In recent years, the minimalism mindset has attracted an increasing amount of attention and curiosity. At first glance, this “less is more” approach might not seem realistic in a busy lifestyle that’s built on ambition and career growth. If you’re starting to feel burned out, disillusioned or unfulfilled, however, it could be worth looking into how a minimalist perspective may result in greater career happiness. Here are just a few of the aspects and habits to consider.
Discover What Drives You
Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, who co-founded The Minimalists, both quit their six-figure jobs to live what they see as more meaningful lives. While leaving the corporate world for good might not even be what you want, it’s hard to argue with the idea that you should lead an authentic life that fits with your personal values.
Take the time to explore your passions and decide if your current career path feels right. Explore the idea of freelancing on the side so as to try out different types of work, or volunteer to help a cause that you feel strongly about. If your job is leaving you drained and exhausted so that it seems like there’s no spare time for these other pursuits, this could be a sign in itself that things are unsustainable.
Consume Less, Live More
Here’s a sobering statistic: approximately 62 percent of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. That means they have no emergency fund in case a car needs repairing, a roof starts leaking, or any other unexpected expense occurs. With such a lack of financial security – regardless of income level – it can seem impossible to take a step back and look around for work that might be rewarding in ways beyond your wallet.
To give yourself a better chance of pursuing the most meaningful career, it makes sense to create some financial breathing room. Separate needs from wants when it comes to new purchases, and aim to save at least 10 percent of every paycheck. Being consistent with this over time will afford you options when it comes to finding a new job, or venturing down an entirely new career path.
Reassess on the Regular
While much of minimalism centers around limiting the accumulation of unnecessary material possessions, the concept can be generalized to every facet of life – including your career. At regular intervals, take mindful stock of where you’re at, and if it’s where you want to be. Understand that what you might want out of a job will change over time, as circumstances evolve and priorities adjust.
If you find that over time, your current title, salary or company has left you dissatisfied, take action. Whether it’s updating skills, negotiating for better pay or investing in your network, be proactive so that you don’t get stuck in work that feels meaningless or unchallenging.
Tell Us What You Think
Do you think applying minimalist philosophy to your career could be a benefit? Are you already proactive in saving money and pursuing meaningful future opportunities? Join the conversation on Twitter, or leave a comment below.