We all want to leap out of bed and bound into work full of the joys of spring and looking forward to the day. To get fulfillment from our careers and for some, they may even be willing to trade a percentage of their lifetime earnings for more meaningful work. It’s definitely not so easy to find though. Often, you get so wrapped up in the day-to-day and fire fighting, you end the day feeling deflated rather than delighted. It’s this feeling that makes so many of us start to look for some sort of change.
In an era where entrepreneurialism is ‘the thing’ to do, it is often not the right choice for some. You want more satisfaction from your work life, but you don’t know which path to take to get you there. Is leaving your job really the only option open, especially scary if you’ve no idea what to do next?
There are however smaller changes you could consider first before leaping into the unknown. Remember the grass is not always greener (my mum loves that phrase but it is true).
Below are a few ideas you could consider to find a greater sense of meaning and purpose in your work.
1. Understand you and your values
When it comes to being happy at work, it’s easy to blame your boss for your frustrations. Maybe they aren’t giving you work that matters. They aren’t supporting your ambitions. They’re only giving you busy work. They aren’t allowing you to lead properly and expect you to do too much?
When you start to understand yourself, your personality, and your values … ie what rules you live your life by… then you can start to see how maybe you can ‘fit’ better and find that rewarding work.
Taking your personality test and spending some time reflecting on what would actually make you feel more fulfilled can help. A greater emphasis on doing what’s right? Serving the community? Doing work that you really enjoy? Getting more insight into the impact you’re making on a daily basis?
List what you need and what you’re missing. That’s important information to have before making any other changes! Write down a list of your values. Then assess how well they fit with your company.
2. Set some SMART goals
Bluntly put, your own career is your responsibility, no one else’s. So, if you’ve been waiting for someone to push you in the right direction or lead you directly to more rewarding work, well think again. It’s time to take ownership by setting some SMART goals. Create a goal map so you know where you want to be in say 3 years times then decide what, who and how you will get there.
This creates some real vision and motivation to start moving towards these goals. Chunk them down into manageable actions each week. As you achieve each smaller step so your motivation and determination will increase. Just like magic!
Take this a step further by connecting some of your goals to the values you identified in the first step. Want to do more in the community? Set an objective of pitching volunteer days to your manager by the end of the month. Want a greater understanding of your impact? Do a 360 review with work colleagues from around the business?
3. Create your master plan at work too!
When you’re so busy plodding your way through your daily to-do list, it’s difficult to connect the dots to the bigger picture that your work is serving. Your goal map helps here so you can see how it helps support the longer term.
But understand the company goals that you are working towards and how the day-to-day helps you achieve them. Have a look at implementing a 30, 60, and 90-day plan to keep you on track. Even the most mundane tasks take on meaning when you understand the bigger picture and how they help towards the long-term goals. This helps keep you on track and motivated.
4. Get fulfilment through hobbies or volunteering your time and skills for causes you care about
This one isn’t necessarily something that’s part of your day job, but it’s a great way to use your work skills for something you’re personally passionate about. For example are you like me, a marketer with a soft spot for animals? See if there are some dog’s homes or shelters in your area that could use some help with marketing?
Fulfillment outside the workplace can create energy within the workplace and can also help benefit your company with newly learned skills and contacts. It can also provide a rewarding, positive feeling knowing that you’re using the skills you worked so hard to hone to make a real impact for a cause that you care about.
Wanting more fulfillment from your professional life is totally understandable—and you don’t necessarily need to make a drastic career change to make it happen.
Put the above four tactics into play, and see if you feel a greater sense of satisfaction at the end of the workday or week. If not? At least you can rest assured that you tried some smaller changes before making a bigger leap.
And don’t forget to talk to your boss and colleagues. You’ll be amazed what ideas they may have to support you and keep you being part of the team.
Or you could join our FREE WINK Workshops
In my WINK Workshops, we cover the most pressing issues facing women in business today. You’ll gain access to engaging, high calibre speakers who have real-world expertise on the most essential topics for Leading Ladies. They’ll spark innovative approaches to optimising your business and activate new ideas for personal development.
Slotted into a lunch-time, on zoom, you can grab a bite to eat and network and learn at lunch!
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Why not join us so you can :
- Have an amazing network of talented successful women who have your back
- Have invested time in you to develop and grow
- Be confident, motivated and in control of your life
- Have the tools and knowledge to succeed in your business
- Have a clear purpose and plan for the future