Practical solutions to get your work life back on track
You basically love your life, but your career isn’t providing the kind of fulfillment you had hoped. To discover the problem, you’ll want to consider the conditions of your career environment, which are so important. Research shows people are more engaged and productive in a positive work environment.
If your career environment isn’t meeting your expectations, reflect on these three ways you can change your work life for the better:
You’re in the right career, but you need to change your work dynamics.
Maybe you simply don’t have enough interesting challenges to drive you to do your best work anymore. You’re getting too complacent, and you used to love your job, but now it’s lost the luster it once had that excited you.
Sometimes, boredom is a sign that you can do more than you are, and you’re becoming sluggish because you haven’t reached the full potential that you could accomplish in your field of work.
You could always talk to management about pursuing a promotion and taking on more responsibilities. You can also pursue a better-paying leadership job at another company if moving up the ladder isn’t possible at your current job. It may be time for you to develop new skills to expand your scope of work, and you should use every opportunity management gives you to learn more in your field. If your managers don’t have ways for you to expand your skills, ask them why. In many fields today, you run the risk of falling behind in the job market if you don’t continue learning about the latest developments in your industry as these changes happen.
Consider that you might be in the right career but working at the wrong company.
Examine if you aren’t putting in the effort that you used to because your workplace culture has become emotionally unhealthy. Phychlopaedia published an article on the warning signs that you could be at risk from psychological injury from your workplace culture.
- Does the leadership in your office focus too much on issues of control, leading to frequent conflict between your coworkers and harassment?
- Do you struggle with managers because they continue to dodge around difficult conversations? You’ll know this is the case if a huge confrontation erupts more than once because they ignored problems for far too long.
- Have you complained to your manager about the bad behavior of someone affecting your productivity, and your leaders chose to do nothing about it or allow it to continue anyway?
- Is it common for coworkers to talk right over others, avoid greeting each other or send inappropriate emails to bully others or create unnecessary drama?
If you’ve agreed with even two of these questions, you’d be wise to leave your current company and apply at another one with a more supportive company culture. Otherwise, the mental stress of your environment can harm you too much in the long run.
Drop the comparison addiction and let go of unnecessary stress.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others to the extent you feel you have the worst job in the world. Stop yourself by asking, “Why do I keep comparing my job to theirs?” because it’s a symptom of a bigger problem. What are you trying to avoid in your current job?
One big issue many people have is job burnout.
Psychologists have pinpointed three specific indications of job burnout:
- Emotional exhaustion
- Accomplishing much less at work than you used to
- Chronic cynicism about your clients and co-workers
If you feel burned out and overworked to the point where stress has taken all the positive aspects out of your day, maybe you just need a small break. Psychologists recommend that the first step to recovery is taking better care of your body with proper rest, exercise and eating habits. On your day off, reevaluate why you took the job in the first place and regain that deeper appreciation of what you have without comparing yourself to anyone.
Next, try to target the main source of your stress at work. Is it that you receive more work than you can reasonably complete in time? Are you lacking the control you need to do your job efficiently? Does your job compromise your ethics?
Visualize the best possible scenario for how your current work situation could be. Now, try to suggest any ideas you have for improvement with co-workers and with management.
You can also change the work-culture dynamic significantly by thanking your bosses for their feedback after you ask for it, so you can improve in the position you’re already in. Often, your work environment will change around you when you can perceive it differently and focus on new aspects of it. If you take proactive steps, yet the source of your stress is beyond your control, it may be time to look for another job in a less stressful field or a healthier working environment.
Follow your dream career, instead of ignoring it to please others.
What if you’ve ruled out the burnout factor, promotions don’t help, or you’ve switched companies and still feel the same way? Consider whether you may be in a job that’s not for you because someone else told you to do it, rather than because it’s what you truly wanted to do.
You might need to make a big change to start feeling good about yourself again. Now may be the time for you to take some courses to develop those new skills you need. Prepare yourself to make a big change by first networking with other people who are working in the new field you want to transition into. The easiest way to network with new people is online, so begin modifying the interests that you list on your LinkedIn profile. Search for other people who are doing what you want to do. As you start talking to them and get recommendations about what’s happening with jobs in that new field right now, you’ll know what to expect and start making a plan that will guide you into your new career.
You’ll know if you’re doing the right thing by making this change because of the way you feel when you’re going after it. Inspiring ideas start to flow, it’s easier to get out of bed in the morning because of what you look forward to, and you like the new challenges in front of you because they inspire you to become a better version of yourself.
Consider Einstein. He couldn’t get a good teaching job even though he had a diploma to teach physics after he graduated. Einstein was working on his incredible theories on relativity and the universe while he worked at a patent office, which may have been a very boring job. However, he used whatever available time he had happily in the pursuit of his dream career, and look at how it paid off.
Don’t waste time chasing someone else’s dream when you could be fulfilling yours and making others around you happier by doing so. No one is more charismatic than someone who followed their dreams and never gave up. Take it one step at a time, and it will be easier for you to stay focused.
For more advice on how to face a major career change, contact Rose here at Rewire Me. You can also tap into more inspiration by downloading her meditations, such as the “5 To Thrive Meditations: Empowerment” collection that helps you stay positive during difficult times.