There comes a point in every adult person’s life when they start to fear Sunday evenings because of the impending week that comes after it. It’s an affliction that’s affected almost all and every kind of modern worker. And while there’s still no way to instantly cure the Monday blues, one of the major factors that seem to cause it is the lack of job satisfaction.
If you’re feeling the full effect of the Sunday night dread and are becoming increasingly dissatisfied in the workplace, there are some sure-fire ways to get you back on you’re A-game, by simply following the tips listed below:
1. Quit the Comparison Game
Unless you happen to live under a rock, these days, it’s impossible not to know what our former cubicle mates or ex-colleagues are up to. But instead of being happy that we’re able to connect with them still, oftentimes, we end up using social media to compare our lives with others – and the more time we spend browsing, the more resentful we become.
But, don’t let the green-eyed monster get you down. Now that you know the root of the problem, step away from your phone and focus on yourself. Rather than blaming everyone for how much you dislike your job, think of ways on how you can improve and get to where you want to be in your career.
2. Identify Your Passion
It was Confucius who said, ‘choose a job you love, and you never have to work a day in your life.’ While this popular saying offers sage advice, the problem most people face is that they don’t know what they want to do. And if you’re one of these people, welcome to the club that hosts 90% of the population! Because spoiler alert – you’re not alone. But while this fact should comfort you, it shouldn’t, however, make you complacent.
If you’re not satisfied with your work, then you owe it yourself to discover your passion. Take the time out of your day to answer these questions: What do I enjoy doing the most during my free time? What am I willing to struggle for? What do friends and loved ones say I’m good at? What are the parts of my work that fulfil me? The more time you take to get to know yourself better, the clearer you’ll be able to identify what you don’t like about your work and what you can do to change that.
3. Find Where You Belong
Sometimes, it’s harder to put a pin on why we feel unsatisfied at work. You could have all the elements of a good job; the people are kind, the work pays well, and the cafeteria food isn’t half-bad. And yet – you still feel out of place. This is where the importance of company culture comes into play.
There’s no denying that every job seeker is different; some love the 9-to-5 life while others thrive in a cut-throat environment. And the truth is, your satisfaction at work will largely depend on fitting in with a company that shares the same values and priorities as you do. So, if your current job doesn’t reflect what you believe in, then it shouldn’t come as a surprise why you feel unsatisfied.
4. Ask for What You Want
There are times, however, when it’s not the lack of excitement in the workplace that leads to dissatisfaction, but the lack of growth. When you're stuck in the same position for years, you end up feeling stagnant which severely affects your performance.
It’s one of the most common reasons why employees quit and why a large portion of them don’t commit to a job for a long period. In the UK alone, a whopping 47% of the workforce are not satisfied with their jobs and plan to change careers. According to a survey by the London School of Business and Finance (LSBF), British workers believe that a new job will increase their salary, provide better work-life-balance and improve job satisfaction.
But there are instances when fighting for what you deserve is a better option than resigning. Whether it’s requesting for a promotion, negotiating a salary raise or ensuring a better and safer working environment for you and your officemates, the simple act of asking for what you want (and rightly, deserve!) can massively increase your job satisfaction. So, roll up your sleeves, pluck up some courage and go fight the good fight!
5. Make a List of Pros and Cons
Maybe you’re unsatisfied with your current job because it’s not how you imagined you’d end up as an adult. We get it. It’s hard to let go of your childhood dreams; you’ve held onto them for such a long time that letting go almost feels like losing a part of your identity. But in the process of romanticizing the past, maybe you’ve overlooked the many wonderful opportunities and benefits that your work has given you. Sure, it’s not as exciting as becoming a police officer, but you get to go home on time and have dinner with your family. Take an honest look at your career and list down what you love and hate about your job, you may just find out that the good outweighs the bad.
6. Develop Friendships in the Workplace
Perhaps one of the most overlooked but easiest ways to find fulfilment at work is to build meaningful relationships with your colleagues. After all, the average adult spends most of his or her life (over 90,000 hours to be exact!) with officemates, so it only makes sense to befriend them.
In fact, a study done by The Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) showed that bonuses have little to no impact on job satisfaction. Instead, it that 42% of workers were motivated by how well they got on with their colleagues, 22% by how they were treated by their managers and 22% by how much control they had over their work.
Having allies at the workplace is beneficial for a multitude of reasons; they make coming to work more pleasant, they motivate you to do better and tough days breeze on by whenever they’re around.
7. Find Your Purpose
Perhaps, you thought you’d be saving lives in Doctors without Borders, or maybe you wanted to solve crimes like Sherlock Holmes but instead, you’re folding clothes and assisting customers in Zara.
Before you judge yourself on how far you’ve fallen, consider the reasons that led you to your job. It could be that somewhere along the way, you discovered you love fashion and would rather save people by preventing them from committing a fashion crime.
When you think about it, your life’s purpose is generally the same, but the matter in which you hope to accomplish it has changed. Find out what parts of your work fulfil your purpose and which parts don’t, that way you’ll have a better idea of what to change and what to keep.
Achieving job satisfaction is a challenging act but it’s not impossible. All it takes is a bit of a patience, a dash of bravery and most of the time, a little bit of faith that it will all work out in the end.
What are the ways in which you achieve job satisfaction? Sound off in the comment section below.