When you are looking to change your job or your career, the world of opportunity can be both exciting and overwhelming. It can be a big decision to consider all alone, and therefore you may seek out resources other than your own opinion.
You may feel very passionate about making a career change. But it can still leave you feeling anxious when it comes to the details. Having an unclear path ahead can cause you doubt and confusion, cause disruption in your family, and even leave you to consider reversing your decision.
Trying something new in your career should not be a stressful process but an exciting and fun experience. Sometimes you need a new point of view to gain consistency in your confidence and to examine your new path forward in the best light.
Try any of these uncommon career change resources when exploring a new career direction and to support you on your path forward into new territory.
1. A Life Coach
You may have expected a career coach to be the first recommendation when making a career change. And, yes, a career coach can be an excellent option for obvious reasons. However, if the career coach that you have identified is not also a life coach, you may want to seek out a life coach specifically.
Life coaching is a broader yet useful discipline as it often centers around supporting you in creating overall well-being within your life. By examining your values, personal needs, and conflicts, solutions are developed to create more ease in your life by maximizing your internal and external resources to get there.
When you are making a career change it can absolutely create conflict in other parts of your life. It can heighten your internal sense of stress and anxiety that often accompany the life-change process. Working with a life coach can assist you in making the transition one that supports you, your lifestyle, and your personality. You can make the necessary change in your career while keeping intact all the other important parts of your life that make you happy and whole.
2. Religious Leader in Your Community
For those who are religious, consulting a religious leader for counsel within your specific faith may seem natural. However, this may be an underutilized resource when it comes to your career development and related decisions.
Consider that making a significant change in your life can be a test of faith in yourself. You may also seek to ensure that you are properly interpreting your calling to go a different direction. You can find that speaking to someone who understands dilemmas in faith and following your intuition can be of significant help.
Additionally, career changes are often accompanied by new introspection. You may have a new desire to serve a more meaningful purpose. Or you may want to apply your innate and learned knowledge in new ways. A religious leader can act as a partner on your journey of internal assessment aligned with the beliefs you value.
Certain career changes can on the surface create havoc in other parts of your life. Predicting this can cause you to question whether or not you are acting on selfish principles. Does it make sense to make a change that works against harmony within your family or places yourself at financial risk? Your religious resource can provide guidance, religious reference, and an unbiased ear to help you through your decision-making.
The resources within your religious community can be vast. And may even include those who have experienced your particular challenges first-handedly. Be open to seeking out those who share your similar belief system and values and who can make your transition easier.
3. Your Work Nemesis
Your work nemesis may not be as unbearable as you think when you take a closer look at your conflict. The bitter feelings you hold may have less to do with the person. But instead, you may be preoccupied with comparing yourself to them and feeling bad about how you measure up.
If you know another employee who performs a job you would love to have but are intimidated by how well they do it, talk to them. If you can brave putting aside your own insecurities, you may open yourself up to a host of opportunities.
Connecting with a person at work regarding a new career interest provides easy access to information. Additionally, since you already see the person’s work results, you know you are dealing with a skilled reference.
Explore if you may be able to coordinate shadowing opportunities or sit-ins on meetings or projects. Even a simple referral could be of support. Developing an unlikely ally can be just what you need to build your confidence in trying new things with success.
4. Your Parents
We all evolve over time. But there are certain core things about us that remain constant throughout our lives. Who better to identify these traits and talk through them with you than your parents?
Now, not everyone has a positive relationship with their parents. If this is you, you may not want to take this route as it may only add more stress to your path. But if you are fortunate to have a positive relationship, then share your concerns, reservations, and aspirations with your parents and ask for their advice.
You may be shocked to learn your parents faced similar situations in the past. It may have occurred at a time when you were not old enough to notice. But now you can learn and grow from their experience. Knowing you well, your parents may provide you insight to how you handle change or transition.
Even if your parents cannot provide specific guidance, it can be nice to be given overall support. A positive influence in your corner when you are facing doubt and internal questioning can make all the difference.
5. A Psychic or Other Medium
Using the services of a psychic, medium, or empath may not be for everyone, but exploring this path is one that works for many.
You may have heard that people will seek the services of a psychic because they desire guarantees for their future. Unfortunately, readings tend to provide a view of possibilities at the time that you receive the service but often cannot guarantee future events. Despite this many like to use these services to explore insights of a broader perspective and to bring to light unseen aspects of their life.
For example, you may connect with a psychic who uses astrology in their readings and can explain planetary influence to the timing of your decisions or the business culture best suited for your sign. An empath, whether or not they possess psychic abilities, may interpret with depth your emotional condition and the perceived readiness for transition based on your current standing.
A medium may channel communication with your spirit guides or important people who have transitioned and reinforce for you a sense of presence and support when you feel alone on your journey. You may also feel a greater sense of purpose if you feel that your attributes and skills are part of a legacy of talent within your lineage.
Being open-minded to exploring psychics and other similar services can provide you with a different perspective than others you may have thought to entertain for your career transition. If you are looking to try consulting a psychic for the first time, you may want to try Keen (affiliate link).
Psychic and Other Medium Services
Keen offers 24/7 access to psychic advisors who specialize in many different areas and can provide guidance on career, finances, romantic relationships, and personal life challenges. You can explore the background of the service provider before you select them, learn their style, and see their reviews so as to make an informed decision before finalizing a purchase decision.
Options are there to assist you on your journey in the way that best suits your needs. And you can simply take a light-hearted but informative exploratory approach toward learning new perspectives and advice with minimal investment.
6. Your Alma Mater
Seeking guidance from your university or college may seem as if it is only for new grads or entry-level career candidates. But many institutions offer life-long access to advisement and are open to providing you assistance throughout your career.
