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  • Lucy Day

When work's feeling a bit cr@p, is it a career change you need?

I’ve been thinking a lot about why work can make you feel so unhappy. About why we no longer feel fulfilled and the knock-on effect it can have on our overall energy levels.

I know that when I’m doing things I enjoy, I’m a happy bunny. I’m bursting with energy and am pleasant to be around. And then what about when I’m doing tasks that drain me - like the ironing, or looking through data lists? Well, I can behave like an adolescent who’s had their phone taken away from them.

However, I’ve realised that if I change the way I react to these tasks, then life’s not so bad. For example, when I have tasks to do that I would file under B for Boring, I chose to:

· do the work in short bursts

· use the time to listen to a podcast

· accept that I have to do the task and just enjoy zoning out for a bit (we all know that by looking out of the window, creative thoughts often start to

surface, right?)

Oh, and I also ask myself ‘Can I delegate’? Remember, often the tasks you don’t enjoy, someone else does. I once worked with someone who loved data entry, whereas me, I would rack up a >60% error rate. Having spent over 15 years working in the third sector I know that, more often than not, there’s a volunteer to be found who will love doing the jobs I really dislike. All hail those wonderful people.

It's fine spending a bit of time on tasks you don’t enjoy but if they take up more than 20% of your time, you’re going to start questioning your levels of work-joy. This is why many a teacher has said that they no longer enjoy their job – citing too much paperwork and / or a curriculum that stifles creativity. Their motivation suddenly becomes conflicted.

People often tell me they want a career change because they’ve fallen out of love with their job. This may be the case however, I encourage them to think about why they no longer enjoy it before doing anything radical. It could be because of relationship issues (common) or because they’re not using their strengths enough (also common). I give these clients a couple of exercises to help them discover what they’re good at, so they can start to design a job they love. Why is this important? Well…

Did you know that people who use their strengths daily are six times more likely to be engaged on the job, according to research by Gallup and are less likely to experience stress or anxiety?

The whole point of this is to help you understand why something is or isn’t working for you and work out how you can spend the majority of your time using and developing your strengths. The result: you feel happier, more fulfilled and engaged at work.

Reputable websites such as VIA Character Strengths Survey & Character Reports | VIA Institute provide free strengths surveys, which can help you to figure out what you’re good at.

Find out how you can become less stressed and more energised

If you would like to change the way you feel about work, drop me a line to schedule a free 20-minute discovery call.

I’m currently offering a 90-minute 1-2-1 ‘Thriving at Work’ session, tailored to your own personal needs, at a reduced rate of £79, if you book before the end of July 2022. After that, the cost will increase to £120.

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