Today – being February 14th – is all about love. We love our partners, pets, family and friends and today’s the day we don’t hold back. BUT – and hold on, because here comes the tenuous bit – do we love our jobs?
Ok, so I am reaching a little here but I’ve spoken to so many people recently who really aren’t in love with their jobs. Is it possible to fall back in love with your work and can you recapture the job satisfaction feelings you may have once had?
What can be done?
Focus on the positives – take some time to write down all the things you do like and enjoy about your job. Does your boss order in pizza if you have to work late? Or do you have a really fab coffee machine? Are your colleagues some of your best friends? I used to work for a company that took the whole team away for a weekend every year and it was always something that was appreciated.
When something annoys you at work, look at your list and see if you can focus on the positive and the things that you are grateful for.
Keep a list of all the positive feedback you get too. Read this regularly – it makes you feel good.
Don’t sweat the small stuff – does it really matter if a customer was rude or ungrateful? Put things into perspective. Will you lose sleep over the comments? Probably not. An old mentor of mine used to say about rude customers: “if they don’t change your lifestyle, don’t worry about it.” And he was right.
Practice some self-care – perhaps your unhappiness at work is due to other parts of your life not being quite as you want them. This could be your personal relationships, financial worries, suffering from stress and anxiety, even ill-health. Take some time out and indulge in some precious me-time, speak to friends and family about your worry – perhaps seek the help of a counsellor or practice mindfulness or meditation. Well-being at work matters and as individuals we have a role to play in looking after ourselves too.
Develop friendships at work – we all know someone who “doesn’t come to work to make friends” but getting along with your work colleagues can make a massive difference to your morale. You spend longer in the company of co-workers than anyone else, so make it count. Even if it is just so you can have a mutual moan-fest!
Make your workspace your own – don’t underestimate the feel-good factor of seeing your loved one’s photo (human, canine or feline!) on your desk. Or maybe even a small plant or ornament that makes you smile. This isn’t always easy if you’re hot desking but if you’re able to, take the time to personalise your workspace and take ownership.
Communicate – if you’re unhappy, how can you expect your boss to try to do anything if you don’t tell them or ask their advice!? This includes asking for more responsibility, more money or more training and development (there are ways to do this, which I’ll cover off in another blog) but remember that no one is a mind reader – especially a busy line manager - but I can guarantee if they knew how you were feeling they would want to help. Speak up and be less passive.
Even after all this, you are still not feeling the love, then maybe it is time to look for your next role.