Particularly when anticipating a new career path or new industry pursuit, educational institutions are well equipped to help. They can possess easy access to up-to-date information on the career trends within certain disciplines or the market within their region. Additionally, they may have additional services to support networking or resume refreshers. And, of course, will have information on coursework, certificates, and online learning that can best serve you in preparation for your new endeavor.
It is also important to remember that new staff may have joined their teaching community since the days of your graduation. Connecting with new professors or administration and asking for their insights can expand your network and provide you with a different perspective than when you were active on campus.
7. Unfamiliar LinkedIn Connections
LinkedIn is a tremendous networking resource for professionals to build connections with individuals from their past and current places of employment and within their field. Because you have the option to make your profile public, you can gain the interest of those who are not in your direct business community but who have learned of you through others or due to their own search efforts.
That said, if you have been using the platform for some time, you likely have picked up a number of connections that were courtesy connections only. In an effort to be hospitable and to boost your 1st or 2nd contact list, you said yes to connect with individuals that you really do not know.
When you are exploring new career opportunities, do not hesitate to utilize your expanded network to your advantage. This is exactly what the tool is for. If you do not know an individual who holds a position or works for a company that is of interest to you, message them to see their availability for an exploratory discussion. Or send a note asking for insight or recommendations on how to pursue your new career interest further.
Informal or distance networking can be an excellent alternative for those who are not comfortable in face-to-face discussions or with random after-work dinners or meetings where walking up to strangers is anxiety provoking. Use your LinkedIn platform to gain the best of both worlds by asking otherwise uncomfortable but necessary questions in the easiest way possible.
Career changes can be stressful enough without feeling as if you have to go on the journey alone. And while you may have done the research to light the flame of your interest, you may still hold reservations about change.
Consider seeking the insight and advice of others who you may not have commonly thought to talk to for this type of decision. You may find that connecting with an unfamiliar or uncommon resource may provide you with just the perspective that you need. Build up your confidence, faith in yourself, and certainty in the direction you have chosen with the right career resource by your side.
Do you have any other ideas for uncommon resources to assist when considering a new career path?? If so, share yours in the Comments below and join the discussion. The perfect help can often be found in the most unlikely of places.
Self care at work, or occupational self care, is a means to regularly integrate practices during your work day that demonstrate your focus and attentiveness to your total well being.
While the content of your job, your work environment, and your interactions with others at work are a part of your world of work, from your vantage point you are the most essential piece of the puzzle. Only you can take in all the information, requests, responsibilities, and requirements for the job you are expected to perform and at the same time do the best for yourself so that you can productively and effectively get the job done.
When you acknowledge the importance of self care and actively engage in it as a regular practice, you are in the best position to get the most out of your work experience.
Here are 3 personal traits that can make self care at work a regimen that actually works for you:
Work Self Care Trait#1: Self Awareness
A core component of practicing self care at work is to practice self awareness at work. Set intentions to have a healthy, productive, successful day at work but when things derail, check in with yourself regarding how you feel and are performing.
Stress is not always an obstacle to a job well done and high-pressure situations are not always the catalyst to chaos. Many people will profess that they have had their most creative and productive moments when stressed the most.
But it is important to know when your job environment supports you or deflates you. Or to know when the work that you do suits you or is simply not for you.
When you practice self awareness regularly you not only know when things are going well but you are able to react appropriately and act timely when things are completely off the rails. When you need to recover from a temporary or significant imbalance, you can take proactive action to build yourself back up:
Take a moment to yourself in a quiet corner, even the bathroom
Engage with co-workers that naturally lift your mood
Have a quick snack, coffee/tea, or drink of water to boost your energy
Change tasks when you feel blocked in one area so that you are still productive yet less stressed
Only when you are aware that you are headed down a bad path can you make the choice to move a different direction. So use self awareness as a means to keep your self care at work intact.
Work Self Care Trait#2: Confidence
You may think that you would only invoke confidence when taking on a new job or asking for a promotion, but you may not realize that you have opportunity to use confidence every day.
It is a confident person who feels assured about their job even after making a big mistake. Or who remembers their self worth despite an angry boss downloading their bad day towards them.
Confidence as a form of self care is giving yourself the benefit of the doubt, the morale boost for a job well done, and encouragement to get through tough moments and failures. It is what lets you walk in the door with your head held high when you have a bad hair day. And it comforts you when you arrive late to a meeting.
In absence of this fortifying of self, you may allow feelings to take over your disposition and impact your work, your health, and your outlook on the day. When you lack confidence you can experience:
Unhealthy levels of stress when managing new or difficult tasks
Anxiety and paranoia over your performance, job stability, and self perception
Inability to speak assuredly or relay your thoughts and ideas to others
Defeat or a lack of self worth when your work goes unnoticed or unrewarded
While confidence will not always resolve these issues, when you are self confident you rely less on the feedback, input, or actions of others. Instead, you take your independent opinion of yourself as a priority and act in accordance with your own positive self perception.
Self care is permitting yourself to be self confident and to take on the challenges of your day with trust in you.
Work Self Care Trait#3: Self Control
Losing your self control is an internal emotional reaction to an outside stimulus that you permit to envelop you and that you share with others.
Emotional response to stimulus is normal and has many positive attributes in daily living. You could lose yourself to excitement, joy, eagerness, or anticipation.
But the more difficult side of uncontrolled emotional responses are those that create a spiral of negative behavior. Shouting, cursing, being excessively aggressive or demeaning toward others can create an imbalanced, tense, and even hostile atmosphere.
Practicing self control is another form of self care. It allows you to transition from acknowledging what you feel in the moment to making a conscious effort not to act on how you feel in a negative way.
