What different kind of work experiences have been most rewarding for you?  Large groups, small groups, going solo as an expert or a creative?

I’ve experimented over the years with all of these work experiences. As I’ve learned more and more about what brings me well-being, my career path has changed to reflect that knowledge.

As part of becoming more aware of myself, it was fascinating to see how my earliest career choices were influenced by the expectations of my family.  Within those expectations, I was fortunate at first to find a way to combine my problem-solving skills and technical abilities with my love of the out-of-doors, and work as an earth scientist.

Yet unconscious influences beyond my awareness at the time brought me into larger and larger groups where I could use abilities like long-term planning and strategy design to serve the purpose of the group.

While the groups thrived, I found my own well-being under greater and greater tension, until I chose to align my talents with a small business environment that fostered my enjoyment of empowering people to express their own leadership and creativity.

And as I continued my own personal development, I gained greater clarity about the specific roots of my happiness at work and home. Having the time for personal creativity led to me leaving the group enviroments and I’ve found well-being in a private consulting arena.

If you’re interested in how groups define their happiness, social scientists like Tom Rath measure the factors that bring well-being and happiness to large demographics. I’ve written more about this topic over at my business blog, Quantum Well-Being.

As for my own experiences along an evolving career path, they’ll be continued in more detail in a future post.