Love it or Leave it…

Posted by on Apr 21, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Perfect Career 3

A critical decision….fall  in love with your current gig, or ditch it to do the work you were meant to do?

I conducted an informal Survey on FB a while back.   I asked a question that I’ve been posing to people for years:  If money was no object, and you could be doing anything with your life, what would you be doing?  Over the next day or so, the answers piled up.  The responses were fascinating and varied.  When I tallied up the results, I was astounded to see that of the 60 or so responses I received there was only one person who was living a professional life that they loved.  Just one.

This explained a lot.  As a life coach, the number one complaint I encounter is job or career frustration.  When you dislike what you do with one third of your day, you are going to see the impact in the other two thirds of your life. 

Arguably, my tiny sample size may give you pause, but as I researched this disturbing phenomenon, I came across this: 

In a 2013 Gallup study on the State of the American Workplace, 70 percent of the participants described themselves as “disengaged” from their work. Of over 150,000 people surveyed only 30 percent admitted they honestly enjoy their job and their bosses.

I perused dozens of surveys and articles including a study done by the Harvard Business review that confirmed the accuracy of the numbers.  They performed  three separate surveys across a broad range of workers with remarkably similar results. 

It turns out that we are far more satisfied at our jobs when our needs are met physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.  The more effectively companies support their employees in these four areas, the more the environment fuels productivity, loyalty and performance. 

But what if you don’t work for a company that has caught on to this idea? 

What if you are feeling the desire to bolt, switch jobs, head for the hills….

Hold everything!  

It may be true, there are many reasons for you to go, but that’s not the only option.  What if you could tweak your present situation just enough, to get you hitting on all cylinders again?   Would you stay?  

Finding and starting a new job or profession can be terrifying and exciting all at the same time.   If you are in a position to start that journey, both personally and financially I highly recommend it.   

Our lives, however, can be complicated.  We have bills to pay, futures to build and retirement to think about.  Sometimes it feels like it might be too late to start anew.  

But you have choices.  It’s not necessarily a fish or cut bait situation.  It’s not that black and white.    

A minor tune up to your present circumstance may be enough to provide the balance you need to get you back in the drivers seat and enjoying the job that you have.    

Restore, Value, Purpose

There are a few areas that if addressed, can make employees feel more engaged, productive and satisfied with their work.  If your company does not address these areas, try adopting your own practices to enhance your personal work environment.    

Restore:

Employees who take a break every 90 minutes tend to be 30% more productive than those who take one break in the day or no breaks.  They also report a 50% increase in the ability to think creatively and a 46% increase in well-being. 

Try this: Set a timer and take a break every 90 minutes.  Walk around the block or go sit in the break room for 10 minutes.  Refresh, renew and refocus.   

Value:  

It is important to know your value in an organization.  If regular employee evaluations and appraisals are not a part of your company’s culture, create your own.  

Try this:  Make a list of your accomplishments and submit it to your supervisor on a monthly or quarterly basis.   Ask that they review your work give you feedback and recommendations for improvement.   Knowing where you stand in a company can contribute greatly to your commitment  and workplace well-being.  

Purpose:  Employees who derive meaning and purpose from their work are almost twice as likely to stay with the company and make higher quality contributions.  You may like the income but not feel particularly passionate about your company’s goals.  

Try this: Create a personal mission statement that aligns with your own personal values and purpose.  It might be something like, “My mission is to provide a healthy income to provide a comfortable lifestyle for my family”  or “ My mission is to reach my financial goals and retire by age 50.’”  

That’s not to say that you should only stay in a job for the financial rewards.  Nor should you ignore the pull you may be feeling toward the notion of  a more fulfilling  career.  But it might make sense to enjoy the security and predictability of your present job as you start out on your journey to discover “what’s next” in your professional life.  

In the meanwhile, take the reigns of your current situation by balancing your workload, tracking your value and having a personal mission statement that you can really get behind.   You will feel more engaged, productive and…. who knows, when you least expect it you could fall head over heals in love with your job again!

Oh, and the next time someone asks you “What would you do with your life if money were no object?”  You can say….”Funny you should ask, I’m working on my “Plan B” as we speak…..”

I’d love to know your thoughts and comments on my Facebook Page!  See you there!

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