Active self maintenance in these situations may include:
taking a deep breath
removing yourself from a situation
becoming quiet and reserved for a moment,
changing the subject within a discussion or
apologizing for a misunderstanding as a means to move on from a stressful interaction
The personal benefit to taking these steps, even when they can be EXCEEDINGLY DIFFICULT in the moment, is that you do not permit your negative emotions to continue or escalate. Additionally, you remove the opportunity to trigger others with your actions rendering yourself a victim to being further agitated by another person’s response.
Depending on the circumstance, self control can be a simple redirect or a feat of powerful mental stamina. But in all cases keeping your cool is a testimony to your dedication to your self care at work.
Self Care Trait Bonus Idea: Optimism
Optimism as defined by Cambridge Dictionary is “the quality of being full of hope and emphasizing the good parts of a situation, or a belief that something good will happen“.
Possessing the ability to carry optimism in all situations at work is the ultimate form of self care that you can provide to yourself.
The obstacles to portraying this trait regularly and consistently often are our ties to reality. The need to frame what we see currently in the box of what is limits our ability to see what could be. And while the current reality may appear as real, obvious, consistent, and true, refusing opportunity for alternative outcomes can cause more harm than good such as:
frustration at what appears as an unresolvable situation
sense of defeat when facing a lack of career growth or financial mobility
low enthusiasm when surrounded by a lack of creativity, innovation, and open-mindedness
lethargy when days seem repetitive, long, and filled with never-ending streams of work
All of these situations and more can be met with a different reaction and emotional set point when optimism is a part of your self care regimen.
Optimism gives room for opportunity for improvement, for people to act differently than expected, and for the course of action to move differently within any business. Seeing the bright side of any challenge focuses on the lessons learned, the bonds created through joint struggle, and the birth of new ideas for otherwise insufferable problems.
While having a positive outlook consistently may take real focus, re-enforcement and diligence, it is a worthwhile investment into your self care at work regimen and your total well being.
Self care at work is just as important as self care is in any other facet of life. However, putting the practices in place regularly in what could be a very stimulating environment can be a challenge.
Use the traits of self awareness, confidence and self control that you already possess to support you in your daily focus to maintain your balance and keep yourself lifted. And build the strength and belief that constant optimism can also be a key factor to achieve total well being more often than you do today.
Self care at work is completely possible to exercise on a regular basis if you choose to use the traits that help you make it happen.
Share this post with someone you know it could help today. Or share your unique character trait that keeps you healthy and happy at work in the Comments section below.
Unfortunately, a toxic work environment is far too common of a complaint.
And equally unfortunate is that it is an experience that many are having every day.
You may immediately say, “yeah, me too!”
But what if You are the reason that the toxicity exists?
We like to believe that toxic behavior comes from the obviously toxic other person. Someone who is easily angered, constantly complaining, or otherwise creating an unwelcoming environment every day is clearly the problem.
But it may be hard to accept that the “someone” can be you!
The reality is that becoming toxic can sneak up on you. You may have:
Stayed too long at a job that you have outgrown,
Bitten your tongue too often with a boss you don’t agree with,
Created a safety net of colleagues that are negative all the time or
Lost your boundaries between personal and business etiquette for a job you’ve been at forever
And slowly, without realizing it, you have become part of the problem.
Because you have tolerated or participated in unhealthy work experiences and relationships, you have allowed yourself to become a different person as a byproduct of these decisions.
Now, from the outside looking in, you are the toxic one.
And you may not even know it!
Here are 3 signs that You may be the toxic coworker creating a toxic work environment:
#1 Constant Complaining
You may not realize it but you complain about everything.
If your boss addresses the team, it is never delivered the right way.
If the company initiates a new process, it’s never going to work.
No matter the action taken, you receive it as poorly executed or just not smart.
In your mind, you may have a perfectly reasonable rationale for this thought.
Related Post: How to Survive Working for a Boss You Hate
You have been at the company long enough to see the issues time and time again:
A poorly executed communication from the top
A completely non-thought-out plan of action from your boss
Zero communication with the people who do the job every day before completely changing a process by some random project team
You have seen ALL the signs!
So why would calling it out suddenly be your fault!!
The action may not be your fault.
But the constant reiterating and complaining for hours, days, or weeks can feel faulty to others and easily becomes another issue on top of everything else.
If the problem is so pervasive, so consistent, and so obvious, others know it without your communicating it.
You do not have to be the mouthpiece for pointing out what everyone else can clearly see.
How to Kick the Complaining Habit
Instead of frowning, shaking your head, rolling your eyes, or just constantly, excessively, nauseatingly complaining, do something about it.
It is leaps and bounds more productive to create a solution instead of belaboring the problem:
Champion a new process so that you can be a key communicator of its progress. This can give you front-row seats to try something new, give you an opportunity to share positive outcomes, and also a channel to suggest changes based on actual data instead of just opinion.
Ask to speak with your boss privately and then ask if your boss is open to feedback on a problem you see. Share your concerns in a thoughtful manner. Focus your constructive criticism on the process, not on people, where possible.
Carefully consider any new processes, proposals, or communication to see if any positive changes have occurred since your last negative experience. Look for and be genuinely optimistic for seeing even small positive progression.
In all cases, it is better to be a part of the solution than to constantly reiterate a problem.
And it is even more productive to share concerns with people who can make positive changes than to complain to those who can only suffer with you and through you.
You can choose to be a solutionist or risk the potential of creating a toxic environment by being a constant complainer.
#2. Accidental Gossiping
Private business and personal information often turn up in any work environment.
People talk about and share all facets of their life all the time.
But any version of sharing information about another person in a negative or disparaging manner can be considered much more than just talk. Quite often it can be perceived as gossiping.
And when this occurs habitually it can become toxic.
Are you a habitual over-sharer? Do you feel that when asked a question you must give the most comprehensive overview possible, even if it is not asked of you?
