According to a recent Gallup study, employees are most engaged during the first six months of employment, otherwise known as the “honeymoon period.”
It makes sense.
During the first six months, you’re excited about being part of a new company, getting to know your boss and colleagues as well as the opportunity to develop and grow.
But then as time wears on the “new-ness” begins to fade and you start to see how things really work at your Company.
My clients tell me they’re unhappy in their jobs for a number of reasons. They’re undervalued, misunderstood, bogged down with red tape, don’t agree with how the company operates, they have to deal with a crappy colleague or boss.
The list goes on but it all boils down to feeling like there could be something more out there, a better way to use your strengths and make money from a job that you actually enjoy.
Most of us have at one point in our jobs thought to ourselves: “What am I doing? Surely there must be something more to life than this?”
If you’re at that point and hate your job, here are 5 things you can do NOW to help yourself.
- Be grateful for the parts of your job that you DO love
I know, I know, probably not what you wanted to hear. However, I’m a big believer in starting with gratitude. The more that we acknowledge and appreciate what we have, the more good stuff we’ll get.
Even if your job is destroying our soul right now, write out a list of 5 things you are grateful for about your job.
It could be things like: your steady pay cheque, the ability to travel, training and education programs, leadership responsibilities, working at a company that looks good on your CV.
Work with what you’ve got.
- Get back into the driving seat
If you want to do something about your job then it’s up to you to make it happen.
First things first, identify what it is that you hate about your job.
Make a list. Purge. Go nuts.
For every item on your list I’m sure there’s something or someone to blame. But people and processes don’t change overnight.
If you want to change up the situation then you’ve got to identify what you can do about it.
e.g. you hate your boss or colleague who consistently gives you work to do last minute which then forces you to produce work that’s below your standards.
Your potential action steps:
- have an honest conversation with your boss/colleague to let them know much this frustrates you and impacts the quality of your work
- explain that by working on this emergency project, that you’ll have to put a hold on the other project you’ve got going on
- proactively set aside time at a certain time of the day to work on last minute ad-hoc projects that come up
- step up and take the lead on a project so that you can control the workflow and not have to rely on your boss or colleague to give you jobs last minute
- Incorporate some fun into your life now
You’re busy. You hate your job. But that doesn’t mean you should put life off and suffer until you figure out your next step.
When you’re miserable between 9-5 it’s important to build in activities after-work and during the weekend that you can look forward to.
Take the time to schedule them in advance. Studies have shown that the anticipation of holidays or fun activities can almost be as satisfying as doing the activity itself.
- Listen to your intuition
It’s easy to get stuck on the hamster wheel and not slow down to ask ourselves what we’re working so hard for.
We have reasons to be busy. Juggling a career, home, partner, kids, health, exercise etc. but sometimes we keep busy just to avoid facing what’s not working.
Take 5 minutes out. Spend it on a park bench outside. Whip out your journal. Meditate. Whatever it is, do it WITHOUT your phone, blackberry or any form of electronic device.
Ask yourself, “are you really happy?” and see what comes up.
Listen to your inner voice. It’ll guide you on the bigger picture and whether you should be in your job or working on something else completely.
- Experiment with side jobs, volunteering opportunities and hobbies
If you’re job really isn’t want you want to be doing long term BUT you have no idea what else to do then I invite you to play in your spare time.
Clarity and confidence come from taking action so experiment on one side project where you can test out your skills and ideas. Then go from there.
Now I’m curious to hear from you:
- What do you hate about your job?
- Which tip are you going to incorporate today to help yourself now?
Leave a comment in the blog below.