I sometimes find after a client has come to me for coaching, wanting to explore other career options, that after a few sessions they decide to stay in their role. This may seem surprising, that’s why I’ve decided to write about this in this month’s blog.
What tends to happen is that after we go through some self-assessment exercises and explore what else is out there, they realise that their current role is not all that bad. The best results I’ve had is that they can reframe their experience to see that their role is actually something that gives them purpose. After all, at one point they will have given up a past role, or chosen that role as the best job above all the others they have considered. They learn to fall in love with their job again.
6 Tips for learning to love your job
Learning to fall in love with your current job again, or at the very least, to view it in a better light is a sensible strategy. Below I go through six tips that will help you to move through this process:
1. Look at the opportunities your job presents to you
Take some time to write out the positives about your role. This could include flexibility; work hours; friendly people at work; autonomy; money earned etc. Give yourself some time to write out this list. It’ll be reflective of what’s important for you to have present in a job role. It’ll also show you what gives you job satisfaction.
2. Compare your role to other roles out there
What roles are you attracted to? Are they ones that pay better, from organisations that have a better reputation, offer improved work/life balance etc. Side by side, are these roles different enough compared to your current role? There also will be unknowns with a new role. For example you won’t know what your new boss would be like. There are some risks that you’d have to take if you switched jobs. You’ll have to ask yourself whether these risks are worth it.
At this point it may be helpful to work with a careers coach. They will help you to think through all aspects and to really push you to critically think about your next steps from all angles.
3. Digging deeper into what interests you
What I mean by this, in this context, is that if you are experiencing rustout or if you have doubts about your future in your current organisation, maybe you need to delve further into this. It is often helpful to get another perspective on this. Here, I’d definitely recommend the help of a coach.
Try to review where you can get involved with projects that may re-spark your interest in your role. If you notice that you have a particular interest in a working group, an example here is a group that looks at diversity at your organisation. Can you become involved in the working group, maybe even taking a specific role, like chair or co-chair of the meetings?
There’s usually some interest, or potential for working on projects that give you more of a feeling of purpose in your role. This will also get you noticed by management and you may get invited to work across other areas of the company, adding to the variety and to your skillset. This often also increases your visibility in the organisation and may even lead to promotion in the future.
4. Examine opportunities to develop your role
Think about the potential learning opportunities in your role. There may be online networks and opportunities that you can explore. For example, in the NHS there is ‘e-learning for healthcare’ and there are also many leadership courses (some that are online). Often you can join these without your organisation incurring a cost. You could also source some very low cost opportunities that you can present to your boss to see if the organisation will fund them.
Perhaps you could also ask whether you could shadow someone in their role, or for a secondment opportunity. Maybe you could join a mentoring or coaching scheme, either as a mentee/coachee or a mentor/coach yourself.
If you have got yourself into a less than positive frame of mind about your current job, beware of this getting into a negative spiral. Reframing is a technique that’s used in coaching to help create a different way of looking at a situation or relationship by changing its meaning. By doing this you can change your perception of that situation/relationship and the idea is to try to look on it in as positive a light as possible.
An example: you have been given a deadline and feel that it’ll be possible but tough to complete. You could look at this in the positive light of, now you know what is expected of you. You can also look at the person who gave you this deadline, as someone who trusts you to do a good job quickly, rather than thinking negatively about them.
This is the essence of positive thinking. (Of course, if you are genuinely being exploited by your employer, then you should find a way to discuss this with them.)
After you’ve examined what is really important to you, there’s nearly always room for compromises. Having a chat with your boss about these can often bring results. For example, if you want to work less hours, or to work differently (more time at home, or to have more time spent towards CPD). There’s usually room to make some improvement in your current role.
In order to fall in love with your current role again, an examination of what is important to you will be the first step. We all want to be as happy as possible in our jobs, as we spend so much of our time in them.
You may not actually fall in love with your job, it might be more of a holding role. Something that you do, in order to get ahead before moving onto next one. However, it is good to pause to find what is good about the role and to take advantage of the opportunities that this presents.