Toxic over-sharing and gossiping can occur as a means to deflect blame, to create perceived superiority over others, or to generate a feeling of self-importance.
Taking these types of actions at the expense of others can create a spirit of distrust and discomfort between you and your co-workers.
How Do You Recognize If You Are an Accidental Gossip
Have you done something like this before:
Other Department: “Hey, can you let me know the status of those entries? Just want to make sure I am ready for the next step when it hits my desk”
You: “Oh yeah. No problem. I’ll be done soon. Sally had to go to the school AGAIN for her son so she’s behind on her entries and I’m helping her out”.
What could have seemed like an innocent answer to a question, results in creating a highly uncomfortable situation.
This can make the receiving party uncomfortable and can make the person spoken about feel violated and exposed should they learn of the disclosure.
These types of accidental gossiping scenarios happen all the time. And when repeat instances occur and are not redirected, a toxic environment can ensue.
To Avoid Being Perceived as a Gossip, Adopt Communication Sensitivity
Never share others’ personal information, even if you were not directly told to keep the information private. Just don’t share.
Be friendly but concise when responding to others’ inquiries. Eliminate unnecessary details that are not asked explicitly to avoid unintentionally disclosing private, confidential, or inaccurate information.
Consider others when speaking on their behalf or about them. Before you make a statement, imagine if the same statement was to be made about you. Would you find it kind or hurtful?
Being exposed to a gossiping work environment can make others feel embarrassed, unsafe, and targeted.
Hearing negative things about a co-worker can lead others to disengage with them, distrust them, or consider them incompetent.
These experiences can cause those involved to have poor work relationships, feel disconnected from the business, and overall create a toxic work environment.
#3 Being Bitter
All forms of toxicity are not overt. Regularly practicing a lack of communication, lack of collaboration, or lack of cooperation can be toxic.
But you may feel completely justified for your disposition.
Maybe you received feedback regarding your perceived but inaccurately identified negative demeanor in the past. Or you feel that your input is never listened to or considered so to protect your emotions you decided to stop giving it.
Over time you decide distance and quiet are your best and only resolutions. But instead of being calm and content in your work, you are noticeably resentful and unapproachable:
You shrug your shoulders and turn away when you don’t know an answer.
You point to where your boss or co-worker is instead of verbally communicating their location.
You make a point to offer zero communication in any meeting or discussion in which you are asked to participate.
It is impossible for anyone to not know that you are mad about something all the time!
But in your mind, you are avoiding a problem versus causing one. (Since you seem to always cause a problem anyway).
How Do You Communicate When According to Everyone Else You Seem to Always Get It Wrong?
There are times when you may need to be different than the otherwise happy-go-lucky, chipper team member that others expect.
You may have recently been reprimanded, had a terrible meeting, or even suffered private concerns at home that essentially make you feel bad.
You cannot always put on a happy face when you are internally struggling with something. However, when you hold on too long to a bitter disposition, like it or not, it affects your work.
Part of being at work is showing up fully.
And if you work in an environment with others, part of showing up fully is interacting with others…..productively.
Even if you keep your interactions brief and to the point, you can still be a collaborative, cooperative, and communicative team member.
Improve How You Connect with Others
Give good eye contact when responding to questions. Addressing a person eye-to-eye is a sign of respect and attentiveness
Speak in full sentences and not with one-word answers or gestures. This ensures that others are clear regarding your input. And provides an opportunity for follow-up communication should it be warranted.
Be approachable. If you cannot be warm, at least provide a neutral tone of voice. Being overtly stern, annoyed, or dismissive can be interpreted as uncooperative.
While anyone can have a bad day and in severe circumstances even bad weeks or months, the goal is to do your part to be a productive part of your team.
If behaving in a cooperative and collaborative manner just is too much, explore taking time off from work. Or, if possible, actively work toward correcting the issue(s) that is causing you concern.
Constant isolation and portraying a disgruntled behavior becomes toxic when you become so shut down that others become unproductive and overly distracted by your behavior.
You may think that you are making yourself invisible and unimpactful but, in fact, you are creating a very noticeably toxic environment.
Consider This: You Could Legitimately Become Toxic Because of a Toxic Work Environment
It may be unsettling to discover that you have become the cause of someone else suffering a toxic work environment.
But there may also have been a time when you were victim to toxic surroundings and could have easily listed these traits in someone else.
If you have started to become a product of a toxic environment, it may be an important time to make a change:
Explore and examine how you interact with others and ask for feedback from those you trust to be transparent and honest with you.
Track your mental and emotional status at the beginning and end of your work day and see if you have a pattern of being frustrated, annoyed, or disgruntled about work regularly.
Watch for the behaviors described in this post or other negative behaviors that you feel are out of character for you. Determine if work triggers these new behaviors from you.
You can become a product of your environment, but you don’t have to.
Take Accountability for the Work Life You Want to Have
You always have the ability to decide who you want to be and how you want to experience your work life:
Reflect on the type of work environment and work experience that is ideal for you and make changes to incorporate more of your desires into your daily work
Examine who you spend your time with at work and consider making changes if you have inadvertently fallen into a negative crowd
Confront the reality of whether or not you have become complacent with staying at a job that you otherwise should have left already. It may be time to make a job change. Read my post on How to Know It’s Time for a Job Change and start working toward a more positive future for yourself.
No one wants to be part of a problem. But you can always choose to create solutions.
You should not create a toxic work environment or be at the mercy of the one around you. Have a better work-life by choosing to take action to have one.
No one wants to work in a toxic environment. And, hopefully, no one wants to be responsible for creating the toxic environment that others work in.
We all have opportunities for improvement.
But if you ignore your bad habits and repetitively adopt poor behavior, you can become the cause of the discomfort, anxiety, and stress in others. You are the toxic environment at your job.
