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How Happy Are You At Work?

Since I was a teenager, there's one distinct topic that's felt like my achilles heel: being happy at work. For some reason, it's the thing I've wrestled with most.


The stakes have always felt high to me. Our jobs have the potential to be one of our greatest sources of satisfaction. We have the opportunity to make and do things that provide value to ourselves and others. That value is internal (we feel good) and external (others appreciate it – so much that they're willing to pay for it).


Our jobs get the best of our time, energy and attention. We don't always admit it to one another in polite company (it's kind of depressing), but where we spend our time working is how we spend a large majority of our lives. I always want and wanted it to be worthwhile. It hasn't always been, and I've studied why.


Knowing I could write volumes on this topic – everything from "How to Deal with a Difficult Boss" to "Underpromise, Overdeliver" – let's START. here, with a fresh way to look at the big question itself.


The Q: How happy am I at work?


The START. Step

Reframe it.

  • Unpack that question. Don't let little assumptions slide in, unnoticed. (They can be tricky.)

  • Reframe the question as "How happy am I at work, currently?" This allows you to pinpoint important information: the big stuff you may need to start addressing vs. the temporary stuff you might decide is not that big of a deal.


The SORT. Step

Dig Deeper.

Ask yourself:

  • What kind of satisfaction do I expect to get from work?

  • Realize that not everyone expects work to even BE so important to them, and that's okay! But you might want different things in terms of A) what you can give - your skills, talents, interests and abilities and B) what you can get out of your work life (satisfaction, recognition, authority or a bigger salary).

Get clear on what you expect, so you can go after those things more directly. (Don't be afraid to expect MORE. If you feel that pull, it means that more exists for you – we'll just have to figure out how to get it.)

  • What brings you the MOST satisfaction, currently? What is it about your job that you like right now?

  • What can you change about this? Can you do more of what you like? How?

  • What can't you change and must accept?

  • What brings you the LEAST satisfaction, currently?

  • What can you change about this? Can you put together a plan for how (in time) you could do less of these things?

  • What can't you change and must accept?


The STYLE. Step

Take (a little!) action.

Mull over your list of "mosts" and "leasts" for about a week. Keep it close to you at work. Little, more specific revelations will come to you. Keep track of those things.


What's next?

Get ready to rinse/wash/repeat the steps: You can identify the first thing you want to take action on (to have more "most" or less "least"), and you can then use the steps to devise an action plan that helps you tackle it.


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If you go take action on these steps, let me know: Kyle@StartSortStyle.com. I'd love to help you tackle any parts of it that you're curious about here on the site.

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