If you have loved your job in 2020, you would probably be in the minority! Feeling overworked, underpaid and generally just ‘OVER IT’?
I am saddened to say that I have had more negative discussions about people’s satisfaction in their work this year than ever before. Sure, COVID-19 is likely a part of it, but I have seen a rapid decrease in discretionary effort and positivity about work over the last few years. I expect the plight for purpose, feeling disenfranchised with large corporate industries and the evolution of the triple bottom line are also likely causes.
While the Australian economy has started to recover, it will be a little way off before pay, bonuses and resources are back to what they were a year ago. Therefore, you have 2 choices - you either find a new role or you create your own future. How would you feel starting 2021 in exactly the way you left 2020?!
Here’s some thoughts to stew over when drinking mulled wine over Chrimbo!
Analyse the angst– What is it that you don’t LOVE about your role? Think hard about the angst and break it down into responsibilities, leadership, strategy, stakeholders and ethics/values and then rate (out of 10) how you feel about each of them. Angst builds from small things over time and after a period of time, you feel quite unhappy about everything. It is likely only 2-3 smaller things which you can identify and change to really shift things for you.
Speak to others (externally and internally) – Sharing a challenge is incredibly powerful and a way to form connections and gain relativity. Sharing discontentment is not necessarily venting in a negative way - it can be done confidentially and quite skillfully with a trusted colleague or peer. It will likely provide clarity on whether the challenges you face are systemic or only a problem in time.
Remind yourself what you are good at - It’s common to dislike an activity if it’s not a natural skill or if it bores you (because you have done it so much!). Are you in a role where you are regularly required to do something that’s not your strong suit? What percentage of time are you doing tasks you are enjoying? Appreciate this will vary but if it’s less than 60% of the time, I would question the role fit.
Meditate/practice gratitude or equivalent
Brené Brown talks a lot about the affects pf practicing gratitude here
Have you filled a bucket today? A 1st class children’s book, teaching about giving and taking energy as well as kindness, using the invisible bucket you take everywhere. It’s a useful guide to daily happiness and how showing appreciation and gratitude can make you feel.
The positive effects of meditation are virtually indisputable; however, I cannot seem to do it! I even went to the Nan TienTemple recently and was taught by a high-ranking monk how to clear my mind and breath…. I still cannot seem to get past 3 secs of clear thoughts! I have seen the benefits of meditation and as such, personally find that walking and counting my steps is a way to achieve similar benefits to meditation.
Energy - Your energy is a huge part of how you feel and subsequently how you behave. Knowing where your energy comes from is no longer as simple as if you are an introvert or extrovert; or what you consume; or whether you exercise, or meditate to restore your energy. The intricacies of energy levels and how they differ between humans regardless of consumption, exercise and activities is truly phenomenal. If you have truly mastered how your body works and how you store, use and replenish your energy, then you are 5 steps ahead of most!
Priorities change – 2020 may have really taken it out of you and putting work first may be something which must change in 2021. Or it may be the other way around? It’s no longer as simple as whether you “live to work or work to live”. You’re human and every day/week/month may be slightly different for you. I have found that since I stopped comparing myself to others and running my own race, I have felt happier about my constant change in priorities.
Victoria is an Executive Search Specialist, entrepreneur, Founder and Managing Director of Parity Consulting; a thought leader, wife and mother, blogger, and a wine snob! She believes in life by design and is blessed to have found her career home in the training & recruitment industry, founding Parity Consulting on the belief that the candidate and client must be equal within the hiring process.
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