continuously scramble and change the landscape of your workplace.
Occupational wellness can make a huge difference on how you deal with situations and people. In hard times some people easily become stressed and anxious, while others remain calm and project positive energy that can be a healing force to themselves and those around them. Even if we can’t change a situation or what others do, we can control our responses. It is up to you to look at the larger picture, make decisions, take actions, and take responsibility for your choices.
One thing you should remember is:
“Just because today is a terrible day doesn’t mean tomorrow won’t be the best day of your life. You just have to get there.” Anurag Prakash Raj, Indian actor and producer