This is part 3 in this series, “What to Do When you DON’T Love Your Work” and these are my last tips for what to do when you don’t love your job.
#5 Improve communication with your boss.
No one likes having hard conversations, but they’re literally required if you’re going to be happy at work.
Set up a meeting to discuss your areas of dissatisfaction. Prepare ahead of time what you want to ask for: choose 1-2 non-negotiables, areas where you’re willing to compromise, and throw in a few “nice-to-have’s.”
Keep the lines of communication with your manager open. Ask for feedback at the end of a project instead of waiting til your end-of-year review. Check in honestly about your workload if you’re concerned. When you’re taking vacation time, prepare ahead of time and offer them a plan for who will cover your work while you’re out.
People don’t leave jobs, they leave bosses – and while every boss can improve his or her management skills, it takes two to tango. Make an honest effort to improve your relationship with your boss, and see whether that has a positive impact on your job satisfaction.
#6 Work with a coach.
Having an outside, disinterested perspective is paramount when you’re considering a change.
Venting to your girlfriends over chips and salsa or complaining to your sister isn’t the same as a measured conversation with a trained coach who can help you consider possibilities you may not have even considered.
One of my own coaching clients came to me hating her job and desperate to change her situation because she felt stuck, empty and like she went into battle each day – fighting on many fronts. She craved help to figure out what she wanted to do with her life/career going forward, wanted fun back in her life and desired fulfillment.
Together, we dug into practical issues like how to redefine her skills, networking and interviewing well. But most importantly, we worked through issues about sitting with fear and anxiety, dealing with a negative inner voice, releasing the expectations she pressed on herself from the past, establishing boundaries, removing guilt from her work interactions and scheduling rest and inviting creativity into her life.
So what happened with my client? After coaching together for a few months, I didn’t hear from her for about a year. Then one day, she contacted me and shared that she had transitioned away, has taken some time and now works 3 part time jobs. She also shared that she loves new jobs, actually has more time at home, makes better money and, most importantly, feels satisfied. She now feels and knows whatever the future brings, she can change and for the better
When you actively participate in creating a job that works for you (instead of you just working for your job), your whole life can feel more satisfying. You just might turn into one of those inspirational-quote-posting Instagrammers. I won’t tell.