Career Management

Are you happy at work?

Do you know the signs that show you’re unhappy?

How do you become happier at work?

Here are the top 5 signs to look for and how to improve your job happiness level.

1) It’s on your mind when you walk, eat and sleep:

  • The symptom: After you go home from work you find yourself fixated on what you still have to do tomorrow, what you didn’t manage to get done today or what the fallout from the today’s events will be. Your head is filled with all the things you could have done more, faster or better. This is a strong sign you’re being overloaded, not being given enough time to do the things you need to do or being stretched too far and spread too thin within your job.
  • The solution: To help make you feel more on top of things and lessen the time you spend thinking about work after hours you could make a list at the end of each day of the things that you need to tackle and estimate the time each one will take. It will let you walk away knowing you’re ready to hit the ground running the next morning and, if the tasks are going to be more than you can fit in in that day, will let you be prepared to make changes, push things back or delegate to make the day more manageable.

2) You’ve lost the fight or you’re always at war:

  • The symptom: Challenging processes and questioning the norms to get a better result or improved working environment for you and the people around you is great, but if you’re finding yourself picking every battle, blocking every new idea or debating daily you might have lost the romance with your workplace. Likewise, if you used to be an advocate for team mates, get excited about better ways to do things or push for change and now feel unengaged and apathetic, the honeymoon might be over for you and the job you’re in.
  • The solution: Bring back the passion by making a move within your workplace – update your resume and apply for a job in a different division, try a secondment to another team where you’ll work with new faces or get to tackle fresh new projects, or take on exciting new responsibilities where you are. A change is as good as a holiday and fresh faces or new projects can help get back the love for your job.

3) You’re that friend that has the power to turn every conversation back to your work:

  • The symptom: You don’t know how it started happening but somewhere along the line you became that one in the pub talking earnestly with one trapped friend while everyone else laughs at the bar. You’ve started taking the light hearted ‘how’s work?’ question far too seriously, giving the asker the full run down of the bad week you’ve had and the latest reason your boss / workmate is making you crazy.
  • The solution: It’s great to debrief with friends when work is getting too much but if conversation about your job starts to become a large part of what you talk about when you’re with friends, you might be on a roundabout you don’t know how to get off. Use the time you debrief to find solutions rather than just taking the time to vent. Ask if they’ve experienced something similar, what they might do in your situation and then try to come up with an action plan to improve your experience at work. It’s all just talk if you don’t take the initiative to make a change for yourself.

4) Instead of feeling like you’re in the driving seat choosing your own direction you feel like a passenger on a runaway train:

  • The symptom: Bullying workmates, work overloads, constant unobtainable deadlines and unreasonable hours can all be contributors to making you feel like are loosing control over your work day and your role. They can leave you feeling that you are falling through the job hitting every branch in the way down rather than navigating your own path.
  • The solution: To get back behind the wheel take some time to identify the reason you feel more out of control than when you began the job and take steps to regain it. Search the net to see how other people tackled the same problem, tease out what you need to do / have / change to get your power back. The solution might be finding better ways to establish realistic time frames, suggesting staffing up to help with your workload or changing projects to get space from a difficult staff member – either way go back to work with a plan of action that you can take to your boss or you yourself can put into motion.

5) You’ve fantasised about resigning. On multiple occasions. And it felt amazing:

  • The symptom: You’ve pictured the dramatic walk out, the cool calm quit or the email that lets you cut and run without the face to face. You’ve looked at your contract to see how much notice you’re required to give or found yourself wondering where you saved that old resume.
  • The solution: When you’re mind is regularly wandering to resigning you might be at a point in your life where a change is the right thing for you. Often the best time to look for work is when you’re still employed. Keeping the security of your wage lets you to hold out for the best role, explore all your options and totally prepare yourself for your next career move.

This might be the time to update that resume and start researching the sort of position you would like to move into. It’s also a great opportunity to go through your resume and see where there might be gaps in your experience, if you find areas that are lacking you could take on extra duties at your current workplace, use the time before you leave to up-skill, enhance your responsibilities or take on training to make you even more attractive to your employer at the next dream job.

Author: Bernadette Mullins is the Co-Founder of PureResume – where professional Resume Templates are made. She is constantly in contact with recruiters, employers and job seekers to find and share quaility and up-to-date career information.

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