Give your Career some TLC this Valentine's Day.
I know, I know – a blatant rip off of St Valentine’s Day however, I am just going to go for it and use it as an excuse for this post – forgive me and read on!
Currently, With so much uncertainty in the world, especially with furlough coming to an end on the horizon here in the UK, I am very conscious that many people who were considering a switch in their working lives are now putting the brakes on.
For many this means having to stick with a job they detest or remain in an industry they no longer wish to be in, and this is a hard and bitter pill to swallow. How do you find the motivation to excel or even do a good job day in day out if your heart is not in it? Many of my clients feel like they are merely going through the motions and many more are really struggling to even do that.
So, this weekend, after you have wined and dined your loved one or for the singles ones among us joined forces with Ghana to celebrate their National Chocolate Day on Sunday! (Don’t worry fellow singletons – Feb 15th is National Singles Day for us!) take time to show your career a little TLC. Just like any relationship – you will get out what you put in and now is the time to really invest in your working relationship with yourself.
There are some strong theories around job satisfaction and many link with how you perceive your value at work – are you consulted on things? Asked for your input in decision making? Or just told what to do and expected to crack on? If you want to be more involved take more of an interest, ask to sit in on relevant meetings, offer your support and expertise, take on projects which showcase your skills and strengths.
What is even more apparent now is how closely interlinked our working life is with the other areas of our life and if we are discontent in those areas this may spill over into our work. How happy are you with your life overall? What other things can you change to improve this? Who else is affected by this?
Another aspect is how much of our work plays to our values – do you believe in what you are doing? Are you seeing the impact your work is making and if so, is this an impact you wish to be making? Celebrate your day to day wins – yes, the small stuff! Note them down, share them with your manager, encourage your team to share theirs too and congratulate each other. We need this extra collaboration now more than ever as many of us are still working remotely.
Start by making a good old list of the Pros and Cons of your current role and really go into detail with it. Ask yourself a few of these classic questions to help get you going:
What do you enjoy and relish about what you do?
What made you start this career in the first place?
Who do you admire at your workplace/in your industry?
What one thing would you change to make your role more enjoyable?
What is holding you back in your current role?
What is stopping you from leaving your organisation?
Who or what is your biggest challenge?
Now really analyse your answers and look at what is within your control to change and improve. Perhaps it’s having a difficult conversation with a co-worker or even your manager. Maybe it’s reassessing your own attitude at work. Or reviewing your trajectory of progression. I realised that as much as I love working with people I didn’t particularly want to manage anyone – that was tough as I had always been told I had strong leadership skills and capabilities but the fact was I just didn’t enjoy it.
If you have found even just one area which really drives you then explore the reasons why you find this so interesting and how you can bring more of this to your day to day work.
We, inevitably, will come through this pandemic and the job market will revitalise once again so be ready for that. Show and prove what you are capable of now to those that need to know and that includes yourself as much as your managerial team, and most importantly, show your career that you are willing to work at it and with it to make it an enjoyable journey to success.