Dig your way out of the job doldrums

Published March 10th, 2016 - 11:12 GMT
Make sure you communicate your concerns to your manager in a constructive way. (File photo)
Make sure you communicate your concerns to your manager in a constructive way. (File photo)

Sometimes the job you have is the one you don’t want, which creates resentment and potential problems at work. As far as your employer is concerned, whether you like your job or not, you’re expected to do it, meet or exceed expectations ... and even appear happy doing it.

This can take a toll on anyone who doesn’t enjoy the job in hand. The lack of enthusiasm can be devastating to career prospects because coworkers and supervisors are unlikely to associate your attitude with the particular job you are doing. Instead, they may think you as having this type of attitude toward work in general.

That is why even though a less-than-satisfactory job is better than nothing, you should never accept it as a long-term situation. If not happy with the job or overall career, consider alternatives and changes that can help you advance now and later.

That is not a critical situation where you have to jump ships right away, but plan carefully to make sure the next one will be fulfilling.

Here are a few points to do until you get your next opportunity.

Enjoy the small stuff

You may be dreading many areas of the job. Focusing on these negative aspects won’t help get through the day. A better strategy is to find and focus bright spots, even if they are not even related to the job itself.

For example, does your job offer flexible hours? Do you have a short commute? Do you enjoy being with your coworkers?

When you shift the mindset to focus on what you like about the current job rather, you may be able to turn the workdays around. You will appear to be more in tune with the surroundings and be seen as positive. Although that won’t change what you don’t like about the job, it will help give others an impression of you as a pleasant, outgoing and upbeat team member.

Make changes

Think about what you have under your control and make changes. The bulk of the job that you don’t like is probably unchangeable. If you look closely, there may be some processes that can be changed to make life easier. Every change introduced will help derive more satisfaction, which turns into a positive trigger for your day.

Changes can be in procedures that are left to your discretion. For example, how you manage time among different tasks, what to prioritise, or even just the timing and what you choose to do with your lunch and coffee breaks. The point is: If you’re finding it hard to just go through the day, make changes that give you a sense of empowerment and control — even if it is very limited.

Talk to your supervisor

Your frustration and professional disappointment may not be fully and correctly recognised by the manager. You may be mistaken for being lazy, unproductive or less-than-enthusiastic. Take the opportunity of an annual assessment to explain that you’d like to see a change in the duties.

This is a difficult message to communicate, however, because you don’t want to come across as someone who is planning to quit. That is why you must take a constructive tone and have a couple of areas to focus on. For example, explain the duties you would like to expand and do more of.

Explain the opportunities where you see your contributions as potentially being valuable. You don’t have to get into dropping other duties to fit in these extra responsibilities. The focus should remain on aligning your professional aspirations with the company’s interests.

Talk with the supervisor about the sources of your frustration. Again, tread lightly. For example, if the work is tedious, the supervisor probably can’t change this type of work. But what can be done, for example, is to mix it up with other tasks that are more fulfilling.

In many cases, if you approach the topic carefully, your comments and remarks may be taken into considering ways that eventually introduce change.

By Rania Oteify

© Al Nisr Publishing LLC 2019. All rights reserved.

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