One of the effects of our economic recession is that feeling that if you’ve got a job, you’d better hang onto it! That’s fine if you’re happy with your job, but what if you’re not? What if you’re really unhappy at work but can’t see a way out? There are always bills to pay and very few of us can take the risk of unemployment for any length of time, however tempting it feels on a Sunday night to just chuck it all in!
Research in Happiness at Work
Stephen Wood and L.M. De Menezes of the Cass Business School in London, published some research earlier this year* which supports what I have been saying for some time. When you can’t actually switch jobs, working on making your existing job better, improving your working life, will increase your sense of well being and happiness at work.
They advise trying to make your job as enriching as possible and taking opportunities to be more autonomous and grasp opportunities which may enhance your CV. So no falling into the “I won’t help ‘them'” trap as actually being more co-operative can actually help you!
They also found that knowing what was going on, being kept in the loop, helped employees feel more content with their lot. This is no surprise as in any times of stress and change we need to feel we have a say in what is happening, that we can exert some control somewhere in the process. And one way of doing that is to increase communication with your manager or your HR department. Find out what’s happening in your business, whether it’s your immediate company or your industry as a whole.
Plan Ahead for Next Job
Don’t see this time as ‘dead’ time. Yes, you need to hang in there for a while but there are still opportunities to plan ahead. Don’t wish your life away but a bit of judicious planning for the next step, when it becomes available, is good career planning. Maybe get yourself on a course within work, or invest in one yourself outside of work; (a lot of participants on my Renewyou course are doing exactly this).
If you don’t know what that next step is, but you do know that you don’t like what you’ve got, listen to my free visualisation and see what it comes to mind!
You spend a lot of your life working, so it needs to work for you as well as your employer! Make a start now on enriching your working life!
Photo Credit: Gokan Kohur
* High Involvement management, High Performance Work Systems…Journal of Human Resource Management 2011
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Posted on August 29th, 2011 by Jane