Reflect on who you are, how you behave, and what you want to be. Take time to improve what you can or to make the personal changes you need to be part of solutions and not part of the problem.
You do not have to be the toxicity in your work environment.
If you are looking for more ways to reexamine, recreate, or really improve your work life, read these other posts:
Whether it is after a hard week at work, a beautiful weekend, a vacation, or a leave of absence, sometimes you just don’t feel work ready.
It likely is a mindset thing. And, yes, mindset does matter.
When your thoughts tell you that work simply is not what you want to do, work can be the hardest thing to do. Even if you know you have to do it.
Taking time to focus on your mindset can cure feelings of dread, anxiety, stress, or disdain for your job. It can also improve your disposition as it relates to who you work for, who you work with, and what you do.
Left unattended, however, you may question if you should ever go back to work.
Before things go too far, or you settle into a pattern that you can’t get yourself out of, focus now on changing your work mindset for the better.
How Did Your Work Mindset Get SO Bad?
There are so many jokes, memes, and therapist offices filled with complaints about work. The idea of not liking your job or anything related to work is not new.
No matter the reason that work does not work for you, your mindset is always a big part of the equation.
Somewhere down the line, you have permitted a subtle opinion or occasional idea of your dislike of work to become a repetitive thought. The repetition of thought has now become your belief. And once you have developed a belief, you have essentially created a new truth or reality for yourself.
Your job is not where you want to be.
Seamlessly, your thoughts, emotions, experiences, and surroundings support your anti-work belief. You have tons of data that validate the lack of alignment with your job.
When you get to this stage, it is hard to just believe something different. Your belief is set and your mindset tells you that your job being bad is a reality; it’s just a fact.
Is It Normal to Not Want to Go to Work?
Yes and no. It is common that people do not want to go to work for a host of reasons that boil down to not enjoying the experience. And while the reasons may be diverse, the dissatisfied feeling becomes the thread that binds people together.
Work and dissatisfaction are deemed expected, or normal.
But just because complaining about work is common does not mean that it should be accepted as normal. And, therefore, you don’t have to accept it as normal to not want to go to work.
It is equally possible and probable to enjoy the work that you do, the company you work for, the person you report to, and your job overall.
The issue commonly is that individuals have learned to normalize not enjoying their job. You may have been exposed to others who do not enjoy their job. Or you may have regularly heard that work is just that “work”, something that is hard, that is unfortunate, and is an unfortunate necessity.
With these exposures over time, you become accustomed to hearing, seeing, and experiencing work as a poor experience. The classic misery loves company phenomenon.
But when you decide that dreading work is an experience you do not want to be normal for you, you can alternatively choose thoughts and actions that create an optimistic and productive work mindset.
With the mindset that your work experience can be better than the one you’ve heard about, or even better than the one that you are currently experiencing, you can search for and create solutions to produce a better outcome.
How Do I Get a Better Mindset About Work?
Because every work experience is different for everyone, the best place to start to change your work mindset is to examine your personal vision of work.
In the short term, you may have an opinion that I would be happy ifthis would just stop or ifthis person would just treat me better.
But going beyond your immediate pain point can render you a much better long-term resolution to your anti-work disposition.
Self-Assessment Can Redefine Your Work Mindset
Instead of focusing on your resistance to where you are, take time to learn more about where you truly want to be. Even if you cannot change your current circumstances, self-assessment is a healthy means to gain clarity of your goals and feel more in control of your intended outcomes.
When you can envision and understand your goals, you are more likely to achieve them. And to have a positive mindset regarding the job that you prefer.
What do you want to gain from working?
How do you define success in a job?
What skills do you have that you would enjoy using regularly?
Are you motivated to work right now? And if not, why not?
The list of exploratory questions related to your work preferences and your work mindset is endless.
Changing your work mindset can be difficult when it seems like every day you walk into a headache. And when you take a much-needed break, it can be even harder to get into the mindset to even want to go to work .
Know that the power to change your work mindset always rests in your hands, even if it takes time to build the muscle.
Identify what you want to get out of work, reflect on what may be working for you with where you are today, and plan positively for your future.
Take care of your needs and relieve yourself of the expectation that anyone else will. As you work diligently on hitting the milestones leading to the work-life you prefer, your work mindset will improve and being positive will be much easier to do.
Do you have any special tips and tricks to improve your work mindset? Or maybe you have a unique situation that seems well beyond what a positive work mindset can cure. Leave your comments below so we can share ways to get in a better place today!
Are you looking for methods of how to improve your work life balance quickly and consistently?
Do you have a definition of balance that works for you today?
Let’s take a closer look at what defines work life balance, whether or not it really exists, and if so, how you can make it a part of your daily living.
What is Work Life Balance?
The Cambridge Dictionary defines work-life balance as “the amount of time you spend doing your job compared with the amount of time you spend with your family and doing things you enjoy”.
The practical definition of work life balance will fluctuate for each individual based on several factors. These factors can include
the type of job that you hold
the level of responsibility and demands from your job
the amount of time required to work
the personal importance of your job to you
the priority of family and family time in your life
the size, structure, and needs of your family
your personal preferences for how you want to live
These are just a sample of the different perspectives and details of your life that can contribute to your definition of work life balance.
There are thousands of different circumstances, expectations, and requirements around work and personal life that can impact your definition of balance.
And for this reason, the subject of work life balance is completely unique and customized based on you.
Additionally, while the Cambridge Dictionary focuses its definition on the balance between work and family, there are other components of life balance that can be impacted by the time you spend on your work. This may include your:
personal time with yourself
time to connect with friends
time to contribute to the community
time to explore hobbies or entertainment
ability to manage your household, finances, and other components of self-sustainability
For some, you could easily exchange any of these subjects in place of family as part of the work life balance.
