Can't get no satisfaction? It might be time to leave!
Wake up, eat, work, sleep, repeat. It's a constant cycle and few of us take the time we need to consider whether we are really happy with our jobs. So, there's no time like the present. How would you rate your career satisfaction levels? Are you content with your role or do you think there's something better waiting just around the corner? While you may not be able to answer these questions off the bat, it's important to review where you stand now and then. With that in mind, let's take a look at six signs that you're satisfied with your current job. (See how many of these you can check off!)
1. You don't get Sunday night dread
We all know that feeling. Some people call it the Sunday Scaries. Whether it sets in right after your Sunday lunch or, perhaps, a little later around 8 PM, the dread is real. It's the realisation that the fun and games are over and it's Monday tomorrow. While few of us enjoy the weekend coming to a close, if you're constantly worrying about the week ahead before it's even started, that could be a red flag. Often enough, this is a sign that you're not happy in your workplace. Perhaps you dislike your boss. Perhaps you've outgrown your role.
Your Sunday eves may not be the most relaxed affair. Sure, there are some people out there who squeeze in a house clean, food prepping, outfit selecting and even a chilled out bath. Those people have superpowers beyond our understanding. However, if your final night of the weekend is free from stress for the week coming, you might be doing something right when it comes to work.
2. You can see a clear path forward
Never underestimate the power of career progression. When you're working in a role, where do you see yourself going? While it may sound like a cliche, understanding what the future holds for you could make a big difference to how you feel. Research suggests that employees who have development opportunities are 15% more likely to be engaged at work. Put simply, when you know that the only way is up (in terms of your job!), chances are you will be more inclined to give it your all every day.
Of course, if you're unsure about where your current role is leading you, it may be time to change tack. You could first speak to your manager and ask them whether there is any room for progression. Alternatively, when you have an appraisal, you may find that the timing is perfect. Should you find that there's nowhere for you to go—in this particular company—it's worth looking elsewhere.
3. Your manager respects you
Respect is a two-way street. Whenever you're working beneath someone, you need to respect them. You should listen to what they say, take feedback (however critical!) on board and get the job done. That's a given. But what about your manager respecting you and your time? When your manager has respect for you, they speak to you about your workload, your work-life balance and how you are finding the job. Additionally, this person will take the time to understand your role so they can support you in it. Needless to say, when you feel that your manager is respectful of you, it is certain to lead to a higher level of work satisfaction.
4. You rarely feel bored at work
Workplace boredom can be a real mood killer. Picture the scene: It's 3 PM on a Tuesday and you're at your desk. The task list keeps piling up and you're ticking over. You take on a task, get it done and then move on to the next thing. It's monotonous and don't you know it? Your eyes keep flitting up to the clock in the corner of your screen. You've never seen time move so slowly before. If all of the above sounds familiar, you're bored with your workload. There could be many reasons for this but one of the main ones has to be that you're not challenged in your existing role. If your work is painfully easy, that could be a problem.
Being satisfied in the workplace means ensuring that you have tasks that challenge you. That may mean that you have to solve problems, that you're learning new skills as you work or that you are part of a bigger project. If you're lacking this fundamental ingredient to your own happiness, take charge of the situation. You can speak to one of your superiors and see what options are on the table. Believe it or not, they may love to hear that you want something more challenging than this hum-drum task list.
5. You have the chance to learn new things
As humans, we need to be continuously learning new things. If you stay still for too long, you start to stagnate. That could not be truer than when it comes to the workplace. Let's say you landed this particular role a few years ago and nothing within it has changed. For the past three years, you have shown up every working day and carried about the same old tasks. It sounds like a total snooze-fest and that's because it is. One thing that can alleviate this issue is the opportunity to learn new things at work.
There's good news! Many modern workplaces offer educational opportunities to their staff. For example, your company may allow you to take a course online or even further your education with a new degree. This move is positive both on an individual and business level. The more skills you have, the more you can bring to your current role. Speak to the HR department and see whether there are currently any initiatives in place to support your future goals.
6. You feel that you can speak up
When you see something that's not quite right at work, do you feel that you can speak up about it? The truth of the matter is that this is about having a positive workplace culture. No company is perfect and people make mistakes. However, all staff members should feel comfortable in reporting problems and talking to their manager about any issues they are having. Take a moment to reflect on whether this is true for you. If the answer is no, you may want to consider looking for a whole new workplace.
What's the verdict? Are you happy with your current role or are you ready to look for something else? You spend a huge proportion of your waking life at work, and so ensuring that you're doing something meaningful to you couldn't be more important. If you've ticked all of the above boxes, that's a great place to start. However, should you find that your job is leaving you less than satisfied, it's time to switch things up and start searching for something that does the trick.
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