So you’ve just signed a 12 month contract for a new job that looks amazing! You feel so relieved to have finished at your old job that was sucking the life out of you. Your hopes are high that this new job is the solution to your career dilemma. But six week into your new role you start to have some doubts…
You thought this new job was everything your old job wasn’t. You were hoping that this new position would be the solution to your problem. But the work is just as monotonous, the tea room chatter just as dull and the workload expectations just as ridiculously high.
Quitting seems like the only solution to your problem, but is it? You’ve got bills to pay and you really don’t want to have a resume that shows you only lasted six weeks in your last position. You want to stick it out and make it work but you don’t know how.
Here are five tips to get you through your 12 month contract.
1. Professional Development
The fastest way to improve how you feel about work is to work on your growth and development. This can be particularly challenging if you are not already motivated buy the work you are doing.
What you can do is focus on one area of your work that you enjoy. Have a think about what is it you like about that particular part of your role. Now how can you spend more time doing that thing so you can increase your job satisfaction?
Most supervisors are happy for their staff to devote time to a particular area of interest as long as they can see how it benefits the company. Is there a conference or a training that you would like to attend? Explain to your boss how attending this training is going to benefit not just you but the entire team.
It’s amazing how much more energy and motivation you can gain in your position simply by choosing an area of interest and developing your skill set. This is also attractive to supervisors because you are seen to be proactive and taking an interest in your own growth and learning.
This strategy can even lead to your current position taking on a different look. There is far more flexibility within position descriptions than you might think. Just because someone else in the office has the same position as you doesn’t mean you have to work in the exact same way. So think about how you can bring your uniqueness to the role.
2. Work Life Balance
Sometimes we need to change life outside of work in order to improve our enjoyment levels at work. Let me explain.
If you are actively engaged in things you like doing outside of work, than that energy and enthusiasm spills over into the work place. Alternatively, if you are spending your weeknights watching more Netflix than you know is healthy for a person, than you may need to pick up a new interest.
By not having meaningful and engaging activities outside of work, you are placing a large amount of pressure on your job to meet all your needs, which is impossible for it to do.
Engaging in at least one meaningful activity outside of work each day is going to increase your engagement levels at work. Things you could do are, having dinner with a friend, going to the gym, reading a good book.
These activities create variety in your life so if you have a crap day at work it's less of a big deal because you still have book club to look forward to.
3. A Serious Side Passion
Taking point two one step further is investing in a serious side project. I don’t mean going to yoga twice a week and a bike ride on the weekend. I mean a passion project that you devote hours of your week to, over many years, with a long term goal in mind.
I’ve had a few serious side passion projects in my life but I’ll use the example of hiking. When I was in my avid hiking phase it consumed a large chunk of my time outside of the office. Each Friday after work I would head straight to the bush with my pack and not return till Sunday evening. Any other time when I wasn’t hiking or working I was reading books about hiking.
My passion project developed over the years. Each hiking goal bigger than the last. Until my goal eventually became to hike the length of the south island of New Zealand 1400km over five months. I trained for six months and on my 30th birthday, quit my job in order to fulfill my dream.
Having this side project help me to see that there was much more to life than my 9-5pm. I didn't get bogged down in politics or grumbling with my colleagues. I has a greater purpose and vision that I was working towards and work only had enough space to occupy those 38hrs a week that it paid me for.
Mindset is our perception of ourselves and the world around us. And the amazing thing is, we get to choose how we think and respond to everything in our world. We have the power to perceive something as positive or negative. Whether something works for us, or against us.
For example our boss may get angry at us not meeting a deadline. You have the choice as to how you respond to this situation. You can either become upset and blame your boss for being unclear in their directions, or you can take it on as a growth opportunity.
How we respond in situations like this is often an indication about how we feel about ourselves. If we have low self esteem and feel insecure we are likely to blame others. If we are confident and secure we are more likely to use the situation as a learning opportunity.
5. Get a Coach
And finally in order to avoid changing jobs and being stuck in this crap situation again I recommend you to get a career coach. If you know you want to change careers once your twelve month contract is up, now is the perfect time to start planning what type of career you would like to transition into. A career coach can help you get clear on what job is going to give you more fulfillment and how you can transition into that career.
If you would like some help or guidance in this area I invite you to book a FREE discovery session with me to learn more about how I can help you. I love talking to people about how they can get clarity on their career direction.
Have a great day!