The summer is upon us. Memorial Day is often the unofficial start of the season. And what better way to kick off the summer months than to set some goals. Why not start with doing an assessment of your degree of satisfaction with your current job or career. Take this quick quiz, which I learned (and use with permission) from Jack Canfield:
1. On a scale of 1-10 (1 being low, 10 being highly satisfied), how do I rate my happiness with my current job?
2. What would make it a 10?
Whatever the answer to number two is, you can set some goals now to make some improvements. Here are some thought starters:
Improved Relationships. Maybe you indicated that having happier and/or closer relationships would make the job better. What can you do to broaden your relationships? Is a little networking in order? How about a virtual coffee with someone new? Or maybe there are existing relationships that need some improving because they are causing you stress. Stress is often the result of our needs not being met. So gentle requests of others so that needs are better met are often in order. Of course, this means we have to assess and address our needs. Here is a link to a past blog on that.
Work Life Balance. You know, it is ok to take a vacation. Could you actually do this and leave the job behind for a week? If not, could you take a smaller step, like only looking at email at a set time and only for an hour? This one, I know from experience, takes practice. But it can be done, and you will be surprised how much better and more refreshed you will feel afterwards.
Self-Care. What is a small thing you could do to take care of yourself? It does not even have to cost money. It could be taking 15 minutes to sit on the patio at the end of the day and just breathe. It could be painting your own toenails. Doing these small things outside of work will give you the impetus and confidence to do this at work—like advocating for yourself and your ideas in meetings. And not only that, but if you take care of yourself outside of work, you will be less dependent on what happens at work to feel good about you.
Job tweaks for interests. One of the things that has an impact on how satisfied we feel about our job is how much time we get to spend on tasks and topics that interest us. If the whole day is accounting and you hate numbers, or if your whole day is spent in big meetings and you long for time alone, you are naturally going to be less satisfied. Of course, finding ways to spend more time on things you love only makes sense if you know what you love and what you hate. But, the good news about interests is that almost anyone can figure this out for themselves. Just spend 5 minutes writing in one column all the tasks you enjoy and 5 minutes writing in another column all the tasks you hate. Find a way to do more of the things you love and less of the things you hate.
Gratitude. And finally, take some time to write down all the things you are grateful for as it relates to your job. Even if all you can come up with is that you have a job that enables you to put food on the table for your family, that will be a start. The more we become aware of what is good in our current situation, the better we will feel and the more our perspective will shift.
If you just take small steps each day, by the time September comes around, I bet you will see big improvements. So, I will remind you in September to check in and see if your assessment of your current job is any better.