Where did the feeling go?

feeling happy unhappy cat

Most people seem happy at work

Most people seem to feel happy enough with their work. That’s apparent from the lack of movement in the job market. If more people were desperately unhappy they would all be moving jobs. There would be more vacancies, more job advertisements and more recruitment agencies. Wouldn’t there?

Most people tend to stay at work for a few years. According to statistics, the average time in a job is between four and five years. That leads to the conclusion that most jobs have a shelf life. They might work well for a while, but often not for a whole career. Changing jobs is routine and normal.

How do you feel about work?

Whilst your state of ‘happiness’ seems a simple question, it’s much deeper and broader than that.

Are you excited to go into work? Do you feel fairly rewarded, genuinely appreciated and well supported? Do you respect your manager, like your colleagues and enjoy your job? Do you really care about your organisation’s goals? Does it care about yours? Do you have great training, opportunities for promotion and supportive mentoring?

Don’t settle

If the answer to those questions is repeatedly ‘Yes’ then you’re in a great place, doing great work. Use that knowledge to power you on.

However, if you used to be happy at work and now you’re not, or you’ve never been particularly happy, don’t settle. Why should you have to accept less happiness than you deserve?

We don’t do our best work unless we’re happy doing it. We can’t care about our organisation, unless it cares about us. How we feel about our job reflects in how well we do it. Settling for what you have restricts your future as well as your present. If there’s no current to move you down the river, you’ll sink down and settle at the bottom.

If your current job is stifling your ambition, restricting your creativity or making you unhappy, it’s probably time to do something about it.

Change your job or change your job

Firstly, it’s sensible to try and change the aspects of your work that you don’t like. Some changes will be within your control and you can try and adapt them yourself. But some won’t and you’ll have to nudge, persuade and influence the changes you need. You can do a great deal to change you own circumstances. Often more than you think.

If you can’t nudge the changes you need, ask politely for help. Use your appraisal as an opportunity to try and re-shape your role. If you don’t ask (nicely), you won’t get. If you ask and still don’t get, you’ll need to look outside your current job for other opportunities.

Making a change can be hard work and time consuming. Changing jobs requires research, preparation, paperwork and positive energy. Changing career requires an additional investment in ourselves. But there are lots of training courses, government advice services and recruitment sites to help with the transition process. Positive change is worth the time and effort.

Where did the feeling go?

If the feeling has truly gone, then search for somewhere you’re likely to get it back.

And if the next job isn’t quite right, you can always move again, until you get the feeling back.