Why does what we do at work or in our careers have such importance in our lives?
What we do at work or in our careers is very important because most often than not, this is where we spend the bulk of our days, this forms a greater part of our lives and hence it has to be enjoyable, gainful or at the very least meaningful.
What are the benefits of a fulfilling job or career?
A fulfilling job or career is beneficial in that it inspires us to do even more, to polish up our skills and improve our careers. It may also inspire us to branch out or expand into new ventures. It gives one the motivation and the boost to become the best version of themselves. It also makes us feel like wholesome individuals and that satisfaction has a way of spilling over into other aspects of our lives, e.g. If I am happy and fulfilled at work, I am most likely to be a great mom, or great partner.
What are some of the consequences of having a career or job you are not happy in?
One may feel demotivated or depressed. This may result in a downward spiral not only in the career itself but in other aspects of their personal lives like relationships. If I am unhappy at work for example, I am most likely to be grumpy at home. The quality of my relationships may be compromised. One’s confidence may also take a huge knock as they may begin to believe that they are not good enough or are incapable of performing well. These feelings are quite paralyzing and may keep one stuck at the crossroads of their life unable to move forward.
Is it a reasonable expectation to want to be happy at work? Is happiness the right word or should we focus on something else like “fulfillment” or impact?
Happiness is a by-product of many things like hard work, fulfillment, impact, service, appreciation, peace of mind, stability to name a few. If I feel like I add value at work, and I am in turn treated with respect and I feel valued, and have job security, I will be happy. It is a fine balance between what I put in and what I get out. Yes, it is important to feel happy at work because work is what we do, as an expression of who we believe we are. Police officers wake up every morning to serve and protect for example, and nurses are fueled by the need to care for others. Even those not driven by passion, work serves a purpose in their life e.g. income. If I see the tangible visible fruits of my labor I will happily work harder. If I am not happy, my beliefs about myself, my purpose in life, my goals and values become compromised and when I don’t have that, I become a mere robot with no soul and I begrudgingly go to work, which does not help anyone.
How would you help/advise someone who is unhappy in their job? How can life coaching assist?
I would say seasons of life change, sometimes you change as a person or the environment becomes toxic. Sometimes what you studied for or used to enjoy is no longer appealing to you. It is especially important to honor your feelings and not fight them but muster the courage and strength to move on. Life Coaching can help you unearth solutions to your dilemma.
Find out what exactly is not working. Is it the job itself? Do you feel that you are underutilized? Is it a people issue e.g. management? Is it you? Do you feel like you are in the wrong place for the particular season of your life? It is important to keep your CV up to date and to be aware of what is out there in the job market. What skills are in demand? How can you make yourself invaluable in the workspace? What additional skills can you add to your resume? Which companies are hiring or offering a lucrative package or excellent working conditions? Where can you grow? Where do you see yourself in 5 yrs time?
If you feel that a regular 9 to 5 does not work for you anymore, or you have always wanted to scratch an entrepreneurial itch, ask yourself what would you rather be doing if it was not for money? Is there a way to monetize that? What are your natural skills or talents? What do you do easily and happily? What have people told you, you are good at? How can you establish a small business out of the favors you have been doing for your friends and family? How can you advertise to more people? How can you use social media to your advantage? What additional courses do you require to achieve your goals?
How important is balance in other areas of your life, in addition to your job?
It is important to lead balanced lives as one has a way of affecting all others, like a domino effect. For example, people dealing with personal or family challenges may be distracted and perform poorly at work. It is important to strive for a holistic approach and look after our Physical, Emotional, Mental and Spiritual wellness. This includes healthy relationships, personal development, fun, career and spirituality. When we can think about the big picture and how each part affects the other, we may achieve wholesome and fulfilling lives.