It’s that time of year… summer over, and for some of us back to work where we don’t feel appreciated, rewarded or stretched enough. According to a recent report, a third of US workers feel like this, so what can we do about it?

  • seek progress elsewhere – making progress in activity that means something is the most powerful motivator. Here’s a favourite researcher on this.
  • find problems to solve – in or out of work.
  • do something that gives you choice over how you achieve outcomes
  • make something. Like a sense of progress, widely ignored as a motivator.
  • join something where there are people similar to you: we need our identity endorsed by others, or we get lonely. Biggest cause of blues.
  • revisit times when you’ve been resourceful in your memory banks. What can you do to use those strengths again?
  • start doing something else extra-curricular – an online enterprise or voluntary work
  • map out your hours at work
  • and when you have chances at work to put attention elsewhere
  • and all the other available hours you have in a week : is there scope to make better use of these?
  • start to research for an exit strategy. What is out there that reflects what you love doing and what would mean you would happily forget any work/life balance?
  • view yourself as a small enterprise, not a worker. An enterprise has something it offers potential customers, which will need marketing and PR. Market and margin are always vital considerations. You can test market through:
    1. a clear goal
      who you are aiming for
      creating a sample for them
      asking them for a reaction

    In another post, Robert Reich, Bill Clinton’s Secretary of Labour, compares the US economy unflatteringly with the German one.

    Germany has good education, strong labour unions and manufacturing. Plenty of opportunity for their volk to feel progress, endorsement for who they are and to make things. Something for the US and UK here, possibly.

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Join the conversation! 7 Comments

  1. I appreciate that you didn’t jump straight to quitting as the solution for a boring job. These are thoughtful, actionable suggestions. Thanks for expanding my perspective!

    Reply
    • Hi Judy

      Thanks for visiting and for your comment, much appreciated.

      I see from your blog that you help clients who just can’t quit their jobs in the current climate, a tough situation for them. And we have a similar situation in the UK. Best wishes for your practice.

      Reply
  2. Fantastic. Love the Only Fools and Horses video. It was the perefect conclusion to all your suggestions of how to deal with working life and reminded me of the need to laugh and have fun.

    By the way, what do you mean by mapping out your hours of work? The amount of time you actually work? Or a map of how many hours you think you should work?

    Natasha

    Reply
    • Hi Natasha – thanks for your comment much appreciated.

      Yes, by mapping your hours out of work, I mean the hours you are not working. Which doesn’t mean of course that we’re not thinking about work…. The hours that are available to you to pursue other interests. In an ideal world, I reckon, many of us would prefer working in jobs where results are about outcomes rather than hours worked… most of us know a Presenteeist who is a martyr to their job, makes a big deal of their long hours, but produces little. Only loved by lions!

      Reply
  3. I always say “You got one life and one life only – pick a career that you absolutely enjoy…” In my 28 years of working life, I always picked jobs that I absolutely loved. E’hm! Except my first job, where I worked as a iron-man – not the hero Ironman, but rather a man (boy) who is ironing cloth in a tailor shop. The job was repetitive, hot, and often ended up with burns on my wrists… I wish I had this list back then 🙂 . Of course, this is not an economy where we can be too picky with jobs – I’m sure this list will be helpful for lots of people.

    Great looking blog with great posts – really enjoyed it. Will be back for more 🙂

    Reply
    • Hi E.G.

      What a great story and yes maybe we can all do with an iron-man, or woman experience to remind us we don’t want to go back there… Thanks a lot for your visit and comments.

      Reply

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