One of the greatest challenges faced by most workers is finding meaning and purpose in their careers. It is one of the most common reasons individuals “job hop” and seek coaching support. According to some studies, nearly two thirds of Americans are dissatisfied at work. And to add to this conundrum is that most are working more hours with less resources in this post Great Recession of 2008 era. In fact, a 2014 Gallop poll indicates that half of all full-time workers indicate they typically work more than 40 hours, and nearly four in 10 say they work at least 50 hours. The 40 hour work week is really a 47-hour work week (not including travel time to and from work).
However, whether you work in a hospital or supermarket, YOU CAN make your job more meaningful. And while you probably need your boss to approve a raise or a bigger office, these are some adjustments you can make on your own. Take a look at these 5 ideas and implement them to add more purpose and fulfillment into your job.
- Help your coworkers. Our relationships with our colleagues play a big role in our happiness at work. Pitch in with assembling press packages or proofreading the presentations. Share your sandwich when your office mate is stuck on a conference call during lunch.
- Create a great customer experience. You can brighten someone’s day by going the extra mile to help them feel delighted with their purchase. Take time to answer their questions and point out helpful features. Thank them warmly for doing business with you.
- Advance the organizational mission. If your employer benefits society, you can find gratification in being part of the team. Maybe you raise awareness about lung cancer or design safer cars.
- Strengthen your communication skills. It is a “must have” in your success toolbox. Ask for feedback about how you come across in writing and in person. And make appropriate adjustments.
- Practice your leadership skills. Strategic thinking and inspiring others are valuable traits at every stage in your career. Welcome projects that give you a chance to rehearse for future challenges.
- Sign up for training. Once, when I was bored with the monotony of my job, I took a course to become a web master. This was in the early 2000’s when someone had to actually program a website. (Now-a-days you can create a site by dragging and dropping.) That insight paid off. Two short years later, I applied for a job as a Marketing Manager for new websites the company was developing. I was the only candidate that had experience in web technology. Take advantage of opportunities to learn something new. You can create opportunities for your future success while growing and enhancing your overall well-being.
- Upgrade your presentations. Make the most of your reporting responsibilities. Dazzle your supervisor with a multimedia presentation and compelling graphics when they ask you to research vendors or conference venues.
- Start an ambiance committee. Attractive and neat surroundings aid productivity and morale. Suggest forming a committee to make recommendations on how to beautify the office. Coordinate a company-wide cleanup day.
- Share your hobby. Welcome your passions into the workplace. You could bring in flowers from your garden or take photographs at special events.
When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down “happy”. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment. I told them they didn’t understand life. ~ John Lennon
Tony Hsieh, the founder of Zappos.com, Inc. built a billion dollar company on the principles of happiness and having a fun work environment. What can you do?
- Plan a party. Organize birthday parties for your department. Offer a surprise breakfast to celebrate National Dance Like a Chicken Day.
- Promote good health. Encourage friendships and fitness. Put together a company softball team. Negotiate a group discount at a local gym.
- Look at the funny side of things. Search for the humor in any situation. Look forward to the customers and clients who bring in pictures of their cats.
- Network extensively. If you believe it’s time to look for a different position, you can still use your time constructively. Try to make more contacts with those who can help you advance your career. Attend meetings and volunteer at the nearest chapter of your professional association. Invite people out to lunch and send them articles they might be interested in.
- Document your accomplishments. Record achievements that will sound impressive on your resume. Adding value during your last days on the job will keep you motivated and energized.
- Facilitate the transition. Remind yourself of what you like about your job and why you’re grateful to your current employer. Think of how you can create a smooth transition for your successor while you go off to find a new job, return to school, or start your own business.
Even trivial tasks feel significant when you understand why you’re doing them. Feeling more content at work will reduce stress and add more meaning to your life. If you’ve got to be at work then be PRESENT while you’re there!
Turn opposition into opportunities and boredom into stardom by taking advantage of ALL opportunities to grow and provide service to others. What you give out comes back to you! Don’t delay in implementing these suggestions to create more fulfillment in your job and experience greater SUCCESS!