Do you love your job? If ‘yes’, well done. Work is working well for you. If you answered ‘no’ check out the questions below…
5 Symptoms of Job-Disconnect
How many of these questions do you answer yes to?
1. Does the pay feel more important than anything else about working?
Of course, money is important to all of us, but when people enjoy their work it’s not usually number one. Lots of people have made a conscious choice to work for less money because they believe in what they are doing. They are happy to work for less because their job sits well with all their values.
However, there may be points in our lives when working for the money is absolutely the right thing to do, because it enables us to do something even more important to us. Rarely though, can we sustain very long periods of working ‘just for the money’ without experiencing job disconnect.
To help you decide list 5 things you really like about your job. If you find this easy, great. If not, what is that telling you? How much time does it take you to list 5 things you hate about your job?
If you’re working solely for the money you’ll soon get burnt out and very fed up. Work out what you need to earn to pay the bills. We all tend to live up to our incomes. If you hate your job it might be worth thinking about where you could manage on less as part of your plan to find a job which does ‘feed your soul’. You may even decide to take a sideways move for a while if it covers your costs. A soul destroying job will eventually destroy your soul…nothing is worth that, is it?
2. Do you never get the feeling that you’re being the best version of you at work?
If we’re employed we inevitably have to make compromises some of the time. If that turns into all of your time, you’re being stifled. People who love their work invariably say they have opportunities to do what they love. Every day. They grow. They feel nurtured. They feel someone at work actually cares about them.
If none of this applies to you, maybe it’s time to think about moving on? This feeling is often experienced by women, especially if they are working in a predominantly male environment. We have to adapt ourselves to fit. Sometimes this is fine, but often it isn’t. To grow and develop, to be the best version of you, you need a place where for much of the time you can be your true and authentic self. When that happens your best version will come shining through.
3. Do you feel that you aren’t stretched at all and haven’t gained any new skills for last two years?
For a while it can be great to coast along, especially if life is stressful elsewhere. However, after a while this become soul destroying and if you stay too long you’ll find yourself less attractive to new employers. If you’re not keeping your brain active you become dull and lifeless. (I know that sounds like a shampoo advert, but it’s true. You need to be silky and lustrous!)
When did you last undertake some new learning connected with your work? Do you have the opportunity to go on courses, shadow someone, get a secondment? Inertia can creep up on us so conduct a stock-take on yourself every now and again. No one cares about developing your career as much as you do. No one. Take charge.
4. Have you lost respect for the company you work for?
If you find yourself never wanting to tell anyone where you work, or what you do, it’s time for a big rethink. At some level we all need to feel proud of what we do every day. You have to feel some kind of pride in your work and your business.
If you have some nagging doubts take time to explore them. It may be a temporary glitch, or it may be a much deeper seated feeling. Only you know the answer to that and everyone will feel differently. Your colleagues may not see a problem at all. Your feelings are unique to you. Listen to them and don’t worry what everyone else says. If it ‘feels’ wrong for you, it probably is.
5. Do you criticise your boss and know just what you’d do instead, if in her shoes?
This is a sure-fire indication that you’re ready for the next step up. There will be plenty of people happy to criticise the boss or management; it’s easy to do. It can even become habit forming. People just join in with the general moaning and before you know it it has become part of the culture. That’s bad enough.
Everyone grumbles about ‘the management’ from time to time. Too much negativity is energy sapping and a huge time suck. But when you start to think you could do a better job and are coming up with alternative solutions, well, that is definitely time to look for promotion. You’ve outgrown your present role.
And remember, we women usually wait much longer than our male counterparts before applying for promotion. Ask yourself regularly: am I ready to go for the next step up? Not “Am I 100% ready? but try “Am I ready enough?”
We spend a large of our lives at work. We owe it to ourselves to make sure it works for us, too. I’m not advocating throwing up your job without having made a plan. Not at all. However, I do urge you to take some time out to think about yourself. Ask yourself, is this what I really want to be doing?
Wishing you much success and the joy of a job you love!
Thanks to len k a at istockphotos for the image.
P.S. By the way, people often ask me how I ended up in a job I love so much. Well, in my case I created it for myself (you can see more on that here). There is always a tiny element of luck but you really start to get ‘lucky’ when you work out just what you want and then make plans to get it. I very rarely offer one to one coaching these days, so some years ago I collected together a lot of the exercises I used in one to one work with people who were fed up at work. I called it When Work Isn’t Working. The paperback copies have all sold out for now but it’s still available as an instant download. In it I try to help people with the most common question that was asked of me – “I know I don’t like my job but I don’t know what I want instead.”
Taking some time to really consider that question over a period of months led me to where I am today (with a lot of hard work along the way, too.) I can honestly say that I totally love what I do. If you’re interested, you can find out more about When Work isn’t Working by clicking here. You’ll also get an audio visualisation to try along with the book.
Life is too short to be stuck with work you hate. Take charge.
Posted on July 20th, 2015 by Jane