Are you thinking about calling in sick to work today?
If you’re not really feeling a sniffle coming on, maybe there’s something else bothering you.
Work might be making you sick, and the thought of sitting there makes you want to toss your breakfast biscuits. . .
You’re not alone.
In fact, a recent study found that almost 40% of workers call in sick when they are not actually sick. I actually find that to be shockingly low.
With almost 70% of the workforce in the U.S. alone disengaged from work (87% worldwide), it’s surprising that more people don’t take “mental health” days.
Or maybe they just don’t talk about it. . .
But whether you actually call in sick when you’re not under the weather, or you dream about being somewhere else when you’re at work, it’s all the same.
You need to feel better, because calling in sick to work every day just isn’t an option.
So how do you make being at work work for you when you really don’t want to be there?
Feeling Better at Work
You might be thinking that the only thing you can do to feel better would be to quit, or at least to make a career change.
I have tons of resources to help you kickstart your career change here. Go back to those after you’ve finished this article.
But before you can actually get into a better job situation, you’ll still need to face your job, and calling in sick to work every day won’t cut it.
You’ll have to handle being there gracefully.
Even though getting a new career that you tailor make to suit your idea of what a meaningful career should look like is the ultimate goal, it doesn’t mean there won’t be stepping stones along the way.
You can do things to make your current career more meaningful to you right now. Here are three great ones:
1. Focus on your Work “Happiness Environment”
When it’s new career time, you want a job where you won’t even think about calling in sick to work unless you really are sick. You want going there to make you happy.
There are many factors that all converge to create a Happiness Environment at work, including the size of the organization, its mission, how it treats its people, the kind of people that work there and more.
The thing is, when you’re already at a company, you have little control over many of these factors.
But you do have control over some of your Happiness Environment factors even when you’re feeling stuck at a job. You may not get to influence everything on the list, but even if you can change a few factors it can impact how you feel at work.
- Increased control of your time
- Increased influence over how projects are completed
- Creating a more beautiful environment
- Adding to the friendliness of the office
- Working from home one day a week
What factors in your work environment could you change that would have the most impact on your happiness at work?
2. Make the Right Connections
We all know that networking is a big part of finding and landing that new career. But when you put it that way it sounds so boring.
It’s really about making the right connections with people in the right way and using the connections you already have.
Actually, it can be kind of fun to meet new people both for career advancement and to spice up what you’re doing right now if you’re feeling stagnant.
I know there are a lot of you out there that feel afraid of putting yourselves “out there” or feel introverted, but when you think about it as “making connections” and your whole approach actually feels this way, it becomes way less awkward.
It’s not about walking into a room full of strangers with a stack of your newly printed business cards. . .
It’s about meeting the right people over coffee. Way less intimidating, way more effective, and the connections are 100x more meaningful.
3. Build Confidence
Not what you were expecting? Maybe not, but building your confidence is the cornerstone of a meaningful career.
Because doing what you love is hard (in case you hadn’t noticed.)
You need confidence to:
Feel creative enough to pull this off any changes at work (and your big change!) and to be able to put yourself out there in the ways that you’ll have to when trying anything at all that is new.
When you’re looking to make a boring job just a little more meaningful, chances are, most of the people around you settled for boring long ago. They won’t understand why “boring” isn’t good enough for you, and being able to stand up to those questions requires confidence.
But, you know your dreams aren’t big enough when no one tells you that you’re crazy, so consider it a good thing.
Calling In Sick To Work – Or Life?
At a certain point you have to ask yourself, “Am I calling in sick to work, or to life?”
If you realize that calling in sick to work is really an excuse to escape from the reality of where your life is, rather than just an occasional break from the everyday, you may want to ask yourself if it’s time for a change.
If you’re ready for a change to meaningful work, download my free guide: