What is driving my lack of satisfaction and fulfilment at work?
Participants in my Designing Your Life Experiences arrive with such a question. They lack joy and clarity about what they want and feel stuck about any action steps. Identifying the problem is critical, as working on the wrong cause can take a lifetime.
Besides the life and career transformations present in everybody’s life, some emerging patterns are surprising once we deep dive and get to the root cause of the matter.
People attribute the lack of joy and satisfaction to the job description, but these are side effects of the pandemic and transition to working from home, currently without a solution in place.
Established routines and behaviours serving a purpose before, like leaving the office at 6 pm, meeting a friend for coffee, being part of a community, and having a support network when you have a lower day, are less present. These routines create a sense of safety, belonging, and satisfaction and are critical to our well-being. However, replacing these routines requires self-awareness, effort and tools. Otherwise, some basic needs are unmet. Therefore, more responsibility sits with each person to recognise their needs and ways to meet those needs, including engaging with the manager and employer for support. Employers will most likely take action through flexible frameworks, education and tools; however, individuals and their contexts are unique.
Individual awareness and action are mandatory yet not so evident at times.
Purpose and meaning become even more critical in times of chaos. Purpose does not offset the needs for belonging, safety or connection, but it can make navigating chaotic times easier. Having a coherence between who we are, what we believe and what we do makes us more resilient and gives us clarity to make the right decisions and find our path through life and work.
The fear of missing out and the discomfort of the work transitions can rush big decisions. When experiencing dissatisfaction, it is easy to compare with others and assume they have more than we do. The fear of missing out increases with such comparisons. While comparisons can inform, to some extent, our next steps, making rushed decisions only due to the discomfort adds significant risk.
The only answer is a life and work designed for us. Long term, every professional will develop the self-mastery and experience to recognise their own needs, what they stand for and what is important to them.
If you are in any of the scenarios above, take ownership of your life and work. Review what you need, what is missing and small steps to increase your satisfaction.
There are many paths to do a little bit better in your work, you only need to take a first small step.