As we head into the heart of the summer holiday period there are undoubtedly a lot of people looking forward to a well-deserved rest and switch off. None more so than those who actually go to work every day to jobs they don’t like or which they feel frustrated, anxious and sad in. For these people, the pending holiday is not just a break from the daily shenanigans of work but it’s a chance to stop pretending everything is ok.
No more fake smiles (yes, a smile can trick the mind to boost positivity, but every day it’s exhausting and not healthy)
No more deep breaths to engage with tasks or people which take their toll
A break from the Sunday night blues
No more biting their tongue
No more escaping to the loo or popping out for a coffee just to get out of the office for a sob or time out
No more worrying at night what the next day may bring
No more feeling mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted at the end of every day
Many people can find they are stuck and unhappy in a job that does not energise them, hold their interest, excite and inspire them or a job where they hate their boss, the commute or other factors around them. When you receive a good salary, have status, have worked hard to get where you are, when you perceive the hassle of finding something new will be hard and laborious, and when your thoughts lead you to sayings such as ‘better the devil you know’ the mind can be pretty persuasive to stay put.
However attractive and persuasive these reasons are, the truth is so many feel the true cost and impact of staying unhappy at work on their health and their ability to fulfill their true potential eventually. Being in an unhappy job doesn’t empower you to succeed in the core things which the majority of us need to feel true fulfillment and success in life. These include personal growth, learning, self-esteem, to feel valued, strong relationships, feeling proud in achievement and working with a purpose.
So, if you have been going about pretending everything is ok and are actually pretty misearable at work, then it’s time for a rethink.
Firstly, stop pretending there isn’t a problem and faking job happiness. Start admitting to yourself first and foremost that things are not working, and that change has to be, not could be, on the cards. Then start admitting it to others and feel the release inside.
Secondly, take time to truly understand what it is that will make you happy at work. Don’t just go for one or two things which may jump to mind, go deep and find the less obvious and personal motivators and factors. Until you raise awareness of what needs to change you can’t even attempt to make decisions and take action.
Then work out what is important to you today in life and work. Chances are you have evolved and have a clearer perspective on life, so certain values and needs will be stronger today than they were in the past. How aligned or unaligned are you with these?
With this insight visualise a future and a job which includes more of what you want and what is truly important to you. Do this daily. Seek to attach yourself to this motivating vision of the future which you can go back to when you get stuck or hit a hurdle as you seek to change your situation.
Set yourself a time related goal for change. Write it down, make it official and commit to it. Check in with goal regularly to ensure you are keeping on track.
Then, create a plan. Chunk it down so it’s not overwhelming.
Take ownership and responsibility for your happiness. Stop looking externally. If there is going to be one person to fix the situation it needs to be you first and foremost. Keep an open mind. Challenge your own thinking and beliefs so you can create a funnel of opportunity not a tunnel.
Stop telling yourself things will get better if I just grin and bear it. Truth bomb, without actively taking action they never will. It simply delays an inevitable change, or it lays the foundation of a bigger issue to be fixed at a later point.
Talk to yourself daily about how much you deserve to be happier and more fulfilled at work. Boost your personal motivation, belief and self-worth.
Finally, find someone to act as an accountability partner. Someone who will keep you on track with your actions but also will support and motivate when you need it.
You spend so much of your precious time at work can you really afford to waste any of that time being miserable and unfulfilled?
Yes, we may all have the odd ‘bad’ day but you deserve and can be doing more of what will make you feel happy in your job and life, you just need to choose to stop pretending and commit to taking action.