Are you feeling bored with your job? Has your working day become routine or tedious, a bit like a marriage without the early days of passion? What if I told you that it might be possible to revive your interest in your work (as it is for your marriage!) – and that it is just a matter of knowing how?
In his book The Three Signs of a Miserable Job, Patrick Lencioni identifies three key factors needed for a job to be meaningful:
- Relevance: Understanding the connection between your job and the end satisfaction received by another person. Everyone needs to know their job matters, to someone.
- Measurement: Having tangible measures to determine your level of success in your work. Success which relies on the opinions or whims of another person becomes dissatisfying.
- Recognition: We need to be understood and appreciated for our unique qualities by someone in authority.
So how do you work out what’s missing in your job? Here’s a process to follow:
Step 1: Acknowledgement
Acknowledging that you are not enjoying your job is the first step.
Step 2: The list
Next make a list of the parts of your job that you don’t like, as well as the things you do like.
- Focus on the positives: What tasks do you like doing? Write these tasks down and you may begin to see a pattern.
- Identify what you are good at: Listen to what your colleagues say or how they recommend you to others. There is often a link between what you are good at and what you enjoy.
- Look to colleagues who are passionate in their roles: Find out what they enjoy about their work. It may be fun colleagues, great working hours, job flexibility, above-average remuneration, a company car, learning or travel opportunities, or a new office space.
- Look for new opportunities: Explore the alternatives – either by adapting your current role or moving to a new area. Remember, organisations need to adapt and change and you can be the person to initiate this. Another option is to present new projects or ideas to your management team. Demonstrate ways to improve a system, policy, morale or communication within the organisation.
- Keep a list of your achievements: These can be daily tasks, client-focused wins or progress gains. Keeping track of your achievements can help you focus on positive outcomes and a sense of purpose.
- Review your thinking preferences: If you have completed an HBDI or similar profile, check whether there is alignment between your thinking preferences and your job description. A mis-match between the two may be the reason for dissatisfaction in your role.
Step 3: Getting help
Set up a meeting time to discuss this with the issues with your manager. Often, talking about the issues can lead to changes that go a long way in creating a win-win situation.
- The big picture: Understanding the way your job impacts the organisation, customers and the community is crucial to job happiness.
- Define success: Understand what success in your role looks like.
- Recognition: Every employee needs to feel recognised for the job they do, not just financially rewarded but also giving and receiving thanks, constructive feedback, positive affirmation and recognition of extra effort.
- Security and safety: This includes your job security as well as work safety policies, well-being and a workplace free of harassment.
- Transparency: Open communication and sharing of information.
- Relationships: Valuing working relationships that are respectful, friendly and helpful. It is important that your work doesn’t impact upon the happiness of your family and personal life.
- Training opportunities: To enable you to do your job effectively and to grow your skills.
Putting it altogether
Combining your list along with a discussion with your manager goes a long way in reviving job satisfaction. However, if after trying this, you still feel a strong presence of the daily grind phenomenon, perhaps there’s just one thing left. A new job. Elsewhere.
Written by Chantell Bramley.
Patrick Lencioni, The Three Signs of a Miserable Job, August 2007
Carolyn O’Hara, Harvard Business Review, How to fall back in love with your job, July 2015
Human Resources magazine, Jane Bryson, What Workers Want, August/September 2015