Do you often fantasise about what life would be like if you quit your job tomorrow? Imagine those late sleep-ins, more time to exercise and have coffee with friends, travel to places you’ve never been too and read those books gathering dust on your bookshelf.
When we are stuck in a rut at work we can easily fall into a trap of romanticising what life would be like without the pressures of work. How much happier we would be if we could just do what we wanted when we wanted, without having to answer to anyone.
As a career coach I come across people in this situation regularly. Their job is draining the life out of them and all they want to do is quit, believing they would be so much happier.
I’m not denying that quitting your job won’t offer an immediate sense of euphoria and stress relief. However, the temporary high is similar to that of a party drug, short lived and with a harsh comedown back to reality. I know, I’ve been there.
After five years in my grad role I felt miserable. I didn’t like my job, I was unhappy and I felt stuck. I agonised about what to do but I felt the only option I had was to quit and go travelling, and so I did.
To my deep sadness this didn’t solve the problem. After much travelling, I came home to the same issues of job dissatisfaction, discontentment, and internal frustration. I tried several other jobs and career options, but got the same result every time.
After the travelling and the career changes I eventually had to take a moment and ask myself, ‘was I the problem? Was there something wrong with me?’
Perhaps you’ve thought the same thing if you’ve tried multiple career options and you still feel like something’s missing. Like you haven’t quite found what it is you’ve been looking for.
When I asked myself this question it began my journey into my internal world to help me better understand who I was, what my needs were and how I was going to get these needs met in more areas that just my career.
I learned a lot about myself, career development and what a happy and fulfilled career and life really looks like.
So before you quit your job in the hopes that it will make you happy, I encourage you to try the below three strategies to enhance your career satisfaction today. Take it from me, as much as quitting your job feels like the answer to all your problems, it isn’t going to solve that deep niggling you have inside of you. The only way to resolve that is by doing the work, either with a coach or on your own self development journey.
If you choose to do the journey on our own I have three strategies below to help you. They are not a quick fix, they take time and effort, but I know from first hand experience they work. Your enjoyment at work will increase and you will be in a better head-space to decide whether changing your career really will make you happier or if you are just romanticising the idea of quitting your job.
Develop Your Passion
Sometimes we get so caught up and focused on our job (and how much we hate it) that we forget about all those things outside of work that we love to do.
When we are finding work a slog we often disconnect from our friends, stop exercising and bunker down with Netflix. We lose energy and no longer have time or motivation to do those things that make us feel alive.
Take a pen and paper and write down a list of things that you love doing. If you are struggling to come up with something, think about what you enjoyed doing as a child. Once you have completed your list, pick one activity/interest that you want to do more regularly than you are doing now. Even if it’s only 10mins a week. It may seem like nothing but if it’s more than you are doing now that that’s a great start!
Doing something you love will improve your mood and make you feel better about yourself. This in turn give you more confidence and motivation to make that necessary career change when you are ready to transition into something new. You can also have confidence knowing that you are making that career change from a positive rather than a negative space.
Wheel of Life
Step One: Take a piece of paper and copy the diagram below. This is known as the Wheel of Life. It’s a tool to help you identify how well balanced your life is and what areas are being neglected.
Step Two: On a scale of zero to ten (with zero being completely dissatisfied and ten being completely satisfied) mark where you are on the wheel for each of the eight categories (thinking about the last two weeks).
Step Three: Repeat the activity thinking about where you would like to be in twelve months time.
Step Four: Reflect upon which areas you scored the highest and lowest in and ask yourself the below questions;
What does a perfect ten look like in each of the categories?
Which categories have the widest gap between today’s score and the twelve month score?
Which categories do you most want to see improvement in?
What can you do today to make improvement in at least one of the desired categories?
Answering these questions will help give you insight into what areas of your life you may be neglecting. Take time to focus on one or two areas that you want to grow in and think about what you can do today to make an improvement in this area.
You’ll be surprised what a big difference a small change can have upon your confidence and momentum to improve other areas of your life that you are finding challenging.
Have a Daily Routine
I’ve tried various life-hacks from being an early riser, to drinking a kale smoothie every day to religiously making my bed each morning. I’ve found nothing improves my performance and mindset at work more than having a daily routine. Daily routines are good for our mental health and improve our ability to make good choices.
If you are feeling lethargic, lacking motivation, and unenthusiastic about your career, start by implementing a daily routine to re-energise and re-focus yourself.
Did you know that we have a limited amount of decision making power available to us each day? It’s a finite resource that gets exhausted with time. Therefore, having habits in place reduces our need to make decisions.
If you’ve had a big day at work, where you’ve had to make a lot of decisions, then your decision making capability has been depleted. Resulting in poorer decision making practices as the day goes on. This is why we make bad food and exercise choices when we are tired.
Having a plan of action each morning and each evening after work (when we are the most tired) protects us from making bad choices. For example; each night after work whether I feel like it or not I go to the pool. Likewise each morning I journal so I can check in with myself to see how I’m feeling about the day ahead. You can check out my journaling strategies in my blog post 3 Journaling Tips to Finding a Career You Love.
These are just three strategies from many that I have implemented and found useful in my own life in order to increase my job satisfaction. Even though you want to quit your job right now in the hopes of feeling better about your life. I highly encourage you to take time to implement these strategies for long term career and life satisfaction.
If you would like further help on how you can find a career you love than book a FREE discovery session. We can discuss your career challenges and why you’re feeling dissatisfied in your current job.