Just about every morning you wake up to the shrill sound of your alarm signalling the beginning of another 9-hour day in a job you hate. And it’s seriously getting you down.
You’re not alone. In fact, the UK has one of the lowest workplace satisfaction levels in the western world. Which is perhaps why 47% of British employees intend to change jobs in the next three years, according to a recent ADP survey.
But is changing your job really the best way to improve how you feel? Not always. We take a look at why and provide tangible alternatives that’ll put you on the road to job satisfaction.
Different Place. Same Problems.
You might feel like putting on your best running shoes and hightailing to another job. But there’s no guarantee that the next gig you escape to will be perfect.
Different people, a change of scenery: sure, it can be nice. But chances are you could experience the same problems. There are definitely more effective ways to overcome this rut.
Do You Need to Work on Your Mindset?
Everyone needs to reframe the way they think from time to time. It gives us perspective. And this can be especially helpful when you’re unhappy in your job.
As Tina Seelig, author of Ingenius, puts it:
“Mastering the ability to reframe problems is an important tool for increasing your imagination because it unlocks a vast array of solutions.”
By re-evaluating how you approach things rather than running away from them, you’re much more likely to come out on top and flourish in your career. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Recommit to Your Goals
Why did you take the job in the first place? It’s easy to lose sight of your goals when your mind is preoccupied with work-related miseries.
But now is the best time for a trip down memory lane. You know all that energy you put into clock-watching and thinking up bogus excuses for sick days? Use it instead to focus on achieving your goals.
You could recommit to dreams that drove you forward in the past. Or devise new ones. The result will be the same either way.
Goal setting is a powerful motivator. With every accomplishment, no matter how small, you get a nice dose of dopamine. With the feel-good factor in full swing, you’re bound to feel more positive about your work.
To make this easier, break your big goals up into small aims. Each goal is a stepping stone towards actualising ultimate success, whether that’s to earn enough to buy a new house or get a promotion.
As you progress further, you’ll feel happier in your job. Which results in improved productivity levels meaning you can reach your goals faster than ever before.
Seek Out Mentoring
How can learning improve job satisfaction? Naturally, it starts with the brain.
Renowned psychiatrist, Dr Daniel G. Amen, explains how gaining new skills changes the way we think:
“Each time you learn something new and practice it, your brain will either change the structure of its neurons (cells) or increase the number of synapses between your neurons, allowing them to send and receive information faster.”
Putting it plainly, learning rewires your brain so that remembering things is easier. So you can pick up new skills faster. And when you add more strings to your bow, you broaden the horizon.
The very reason you feel stuck in a rut might be because there’s no obvious way of progressing in your job. But that doesn’t mean you can’t ask!
Find out from your seniors if mentoring is a possible option. If the business doesn’t have the budget or time for it, why not volunteer to help someone you admire? They could teach you new skills as you support them.
Buddy Up With Your Colleagues
You can be surrounded by hundreds of colleagues and still feel lonely. That’s because loneliness stems from the idea that you don’t fit in. That the people around you aren’t your people.
Loneliness not only kills motivation but it can sabotage your health. As Jane Brody of the Independent reports:
“Loneliness can raise levels of stress hormones and inflammation, which in turn can increase the risk of heart disease, arthritis, type 2 diabetes and dementia.”
The good news: there’s a simple cure. You just need to cultivate a sense of belonging with your workmates.
Have you been isolating yourself? It’s easy to do when you’re wrapped up in work. But connecting with your colleagues has the power to transform an unfulfilling job. When you become a part of a community, you feel more settled and content.
It’s also a brilliant way to be inspired: communicating with peers you look up to is a fun way to learn new ideas and pursue self-development.
Moving for the Money?
It might be a bad idea. Think about the hassle of finding another job, getting to grips with a new business and building working relationships from scratch.
Is it really worth the effort? Certainly not after tax, you might say, when a pay rise equates to a few extra quid a month.
If making more money is a driving factor for you, consider the ways you can earn a pay rise in your current role. If a promotion is a future possibility, why not pursue it? To make it happen, you could:
Build relationships: now’s the time to master internal networking. Make friends with your seniors so they’re likely to vouch for you or share opportunities not publically known to help you progress. Going out of your way to get involved with projects is an effective tactic to make valuable connections.
Strive to be the best: when you’re indispensable to the business, your seniors won’t want to risk losing you to a competitor. Be supportive, adaptable, honest and positive. Take on extra tasks and make a concerted effort to get involved with additional projects to demonstrate your worth.
Complete the circle of work: see each project through to the end so you can gain the expertise of post-project analysis and ROI. Relaying this information to your seniors will not only impress but give them the knowledge needed to measure success and drive progress; your value is further emphasised.
Keep learning: ask for development opportunities. If there’s no budget for internal training, enquire if you can have extra time to develop yourself; provide a plan detailing what you want to learn and how you’re going to do it. Or, use your own free time to upskill and demonstrate how you’re benefiting the business.
There’s Still Time
If there’s nothing sinister stopping you from being happy at work, you have oodles of time to figure things out. Use what you’ve learnt today to fall back in love with your job.
Of course, you might have compelling reasons to leave your job. If you are still committed to a new job search, get in touch with us for an informal chat about your options.
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