Hate your job? Living from paycheque to paycheque, dreading Mondays? Dissatisfied, frustrated, feeling trapped? I hear it all the time: “I’d love to change but can’t – I have bills to pay, mouths to feed….” The big black hole of job dissatisfaction has sucked you in; you’re trapped. You want to check out but don’t know how. Sound familiar?
There is something about a corporate environment that breeds a culture of excuses. We get trapped by the shiny perks of a car allowance, medical aid benefits, security (I use this word really loosely), flashy salaries and annual increases. Paid leave, fast technology and on-going training are other ‘carrots’ dangled in front of us disguised as opportunity. Now I am not saying that everyone in a corporate environment is unhappy – but for those of you who are … perhaps now is time to for a change. Stop the wheel … I want to get off!
- Find out what will makes you happy
For the next 2 weeks, write down everything you do at work that makes you happy. Think back on your day and identify when you felt satisfied, happy and like you achieved something. Reflect on your list to see what you really enjoyed and question how you can be doing more of the ‘happy’ things on a daily basis.
- Play to you strengths
Marcus Buckingham in his book Go Put Your Strengths to Work talks about a strength being something you both enjoy and are good at. The strengths revolution is about playing to your strengths – this is really the key to making work fun.
- Set goals
A goal is a dream you wrote down. Take a trip in your mind to 5 years from today and allow yourself to fantasise about all the amazing things you have done (work, relationships, spirituality, self). Dream without restriction. When you are satisfied you’ve surfed all the possibilities, write down what you thought of and plan how and when you are going to bring that something into your reality. Do something towards reaching your goal every single day.
- Have an exit plan
Cold turkey might not be the ideal solution for you. You might need to negotiate reduced hours while you get your new venture off the ground or hang on to your current position while you build a financial buffer. Choosing happiness and changing jobs or starting your own venture might mean you consolidate for the short term. If your plan is clear, it will be easier to make it through the mundane. Downgrading your car or your home for the short term might be easier to do.
- Get educated
To be an expert in your field you need to guard against complacency and read/watch/listen to information in your area of interest every day. Set time aside for this and plan to invest 3% of your earnings into your education, starting today. While you might not yet be able to attend the international conference, you might well be able to invest in the conference audio.