Increasing Career Satisfaction Without a Transition
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Clients often come to coaching because they’re dissatisfied with their careers and seek greater fulfillment. They feel stuck, and don’t know what to do next. Some, after fully evaluating their current situation, decide to embark on a significant career transition. Others aren’t in a position to make a major change, at least in the near term. When that’s the case, we look for ways to improve job satisfaction while remaining in place.
Below is a list of ideas to consider for improving your satisfaction at work. Some are fairly easy to implement, involving aspects of your experience you can control such as your office, your learning, and the way you choose to interact with other people.
Others may require collaboration or approval, such as changing offices, your duties, or your organizational department. Nevertheless, it’s worth exploring what you can do to refresh your outlook and increase your satisfaction before leaving your job or contemplating a major transition.
Improve Your Environment
- Re-organize and decorate your office, whether at work or at home
- Add some art that inspires you
- Place photos of loved ones or pets where you can easily see them
- Change offices within your workplace
- Ask about modifying your remote/in office schedule
Connect With Others
- If you had difficulty with a co-worker, make an effort to mend the relationship
- Go out of your way to build a few new relationships
- Deepen existing relationships with co-workers; this may take effort if you’re working remotely, to either look for opportunities to meet for coffee in person or, if that’s impossible, get together over Zoom for a quick chat. The beauty of Zoom is that you can make connections with co-workers regardless of their office location and expand your network geographically
Modify Your Tasks to Leverage Your Strengths
- Re-design the tasks you do in your job so they better align with your strengths; one of the key drivers of engagement is the ability to do what you do best every day at work
- Change to a new function or department within the company
- Move to a different position within your current department
Build New Capabilities
- Make a professional development plan; map out your goals for the coming year and then design small, concrete action steps to get you there
- Deepen existing skills through education or training
- Learn new skills that strengthen your performance in your current job or prepare you for a new job or promotion; even when you can’t make an immediate change, you can proactively develop yourself for a future endeavor. Even if your job doesn’t change in the short term, this kind of preparation can increase your optimism and fulfillment level
Take Care of Yourself
- What you choose to focus on tends to drive your thoughts and emotions; choosing to focus on the positive aspects of your job can improve your mood and energy level
- Find fulfilling contributions to make outside of work, such as volunteering for a non-profit with a mission that is meaningful to you
- Take time throughout the day for mindfulness; even if you struggle with meditation, you can center yourself periodically by closing your eyes, sitting still, and taking three long, deep breaths
- Increase your activity level during the day; get up from your chair, walk around; if you can’t walk around outside, move while indoors; stretch; do yoga if you have the space
- Eat nutritious snacks and meals
One of the fastest ways to get out of feeling “stuck” is to take action. Even relatively small changes can help restore your sense of control and forward movement. If you eventually decide to leave your job, you’ll know you did all that you could to make the best of the situation while you were there.
What strategies have worked for you, to increase job satisfaction?
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