Warning, this could feel a little confronting.
Career coaching is not always about changing jobs. I’ve spoken with many clients who call me and say they’re confused about whether to stay in their job or leave. About 80% end up choosing a new career path and 20% choose to stay where they are.
Often, we become dissatisfied at work because we’ve chosen to feel unhappy, disempowered, bored, disrespected, unappreciated, the list goes on. Being happy, at work or at home, is an inside job.
It’s certainly not black and white and I’m not saying that’s always the case. I’m saying check it out before making a decision you can’t turn back on. Here are a few things to consider before you blame your workplace for what is going on inside of you.
You might just decide to stay.
BORED WITH YOUR WORK
Someone once said to me, boredom is a sign of ungratefulness. I found that rather confronting, but when I started to observe closer, I found some truth in the statement. I’d settled into a place of complacency and eventually negativity.
So the answer is simple right? Think about what we are grateful for? Yes and no. We can start there, but we can go much deeper.
Career Coaching will help you identify your strengths, weaknesses, highlight your accomplishments, shine a light on your values, learning and decision making styles, and show you an inside view like you’ve never seen it before.
With this information, and feeling freshly grateful for the job you already have, you might just realise that the first step is to look at opportunities that may exist where you’re working now.
You could also put a proposal together to add to your current job description, do further training or study, or design a completely new job that your employer has never thought of.
Before choosing to ditch your current job, first ask:
- Can I set new exciting goals within my current work environment?
- Does my current Employer or Manager know about all of my talents?
- Have I really shown how I could add even more value to the business?
- If I’m unhappy about something, have I asked for a change?
- Am I focusing on the good stuff?
WORK LIFE BALANCE
First, what is work life balance and who decides what it is really?
I recently read an article by Leah McLeod, a writer for Muse that last year, the average American worked over 45 hours in a given week. One in three professionals work more than 50 hours per week. As if that’s not enough, research shows that 80% of workers spend time “after hours” answering emails and returning phone calls. And all this, for what?
Newsflash: It turns out, working longer hours actually doesn’t contribute to higher productivity. In fact, consistently working more than 40 hours a week can make you less productive.
Translation: Work more; accomplish less.
There is every chance that if you look really closely, this behaviour has crept up on you and started with you, not been demanded of you. Not always, but check it out.
Before you go looking for another job and potentially jump from the frying pan into the fire, ask yourself:
- Have I done all I can to balance my work and life? Do I even know what that means for me?
- Do I check my email every 5 minutes and put pressure on myself to respond immediately?
- Is there something I’m meant to learn about prioritising and distraction?
- What about work hours and accessing information away from the office. Can I leave my work at work?
Look inside first, then out at your surroundings. If you don’t change, you will be taking your working style with you. Will it really be different at the next job?
CONFLICT WITH A COLLEAGUE OR LEADER
When you actually think about it, it’s amazing what an impact a collection of people within an organisation has on our world. We’re all thrown together because we ‘match the culture’, yet we haven’t gone and chosen each other carefully as one would when dating to select a new partner. Unless perhaps you are the business owner or manager.
When relationships are not harmonious, they can be the cause of stress and decrease our happiness significantly.
Then one day, you find yourself amidst a conflict because your colleague or manager is annoying you. It festers in your mind. Suddenly you find yourself seeing that person in a completely different light. Everything they do will annoy you. Before you know it, that’s it, you’re leaving!
When I work with clients facing this type of issue, the result can go either way because part of the Career Reboot process is to dig beneath the surface issue and see what’s happening in behind it. What’s really creating the sense of stress and feeling unhappy? What’s happening inside of you?
Sometimes we discover that it’s a values conflict that can’t be repaired, but other times the client will realise that they have become negative within their workplace and have been so focussed on the negative that they actually went looking for it, without realising it!
This is not always the case. Often, reasons are valid and we see far too much bullying, favouritism and mental health issues within our workplaces.
However, before you run away from one or more personalities, check and see if this is an inside job.
- Is there someone on your team you just don’t gel with? If so, have you approached them to chat about it?
- If that feels too uncomfortable, spend a couple of days looking only for their good points.
- Do you feel unappreciated? If so, have you brought this up in a meeting with your manager?
- If someone keeps annoying you, ask yourself ‘what is it inside of me that makes this annoy me so much’?
The longer we let things fester in our minds, the bigger they become. Wayne Dyer puts it well in his saying ‘When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change’.
Before you go making a life changing decision to move jobs or completely change your career path, be sure you have checked your motivation.
If there is something within you that needs attention, or even adjusting, you may just find yourself in the same situation in your new job.
Once all is said and done, and you’ve had a reflective look inside, if you still choose to pursue a new career path, keep this quote from Steve Jobs in mind:
‘Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.’