And for many, you seek to juggle all of these subjects and work, and possibly even more.
We each only have 24 hours each day.
And each day it becomes a bigger and bigger focus of our attention to feel that we are spending adequate time with all of the things that are important to us in our lives.
Ultimately the goal is to feel fulfilled. Work life balance in its best form serves to provide this personal fulfillment.
Why is Balance Important?
Work life balance is important just as living in balance is important.
Even if you do not work, a balanced life is an important achievement.
The goal is to ensure that all things important in your life receive the time and attention that you deem as required. And in providing the time and attention required, you feel personally fulfilled, happy, or well-sustained.
Spending time at a job you enjoy and where you feel that your contribution matters may be personally fulfilling.
When you are engaged in caring for yourself, spending time with family, or serving your community, you may feel happy.
Paying your bills, making repairs on your home, or performing car maintenance may keep your life sustained.
And managing your time to attend to all of these subjects is an example of work life balance.
In this way, work life balance becomes important because you prioritize using the hours of your day doing what is important to you.
Truly showing up for your life and all of its different aspects can provide you a host of positive feelings and outcomes that defines what makes life worth living to you.
Work life balance is important because it contributes to and inspires the best part of living, including:
Appreciation for others and life around you
Feelings of accomplishment, achievement, self-pride, and self-respect
Safety, stability, and a centered sense of self
Love and gratitude for the life that you are able to live
Work life balance may not be a priority for everyone, but for those who prioritize this subject, it is the positive outcomes that fuel the focus to achieve it.
Is Work Life Balance a Myth?
Work life balance is only a myth if you choose for it to be.
Conversely, work life balance is real and achievable if you decide that it is what you want to have in your life.
As with many terms used to define our life and lifestyle, work life balance is another way to describe how all the pieces and parts of our life interact. And more importantly how we want to feel in that interaction.
In this way, the core part of work life balance is the inherent desire to experience the feeling of balance.
Searching the internet, you will find many authors who have translated his words to indicate that work life balance is a myth.
Jeff Bezos’ quote from the Business Insider website is as follows:
“I get asked about work-life balance all the time. And my view is, that’s a debilitating phrase because it implies that there’s a strict trade-off. And the reality is, if I am happy at home, I come into the office with tremendous energy. And if I am happy at work, I come home with tremendous energy. It actually is a circle; it’s not a balance. And I think that is worth everybody paying attention to it”.
This perspective shares one man’s vision of a more apt definition and understanding that fits his belief system.
To abandon balance in exchange for a circle could be interpreted as abandoning the unachievable goal of absolute equal time between different parts of life and instead embracing an ever-connected, continuity of life.
Don’t Let Work Life Balance Become a Myth
To dispel the myth of work life balance, I think it is necessary to well-define the true meaning of balance as it applies to work and all other aspects of our life.
It may be time to create a more accurate and achievable definition of work life balance.
Oxford Languages dictionary through Google search defines balance as “a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions”.
To apply this definition of balance to work life balance, it could be said that it is not the goal to achieve an equal distribution of time or focus on work and life. Instead, the importance is in balancing incorrect proportions.
The correct proportions equal balance.
But as the architect of your own life, you define what a correct proportion is for all aspects of your life.
Therefore, work and all aspects of life blend together in continuity. Based on your personal needs and the parts of life that you care about you will apply attention in the proportion that you define as correct.
You decide and apply your work life balance.
But, what does this look like in real-life application?
How does work life balance work for you?
Let’s look at an example of a problem faced when work life balance goes wrong and seek definition in its possible solution.
Work Life Balance Problem and Solution
You have taken on a new job and unexpectedly have over-extended hours impacting your time with your family.
Solutions for Your Challenge
Evaluate what today is most important. Are the requests of your new job reasonable and necessary or the result of poor planning? Is the time missed with family critical at this time or simply inconvenient? Your job helps you to support your family and your family supports your personal well-being which contributes to you being a good employee. Both are important for different reasons but only one can take center stage right now.
Communicate the value of starting strong at your new job to your employer and the value of quality time to your family, regardless of who gains or losses. Both should know where you stand. Also, both should be informed of the compromise to the other. This is not sharing guilt but educating of what could be an unknown circumstance. Simply explaining the status can make either party part of the solution.
Create expectations. If you need to scale back on time to your new employer, be honest and upfront. Discuss compromise and mutually beneficial solutions, clarify expectations, and be straight forward regarding your limitations.
If you need to scale back on family time, also be honest and upfront. Be creative with ways to connect in absence of face-to-face contact. Provide expectations of the length of time the new situation will last or develop plans for a long-term new family time schedule.
Re-evaluate regularly to see that all parties’ needs are met, including your own. In this case, both emotional and financial stability are important to your total well-being. Achieving sustainable work life balance includes being flexible, adaptable, and attentive to the goal of balance both short- and long-term. Review to ensure that you are achieving the goal you seek.
There can be many resolutions to this challenge beyond these answers.
The goal is to define in your response the values that you hold and stay consistent in keeping them in the forefront.
As with many subjects, the hope is to find the one answer that solves the problem.
Many will say, if I gain what makes me happy, in this case work life balance, I don’t want to lose it.
How do I maintain my balance now that I have it?
Work life balance,
everything and all forms of what we want come and go.
Therefore, the way to maintain your balance is to enjoy when you have it and find peaceful acceptance that you will lose it.
But do not feel defeated in losing the state of being that you want because it is able to be attained again.
Make Work Life Balance Attainable
Some methods that can make the process of the work life balance ebb and flow easier are to:
Settle your mind and focus on hope when you are challenged with a lack of balance. Only with a steady mind can you achieve peace and develop solutions. Hope, or the knowing or expectation of a future positive outcome, creates a means to emotionally sustain yourself until a better experience comes. Be consistent with both a steady mind and a hopeful spirit and you will sustain balance more often than not.
