If you scroll through Facebook this past week, you can’t see enough complaints about having to be back in work mode after the holidays. It’s a phenomenon that the world seems to go to sleep for a few weeks as the year ends. It’s kind of a soft pause where we are given the opportunity to reflect on the past year and take stock on what we want to celebrate and what we want to change.
But how many of you returned to a job that you truly are unhappy in? I know I know, you have to pay the bills. I get it. I am not one of those coaches who tells people to go blindly follow their dreams. It’s not that I don’t believe in big dreams, but rash decisions are situational. Sometimes they are necessary and liberating, and sometimes they are harmful. That however is a whole different article!
I’m really writing to the unhappy people who long to be set free from the job they are in. At the surface it may seem like it’s the job that is the problem. Sometimes it genuinely is. Sometimes however, we need to go a little deeper. If going back to work after the holidays was something you dreaded for MORE reasons than having to get back up early, here are some questions for you.
Be honest with yourself. You are worth it.
What is it about the actual role, company, or area I work in that makes me unhappy? Sometimes we need to answer these questions before we can see if it’s the job or if it’s us. The answer to this question holds GOLD. Are you genuinely happy in other areas of your life? How are your relationships? How is your health? Bottom line: You need to figure out if it’s the specifics of your job that are making you unhappy or if you are carting a whole dark cloud with you that’s preventing you from seeing clearly.
2. How did I get here?
What was it about this job that motivated you to take it? Was it the money, the people, the location, or the content of the work you’d be doing? Looking at your motivation for starting can help you assess and understand where you are at now. For example, sometimes we take a job for the money and we wonder why we are unhappy. There is nothing wrong with this choice. To expect to be happy with what you are doing when it was solely about the money is going to take some creativity on your part. What can you do to bring happiness to what you are doing so you can better enjoy the monetary benefits?
3. What have I done to try to improve my job satisfaction?
Is there someone in your workplace you need to talk to? What conversations have you not had or been afraid to have? Often we rule over our happiness at work as judge and jury, thinking we can’t communicate our needs. This is what we call a “young conversation.” There is a tactful way to ask and say everything. I’m not suggesting you barge into your boss’s office for a full blown cry fest. Walking around afraid to talk to people about rectifying your situation is the equivalent of being afraid to ask your parents for a later curfew or 20 bucks. Put your big girl/boy pants on and start having smart conversations.
These are just a few places to start an INQUIRY. Career change is a big life transition. You can do it consciously or unconsciously.