I have news for you: There’s no such thing as a perfect job. Even the careers that seem like they jumped straight from your dreams and into reality have their downsides—that’s why there’s a paycheck involved.
But, while you might never love every aspect of your job, there are a few things that you absolutely deserve to get from your career—aside from enough money to cover your bills.
Believe me, I get it. It’s easy to think that wanting and needing these things makes you picky, entitled, or high-maintenance. You’re getting paid to be there, so how much else do you really need?
Well, think about it this way: You’re going to invest a large chunk of your time, energy, and attention into your job. That means that a work environment that checks the following boxes isn’t something that you should consider to be meant for just the lucky few—it’s something you deserve just as much.
1. A Safe and Supportive Environment
Let’s start with the basics. You’re more than worthy of feeling safe and supported in your office. You should be able to bring your authentic self (your authentic professional self, of course) into work and not feel worried or threatened when doing so.
Rest assured that your expectations in regards to feeling secure in your surroundings aren’t unreasonable or out of line.
Nobody should have to head into the office day in and day out wondering who’s going to throw them under the bus or stab them in the back. You’re entitled to a basic sense of respect and a company culture that isn’t overflowing with toxicity.
2. A Boss Who’s Invested in Your Growth
When it comes to your career, your manager should be your greatest ally. They should be in the loop on your desires and plans for professional development and provide necessary support and guidance whenever they can.
If you feel like your supervisor is always undermining your accomplishments, offering criticisms that are in no way constructive, and is completely disinterested in your growth and advancement, know that you’re justified in wanting more.
3. An Understanding of Your Life Outside of Work
Work is a big part of your life—but it’s still only a part. It’s not the entirety of your existence, and you’re entitled to an employer who understands that fact.
Endless pings and emails when your team knows you’re away and unplugged. Major hurdles and complaints when you have a family emergency to deal with. Relentless guilt trips when you finally take a well-deserved vacation.
Those are things you shouldn’t have to deal with on a regular basis. You deserve a life outside of your job—and an employer who encourages you to live one.