IN THIS SUMMARY
Job satisfaction may include a paycheck, benefits, and vacation time, but career contentment is harder to define—it cannot be measured in physical terms because people have their own ideas about what it takes to be comfortable in their careers. Career contentment could occur in a situation in which an employee feels underpaid. A truly contented employee is able to reap other rewards. In Career Contentment, career coach and veteran human resources manager Jeffrey Garton advises employees how to develop strategies for searching for the right job or career, how to make bad situations work for them, and how to recognize when they have achieved true contentment in their careers. Employees can recognize career contentment when they find themselves confident in what they do, find themselves lost in their work, or realize that they love their work so much they would do it without pay. Contented employees accept the drawbacks of their jobs. Garton encourages employees to find ways to endure their troubles and formulate strategies to find contentment. He also warns against stagnation—remaining in a job too long. Many employees may spend years in the same job and find contentment. Such employees are the exception. In fact, most employees will change jobs, employers, or careers four or five times during their lifetimes. For employees who do not feel comfortable in their jobs, Garton recommends recycling—moving to new jobs or companies. Garton acknowledges it is not easy to know when to recycle—he urges employees to follow their intuition. In fact, Garton provides few tangible indicators for employees to know when they have achieved career contentment—clearly, achieving contentment is a judgment call. He is certain, though, that career contentment includes more than just a paycheck and promotional opportunities. All of those factors come and go, sometimes in the course of a day. A career and the contentment it should offer last for a lifetime.