How happy are you in your job? I mean, really?

How happy are you in your job

It’s that time of the year where we traditionally tend to reflect and take a closer look at our lives. Whether it’s revaluating the relationship we have with ourselves, our direct employer or how we interact with others a new year can often mean a new start and with that comes a desire to do better.

For most of us work takes up a big chunk of our time and energy, which is why our new year’s reflections have a tendency to concentrate on getting that work/life balance just right. There’s no doubt that reshaping our life into something more balanced takes courage, however, if we choose to stay in a role that makes us unhappy just because it’s ‘easier’ we aren’t fulfilling our potential.

If this is starting to sound a lot like you then the first question to ask yourself is if your current employer is still a good fit. Once you are able to answer honestly then you can start to expand on that line of questioning and consider:

  • Are you acknowledged and rewarded for your hard work?
  • How is the relationship with your manager, peers and team? Is there enough trust and rapport?
  • How confident and comfortable are you having difficult conversations such as negotiating priorities or workload?
  • Do you feel your current role gives you the opportunity to add value on a consistent basis?
  • Do you feel confident and encouraged to speak up and share your honest point of view in meetings?
  • Would you recommend friends to join your company?
  • Are you proud of the organization your work for?
  • Are the organisation values aligned with your own? (I assume you know your own core values)
  • If you’re mostly answering ‘hell, yes! The company I work for is such a perfect fit, I love my job and get enough time for myself and my loved ones,’ then well done. Your company values your strengths and provides you with the environment to thrive.

On the other hand if, by asking yourself these questions, you realise that it might be time to update your resume and start looking for other opportunities, well, I still want to congratulate you. The first step towards making a positive change is to first identity that there is a problem and that takes courage.

However, before you begin to reach out to your network or start scouring job sites, I’d like to invite you to first reflect on your ideal employer. What are the characteristics of an organization that you would LOVE to work for? Ask yourself

  • What is the culture like?
  • How are their structures, formal or casual?
  • Do they have a clear career path? Annual performance reviews or timely feedback?
  • Do they support flexible arrangements?
  • What industry is more likely to be a better fit for you at this stage of your life?
  • Do you prefer established and traditional or young and innovative companies?

As a coach I believe that knowing specifically what you want and then nailing down your vision is 70 per cent of the work. So allow yourself enough time to get clarity on what would be the ideal employer for you and then take action.

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