You might feel frustrated but all is not lost.
In a previous post I wrote about job satisfaction and I thought it might be useful to delve into some practical tips. It’s all good and well telling someone what to do but it’s sometimes helpful to tell them how.
So, let’s say you work in an office and your manager is not much help with anything that you need help with. It could be about the work you do or maybe even career progression etc.
What do you do?
It probably gets frustrating but it’s always useful to remember that you always have options.
First up, ask for what you want/need?
Ask confidently, ask a second time.
Don’t be afraid to call people out (politely) when they don’t follow through after assuring you that they’d do xyz.
If you feel like it’s not working, ask someone else.
Chances are even though a manager is their as a main point of call, there’ll be someone else that can help you and someone else that will.
Lastly don’t expect too much from people.
Yes, ask for help when you need it but don’t be reliant on others to drive your ship, they have their own stuff to do too.
Or at least trying to be.
I remember being around 16 or 17 telling a classmate about my writing hobby and that I had thought of doing it as a career. At the time I was pretty lost with regard to career plans and my civil engineering dream was becoming less and less likely.
My classmate on the other hand was an excellent academic – who went on to study medicine.
He told me (in a roundabout way) that sometimes when you try to turn your hobby into your career it ruins it.
At the time I think I said something like yeah you’re right. But in my head I thought but I wanna be a writer and over half a decade later I still think that.
However, despite wanting to be a writer, I’m now 2 years into a career in transport. For the most part, I’m pretty happy with where I’m at and that has made me realise that more than wanting to be a writer what I really want is to write.
And I do write.
When you’re a kid you think that 21 is grown up. You think that by that age you’ll have everything figured out, that you’ll have met your life partner and that you’ll suddenly be this proper adult with a career…
But then you get to that age and you don’t quite feel how you thought you would.
Is this what its like to be an adult?
That’s the kind of question you ponder regularly. You might even have a professional job in a fancy office but you still feel like a kid in a classroom. But you have colleagues, deadlines, meetings, projects, clients and a work phone with a company branded case. You have all that yet you still feel like you’re playing dress-up and pretending to be professional.
Perhaps some would refer to this as imposter syndrome but you can call it whatever you want really. Often the only way to cure this feeling/mindset is to tell yourself that it will go once you achieve a particular goal. Once you gain accreditation in your field or lead a project.
But moving the benchmark probably won’t work because it’s a mind thing not a physical thing. It’s about how you feel about yourself and your ability.
My advice would be (to quote Sinek) start with why. Why do you feel that way about yourself? Once you understand that, it’s just a case of implementing a new mindset.
I’ve never been a career person. But I’ve always thought I had a purpose, some thing I was meant to do. I have no idea what that was meant to be.
I don’t have any particular talents outside of daydreaming, keeping a journal and being an ideas person although they are things I’ve been doing for over 10 years so perhaps they are merely practices rather than talents.
But I was work bound a few days contemplating my purpose in life knowing that it couldn’t have been the building I was heading to for the day.
I started thinking about how there’s little chance of me achieving much if I stay in this very limiting box that I often put myself in as a result of being anxious.
I’m much more out of the box than I used to be but what I’m learning is that your purpose, your joy whatever that thing is for you in life will only be found when you’re being your true self.
A sign that you might be in the wrong job is how you feel when you take time off.
Is the work break like an escape from your dreary everyday reality that you dread going back to. Or is it time to relax and recharge but you actually look forward to going back.
Career happiness is incredibly important to me so I think about this sort of thing quite a lot.
We spend so much time at work that I think that it’s important that we like going to work, that we don’t dread Mondays and that we get some sort of joy from the thing we do to earn a living whatever it may be.