So we’ve established some of the reasons why we are all unfulfilled at work. In case you missed it, read Part 1 of this series here.
But really, there’s nothing worse than people complaining about their jobs without actually doing anything about it. So let’s stop with the whining and get on with it, shall we?
There’s 2 parts to the solution:
- Take Action
That’s it. No, really. I’m serious.
Step 1: Evaluate
First, let’s really look at the problem. A Harvard Business study found more fulfillment at work is related to 4 things: the opportunity to renew and recharge at work, feeling valued and appreciated, the ability to choose when and how we work, and feeling connected to a higher power at work. Let’s dive a little deeper.
Research has proven that engaged, fulfilled employees increase company performance. Employees who have more supportive supervisors are 1.3x as likely to stay at their organization and are 67% more engaged. If they are allowed to focus on 1 task at a time, they are 50% more engaged. If they find their work meaningful, they are 3x more likely to stay with their jobs. So, fulfillment matters. Engagement matters. Not just to you but also to your company. But how much do they invest in meeting those needs? If you hate your job I’m going to take a guess and say, “not much.”
So now we know what the research has to say about it. What exactly can WE DO about it?
Well, first I suggest you become a self-expert (more on this later). You need to know what makes you tick. Do you really have a good grasp of your strengths and weaknesses? You might start by taking this free online personality test and see how your strengths align with your current job position (it’s pretty eye opening): 16Personalities Quiz
Or, you might start by asking yourself some very simple questions:
- What exactly do you need to make you happy at your job? (Ideas: independence, flexibility, innovating, risk taking, ect)
- What’s missing in your work life that you need to make you feel fulfilled?
- Do you feel safe and supported at work?
- Do you take appropriate breaks to recharge?
- What beliefs are you passionate about?
- What do others thank you for?
- What are you ridiculously good at? (Don’t know? What do your friends say? Start getting in touch with your natural talents.)
- What inspires you and makes you come alive?
- What do you do that makes you feel invincible?
Start taking a hard look at yourself. Start doing the internal work you need to do to change your life. Stop this culture of entitlement. No one owes you shit. Stop complaining. Stop the whole “the grass is always greener on the other side” mentality. Sometimes it’s not greener at all; you just need to wake up and improve what you have. You need to know who you are and what you want. Empower yourself! Wait, that’s step 2.
Step 2: Take Action!
No, this doesn’t mean go run out and quit your job or flip off your boss (although I have honestly considered both).
Find your meaning. Find your why. What’s meaningful in your life? Why do you do what you do? Find your highest expression of talent and passion and take action in your workplace to align these passions with your job. Have a crappy boss? BE THE LEADER YOU CRAVE! Stop waiting for things to change around you and go change them yourself. Feel stressed out to the point that it’s bleeding into your personal life? Put pressure on the hemorrhage. Stop the bleeding. Start prioritizing time to recharge and renew your spirit. GO GET INSPIRED. Only you can stop yourself from going down that burnout-drain. Do your duties at work make you feel uncomfortable? FIND YOUR CONFIDENCE! Then go help others find theirs. If you help others realize their strengths, you will start changing your life and the lives of those around you. But don’t stop there. Go even further: help others in small ways every day. Start changing your workplace. Start changing your karma. Trust me, your life will start changing for the better and doors will open where you thought there were walls.
Stop making excuses. “Poor me! I never get a raise. I’m stuck with this crappy job. I’m so unlucky! I’m too old to change.” I call bullshit. I say “Take action!” Ask for that raise. Find a second job. Invest in yourself. Increase your value in the workplace. Start increasing your skills and competence. Read. Get inspired. Be the leader your company needs. Get that job you’ve always wanted. Move outside your comfort zone. Stop procrastinating. Stop using your kids as a shield to your success. Stop deluding yourself. Stop using fear to keep you from what you want in your life. Go get it! If you want something better, the first step is to stop blaming others and start taking responsibility for it. Only YOU can change your life. So take responsibility and get to work!
Some people tell me they can’t change their workplace into something positive even though they’ve tried. First, I would say really get off your ass and try harder. Bring meaning to work! If you’ve exhausted your efforts, you realize you aren’t in the right field of work, or you have been settling for something far different than what you imagine for yourself, then go get a new job. Or a new career. Or maybe you should just create the meaningful work you desire. Start a business. Start a side business. Start improving other areas of your life that you’ve neglected (a topic for another time.) Start making the changes that you want to see in yourself, your workplace and the world.
Because really, what’s stopping you?
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