Identifying what you’re really unhappy about just takes some honest introspection with no interference from the ego
They say romantic relationships can get the ‘seven year itch’. But does the same principle apply to jobs and careers?
For our parents and grandparents’ generations, decades spent working for the same company (and often in the same job) was considered the norm. But these days with greater job mobility, a more diverse working population and cross-pollination of industries and skill sets, things are now very different.
In fact, the stats even suggest that things can get a little stale if you’ve been in the same job for more than just two years.
Have you fallen out of love with your job? Here are eight ways you can spice things up in the workplace and get back to that ‘honeymoon’ phase where every work day felt like a Friday.
Figure out if it’s really your job that’s the problem
This really needs to be your first step. Often when we’re unhappy in a certain situation, the root cause of the unhappiness actually lies elsewhere. We tend to put the blame on things like our jobs and relationships because they’re first in the firing line. Identifying what you’re really unhappy about just takes some honest introspection with no interference from the ego.
Talk to your supervisor
Okay, so you’ve identified that it really is the job that’s the problem. Your next logical step would be chatting about your concerns with your immediate supervisor. This person is probably best-placed to suggest changes, modifications, adjustments to your duties. Sometimes even just small changes can make a big difference. Also, just by expressing your concerns to your supervisor can make you feel better about your situation and a little less alone.
Subtext: don’t take it out on others. There’s no point in getting colleagues offside just because you hate your job. Burnt bridges aren’t going to help you and in fact, might even make your situation worse.
Seek out opportunities for professional development
There are many opportunities for professional development, either formal or informal. If your boss can’t (or won’t) send you to training days, there’s a stack of free training opportunities via the internet. This way you can expand your skillset for free and in your spare time.
Change your environment
Our immediate environment has more of a subconscious influence on our emotions and headspace than we realise. Even little things like rearranging your desk or workstation can help. Personalising your space can alter how you feel about your job in general. Things like photos of family, friends or pets, landscape or motivational posters and plants can all make your immediate work space feel cosier and more “yours”.
If possible, consider taking a sabbatical
Admittedly this is something a lot of people wouldn’t be able to do. But if you can afford to be away from your job for six or 12 months and the necessary arrangements can be made, this would be a great thing to consider. Time away from your regular routine can really help you to put things into perspective.
Try to see the bigger picture
The chances are this isn’t your first job. And it probably won’t be your last either. If you can view your current situation as just part of a bigger, broader journey, that may help you realise things really aren’t as bad as you think they are. Think back to a previous job that you didn’t like. Well that job ended and you moved on to the next one. The same thing can happen again.
Set yourself some career goals
Few things can be more empowering than having a career goal or two in the pipeline. This gives you something to focus on and work towards. Your career goals don’t even have to be overly ambitious. Just something like giving yourself 12 months to achieve a higher-graded role within the same organization. It might not sound like much, but this can be a stepping stone to the next career goal. This means you can turn your situation around, step-by-step. Job-by-job. Goal-by-goal.
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