Re-evaluate based on current circumstances what is most important now. Your life is filled with many things that are important to you. But they cannot all take priority at once. Be prepared for making the tough decision of what is most important now and put your time there. Build trust in yourself that even in the face of hard decisions, you move forward with your best intentions. With the best intent and thoughtful reevaluation, you can create balanced decisions.
Learn and practice ways to reach calm. Even if you are fueled by tense situations, you become calm once you focus on an objective. If you become more frazzled and disorganized by chaotic and tense moments, it is even more important to find your calm. This is best determined before a crisis of conscious or personal well-being comes. Keep your calming tools and people close and practice using them when needed to maintain your balance.
Be planful. Maintaining work life balance comes with avoiding creating your own imbalance. Schedule time for what is important. Rest well, eat well, and perform your tasks to the best of your ability. Great self-care promotes great balance. Know that you have your cycles and your moods. You will not always feel your best, do your best, or be at your best. Give yourself grace to be less and recognize this as being in balance too.
Keep record of your strengths. Whether you use a gratitude journal or a daily planner, keep a record of what goes well when you achieve work life balance. Learn from your own successes. This provides means to create repeatable processes. And, also, a method to acknowledge and recognize your positive achievements when you have juggled everything successfully. Work life balance is possible. And showing yourself that you balance well is the best way to know with certainty that you have achieved and maintained work life balance.
Work life balance is attainable. You choose your definition of work life balance and you grade yourself if you are successful in achieving it.
Examine what is most important in your life, give your time and attention where you see best fit, and have confidence that you are making the right choices to keep it all in balance.
Ultimately the goal is to live a life that is worth living, one where you are personally fulfilled, happy, and well-sustained. You have the power to achieve this. You need only to see that work life balance is a reality for you.
No one will know you better than you. And for the same reason, no one will know when it is time to quit your job better than you will.
However, that does not mean that knowing when to quit is easy.
One bad meeting, a couple of bad co-workers, and a highly irritating boss and you are ready to throw in the towel.
Before you let yourself get overloaded and jump too soon, it may make sense to take a closer look.
Define what you want, remove the emotions from your point of view (if only for a moment), and see what you have. You could be amazed that everything you are looking for can be found right in front of you. Or, you could confirm confidently that you have no choice but to leave your job.’
Regardless of the outcome, take a clear look before you make a move. Carefully examine these 5 reasons you want to quit your job and also the reasons why maybe you shouldn’t:
1. I Feel Like Quitting My Job Everyday
If every day is an “I quit” moment you likely don’t love your job, see your future with it or consider it a dream. This is clear. However, not every thought that you think repeatedly is one you want to listen to.
Repetitive negative thoughts or ruminating can be a concern all its one and can lead to over emphasizing problems in your mind.
We tend to be hardwired to repeatedly think thoughts that we are emotionally tied to. These emotions can be good or bad, but they intensify the impact of any thought in our minds.
If you could somehow put your emotions to the side, what is the true underlying issue with your job? And, more importantly, can the problem be resolved without quitting?
Refrain from Making Purely Emotional Decisions
Undoubtedly something about you and your job is not aligned at this moment. But you do have choices. Don’t allow your current unsettled feeling to lead you to believe that your only option is to leave.
There can be times when we become our own worst enemy and harbor negative emotions far too long or allow them to get far too big.
This negativity compulsion can be a pattern that impacts more than just the view you have of your job. It can be your health, love life, or your total disposition about your life in general. When we do this for too long, we can create a negative lens for all the things around us.
With a new outlook in place and new experiences cultivated, you can then determine if you are still highly dissatisfied with your situation. In this case, release yourself from your discomfort and simply look for a new job. It is possible to find a job you really want and one you would not dream of wanting to leave.
2. Feeling Stuck and Unmotivated
Like a broken elevator, some jobs leave you right where you stand. While some go getters want to run before they walk, a bad job can make you feel as if you are at a perpetual crawl.
You can’t expand to learn new things, so you are stuck doing the same old thing.
There is no way to move up or you repeatedly get passed over for promotion, so you feel trapped in a dead-end position.
You are bursting with ideas and suggestions, but they are not listened to or supported.
The summary of it all is that you feel unmotivated with no resources to make things better so you might as well leave your job.
Stimulate Your Passion by Exploring Professional Growth Opportunities
A job that does not map out a plan to grow and challenge you is not without growth and challenge. Don’t be afraid to forge your own path.
Look for inspiration and ideas from others around you who have been successful in what you want to do. Take advantage of your insider access to talented co-workers who may love to show you what they do or share how they gained their skills.
Be intentional with your interaction with others within and outside of your immediate area. And take a vested interest in learning more about the company as a whole. You can grow by learning more about people in the workplace, processes, and by expanding your communication as you learn.
Be proactive by connecting with your boss in review of your professional needs and interests. Create a win-win by drawing clear lines between meeting your needs and the needs of your department. You may find that you and your manager have a common interest and as a result a shared enthusiasm in your career development.
Evaluate Your Effective Communication Skills
Another thing to consider is whether or not you are truly being ignored when making suggestions or ideas.
Have you been included project design in the past but it lead to unsuccessful outcomes? Businesses cannot always withstand trial and error and stay strong.
Did you volunteer suggestions without consideration of the full impact to all aspects of the business or even your co-workers? Great ideas often take a collaborative effort to have long-term positive effects.
Have you actually had many of your ideas implemented, but only recently had a few that weren’t? Sometimes we get so addicted to winning that we fall apart whenever we lose or get told no. No job will take your every suggestion or implement your every idea.
