Are you in love with your job?
Ten years ago I side stepped counselling and took on an admin job. I was going through a difficult divorce, and didn’t feel I had the robustness to see clients. I had planned to stay in that role for one year, but after 3 months I was dying to leave. I didn’t click with my colleagues, and the company had a really poor work-life balance ethos. I was miserable, frustrated and felt trapped.
For me, the realisation that I had fallen out of love with my job was a slow burn. It sort of crept up on me. I should have recognised the first sign or signs including the most obvious; my dislike of answering to my manager.
How do you know the love affair has ended?
Maybe you can recognise one of these signs:-
- You start to dread showing up for work on Monday mornings.
- Your job feels like it sucks all the joy out of you, and simply depletes your energy.
- You start to feel exhausted, trapped and despondent.
- Your body is trying to tell you something i.e. migraines, anxiety, illness.
- Conflict with a colleague or you hate your team.
- You have found your job boring.
There are numerous reasons for a falling out of love with your job. It can be a dislike of your daily travel to the type of working environment. What’s known for certain is that when you start to dislike your job, it ultimately impacts both your productivity and role performance. I’ll list some of the most common reasons you can fall out of love with your job.
- Lack of faith in the company – employees want to trust and respect management and have good company leadership and direction yet many companies suffer from organisation dysfunction. When employees don’t have clarity it frustrates those that want to do their job efficiently.
- Job insecurity – Nothing is worse than going to work everyday worried if it will be your last. It’s hard to form attachments with colleagues and be committed to your role if your focus is all over the place.
- The need to feel valued – To feel recognised for your skills and talents. If we don’t feel appreciated and valued for your contribution by superiors, you are less likely to feel fully engaged with your tasks.
- Your work has purpose – It’s probably one of the biggest impacts to employee performance. This is particularly true if your job satisfaction goes beyond money. In feeling a sense of purpose, using the company to make a difference to the outside world, purpose is important. Purpose creates passion for doing.
- Feeling micromanaged – It’s frustrating to have your boss check up on you multiple times in a day. Employees want a management style where they feel that they are trusted by their superiors and left alone to do their job.
- Not being paid enough – Employees can feel that their pay does not reflect their level of training, effort or dedication to their job which can lead to job dissatisfaction and feeling unmotivated.
In my work as a life coach, I’ve encountered many individuals that start to feel trapped in a job they hate because they’re either not ready to leave or simply can’t. But it’s that lack of joy, motivation, and ambition that stops us from thinking creatively, and being open to new ideas.
How do you love the job you hate?
Ten years ago I wish someone told me that the key to loving your job again is to experiment with strategies that will create a positive mindset. That’s because a positive mindset will give you a positive outlook.
I want to share with you ways that have helped my clients bounce back from their current gloom to fall back in love (all over again) with their jobs.
Here are 5 ways to reignite interest in your work:-
Step back and evaluate your position. Mapping out your day can be helpful. What do you like about your role? Of the tasks you don’t like to do, can you change these or can you do it differently? I coached a client that hated some of her co-workers. By changing her desk, reporting to a different manager, and taking her lunch break early, it increased her level of enjoyment in her job.
Another “step back” strategy (if you are fortunate enough to do so) is to take a break. A vacation gives us the opportunity to break our usual routines and behaviours. A vacation helps to gain a new perspective or understanding of our problems. It gives you a change to relax our nervous system, re-evaluate our dreams, and goals, and this can lead to innovative thinking and problem solving.
Celebrate Your Achievements
Keep a weekly list of all your wins, achievements, and accomplishments such as nailing that board presentation, receiving compliments from a client, or emptying your inbox. Review your achievements and celebrate them. Not just by soaking them in, but reward yourself by doing something nice for yourself such as a longer lunch, or a small purchase. Focusing on the positive can create a virtuous cycle and keep your spirits high.
Make Time For Your Hobbies
Hobbies can help you to distract from your job stresses, and personal or work issues. Hobbies can give you a sense of accomplishment and this can lead to self-confidence and motivation that will enhance your personal life. Hobbies and interests can be where your passion lies (if not at work) so if you don’t make time for these activities, this can lead to resentment or a loss of who you really are.
Take On A New Project/Course
Enrolling in a work-related course is a good way to grow both personally and professionally. It will increase your skill set and look good on your resume. Any course that’s related to your job position i.e. personal development, learning new software, public speaking course will impress your superiors.
Taking on new responsibilities and projects could lead to a job promotion by giving you the confidence to stretch yourself. A good way to start is to identify areas of inefficiency within your role or department and offer solutions or simply take on the challenge your self. Your foresight will be appreciated.
Try An Office Makeover
An office makeover is a great idea to bring more positivity into your work environment. Firstly analyse why your workspace doesn’t inspire you. It will give you clues where to start. Giving your workspace a makeover can involve rearranging your furniture, bringing in items or ornaments that have special meaning or that keep you in that positive mindset. Other ideas include quote board, stimulating the senses with colour, music or scented candles. It’s important that your workspace continues to look professional, uncluttered and doesn’t sacrifice productivity.
Whilst I knew that my admin job was temporary and I would soon be back in my chosen profession, your circumstance could be very different. What I know for sure is that if you find that no matter what you do, your job still leaves you unhappy, it’s time to move on.
You might think that another career or any other career is the answer, but it’s asking the right questions. In my Find Your Dream Career package I offer clients a career evaluation through practical exercises to see why they are unhappy in their job. These self discovery questions dig deep and get right to the heart of the matter which promotes honest self-evaluation and authentic action.
Fiona Craig is a life coach, psychotherapist and published author of the award winning book, “Stuck in a Rut – How to rescue yourself & live your truth” helping men and women get unstuck from their job rut and onto finding their dream career. Her transformational career coaching package helps her clients remove the fear, worry and guilt to confidently take the steps towards creating the life they want to live.
Fiona has been interviewed by The Australian Women’s Weekly, and The New Daily, and written articles for I Am Woman Magazine, Women’s Fitness magazine, Girlfriend Magazine, Career One, Sunday Life Magazine (Fairfax), Collective Magazine, Herald Sun Melbourne, plus several blogs and online publications. You can learn more about working with Fiona at lifebalancecoach.com.au or call 0405 433 217.