GUEST BLOG: THE GOOD NEWS ABOUT JOB DISSATISFACTION

All of us experience varying levels of anxiety from time to time, and usually leaders can quickly diagnose the source and take appropriate action to resolve the issue. We honor these postcards from our psyche by recognizing the temporary nature of ups and downs, managing expectations, and tweaking how things are done and by whom. However, if you experience a mysterious anxiety that emerges and lingers despite such adjustments, this may be a sign that the source is closer to your core.

The article below appeared originally at ColumbusCEO Live.

All of us experience varying levels of anxiety from time to time, and usually leaders can quickly diagnose the source and take appropriate action to resolve the issue. We honor these postcards from our psyche by recognizing the temporary nature of ups and downs, managing expectations, and tweaking how things are done and by whom. However, if you experience a mysterious anxiety that emerges and lingers despite such adjustments, this may be a sign that the source is closer to your core.

Do any of the following resonate for you?

  • The negatives of life and work consume your thinking.
  • You feel depleted at the end of each day, not knowing why.
  • You find yourself fantasizing about retirement while believing it “should” be years away.
  • You and your company are both healthy, but something isn’t right.
  • What used to feel like your life’s work has begun to feel like a chore.

If you can relate to any of these, I have good news. Losing the love for your job is not the end of the road but a turning point with immense possibility built into it. Something amazing and powerful can follow if you use this moment to figure out what is going on.

Identify the distance between where you are and where you want to be by answering some of the following questions. Reflect on them for a time, perhaps jotting down a few sentences about each:

  • When in your life have you experienced joy, engagement, and being “in the zone?” What do you most value and need to feel energized by work?
  • What stimulates your curiosity and passion now? You have changed.
  • What would you ask a fairy godmother to make magically easier for you if you could? You might have a developmental blind spot that will be easier to work on once acknowledged.
  • What motivated you when your current career path began? Our youthful ambitions are sometimes our most honest.
  • Looking across the many areas of your current life, where do you find regret at having compromised? If you really listened to yourself, what would you do differently? Distance can grow between our values and our decisions.
  • What decisions would you change if you could go back, knowing what you know now? Identify where you think that path would have taken you so you can change course now.
  • What is holding you back from making a change now? How important are those obstacles, really? Consider what permissions you might give yourself to find new solutions and implement them.

No matter how right your job felt for you ten or thirty years ago, your priorities and needs change over time. You can make an adjustment even now. What message is revealed in your answers to the above questions? Consider discussing your thoughts with a coach or a peer outside of your company. However you choose to use this insight, know that embedded in your dissatisfaction is a springboard into a more satisfying future.

 

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