Celebrate your wins and learn from your losses. And remember you can experience both at any job. Honor your emotions and allow yourself to feel disappointed or discouraged. But take a balance approach to
Be Honest in Your Self-Evaluation of Professional Development Opportunities
When it comes to promotion, note that this type of change can require time, expertise, and experience. Everyone cannot do every thing.
Take an honest evaluation of whether you truly meet the requirements for the work that you seek to do. You may be overvaluing your time with the company or your expertise in your current level of work over true qualification for the next level.
Investigate what opportunities you have to grow both inside and outside of your business. You may be placing more responsibility for your job to invest in you than what you have invested in yourself.
After careful review, if you feel that you have turned over every stone and tried every angle and are still standing still, it may be time to move on. Your company is not the only answer to your growth, but it should meet you on your professional journey. If it is unable to do this, then it may be time to find a company that will.
3. You Struggle to Come Up with Good Reasons to Stay
Looking for the positive in a situation is an excellent starting point in taking responsibility for your life experience. You cannot control the world, but you can control your opinion of it.
However, when a job is just a bad fit, it can feel impossible to come up with the positive end of the stick. You start off slow and easy by recognizing
You ARE working.
And you ARE able to earn an income.
Plus you DO know how to do your job well
Then suddenly your list of affirmative statements ends, and you are left wondering why you are still here.
It is important before you make a big decision like quitting a job that you evaluate if things are really as bad as they seem. Particularly when you build a negative expectation related to your job, it is extremely difficult to see things differently.
Shift Your Expectations with an Open Mind
While your evaluation of your current job condition may feel very accurate, you may just have built a negative expectation over time. A couple or even a series of bad events can cause you shift from occassional disappointment to full-blown pessimism.
Attempt to break this cyanical cycle and seek out the positive instead of expecting it to just show up.
Take time to write a pro and cons list about your work from the date that you started.
Have discussions with others at work with tenure and explore what made them stay all their years.
Challenge yourself to build a personal profile of your job experience including what you have learned, relationships you have gained and positive things in your work environment
Taking the opportunity to shift your expectation and to focus on times when positive experiences were more evident can provide you a new outlook on your job. A good place to work, like any good relationship, should not be a struggle.
However, sometimes the best of times are only in the rearview mirrow and things simply have changed. Or current pains have simply dug too deep to change your mind. If all that comes to mind is the hardship of staying, then make your life easier and start planning your exit.
4. You Are Disconnected from Anything “Important”
The pace and energy of a job are as important of a factor as the actual work that you do. Every business, and even the departments within them, have a different culture, and a different way in which they interact.
At one time you may have been a part of that natural rhythm. But now you are no longer part of that flow. Deadlines come and go with an urgency in the air. Must-do projects sail through with pressure and intensity. You may even sit in the middle of all the calamity, but you just don’t care.
Examine Your State of Mind and Emotion
When you just feel disconnected why would you want to stay at your job? Your days just become longer. The work becomes meaningless. And your internal fire is impossible to light.
However, his type of dwindled energy can occur for many different reasons and not all lead to leaving your job.
You may have had a recent negative experience at work that is too fresh for you to ignore right here and now. Or a blow to your ego too big for you to be enthusiastic about work at the moment. Note that open wounds take time to heal. When you JUST experienced something painful you may not be balanced enough to make a well-rounded decision.
Disconnect can also occur when things outside of work impact your presence in work. You may have a sick parent, experienced a recent death, or even a had breakup. Your emotional ties to other parts of your life may leave you empty at work. Permit yourself to attend to other parts of your life and to limit your emotional attachment to work priorities. And ask for help if you need it. You may find in being transparent that others become more helpful and supportive until you are able to bring yourself back to center.
No matter the obstacle, when all the dust settles and you can see and feel clearly, take another look at your job. You may find with a little time, patience, and care for yourself you see things differently.
But if you find that a settled mind still presents the same view, it may be time to leave.
5. You Just Do Not Like What You Do
A job is more than a paycheck. And it can be disturbing when this realization shows itself each and every day at work.
You may have started your job because you had to pay the bills. But after time you are looking for more. Loving what you do may seem like a privilege. But you would appreciate it if you at least liked what you do.
If you struggle with having an interest in your job, it can make getting through your day feel like crossing a desert. The dry reality of completing meaningless tasks can be torturous. However, this realization does not always mean that quitting your job is the answer.
Rekindle Your Relationship with Your Work
The job you have today does not have to be the career path you have throughout your future. Explore if alternative opportunities exist within the environment you know before you explore the outside world.
Your company may have a number of positions and would love to hire someone who has tenure with the business that they know and trust. Be willing to look for other internal job opportunities.
Maybe you have an idea for how to better leverage your skills in ways you will enjoy. Consider proposing a change in the structure of your job or new position altogether. You may be surprised to learn that your boss or the company is willing to consider solutions that work for both you and them.
Schedule time with your boss to talk about what you love and if they see opportunity for you to use those skills and talents more often. Sometimes to heads are better than one and together you can create new opportunities that are far better to you than what you do today.
See yourself as a valuable asset capable of learning and taking on new challenges. You may be just what your company needs.
The worst that can happen is that you demonstrate a vested interest but they unfortunately say no. And that’s okay. This way you know definitely it is time to go and feel confident that another company will be more than happy to actively appreciate what you have to offer.
No job will last forever. But before you leave the one that you have, make sure that it is really a new job that you need. If you quit your job, you don’t want to look back and feel that maybe you really shouldn’t have.
Remember to look for solutions to your discomfort before you decide that quitting is your only resolution.
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The best thing that you can do for yourself is to take personal responsibility for the satisfaction you desire in your job. And, if with your diligence you cannot find a resolution to the problems you face, then choose to prioritize your happiness and find a job that you love.
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