If you enjoy the work you are doing, you are more likely to continue to learn, grow, and develop your sense of mastery. The reverse is also true: when you develop a sense of mastery, it’s a clear sign you enjoy the work you are doing. It is a self-perpetuating cycle.
For some people this self-perpetuating cycle is great. As you progress in your career you increase your professional satisfaction, making it more likely you learn more and advance faster.
However, there are usually two issues that may arise. By working those 60-70 hour weeks with lots of help of Google, you advanced up the learning curve very fast, much faster than previous generations.
You also may have hit an ungoogleable block in your career which is difficult or impossible to overcome. Rapid advancement up the learning curve or ungoogleable skills can both lead to stagnation, which breaks the mastery <-> satisfaction cycle. Once the cycle breaks satisfaction turns into dissatisfaction.
Here are three ways you get yourself back on a positive mastery & satisfaction loop?
Slow down and focus on deep mastery.
Most young professionals fool themselves into thinking they have achieved mastery - 6-months of great sales as a sales rep does not mean you have mastered sales. Slow down and focus on learning more.
Spend at least 5% of your week learning.
Some of this may be in your workplace, some may be on your own. By spending just 5% of your week learning the other 95% will feel great, and you can prevent that professional unrest from sounding an internal alarm. This time can be used preparing for your next career.
Expand & look for cross-industry applications
Network with different types of people in different industries. Use this new network to talk about ideas where you can apply your knowledge to their industry. Not only is this a meaningful dialog, it can spark original ideas and learning you can bring back to your company.