Face it. This job isn’t doing it for you, and you’re constantly thinking about your next job instead.
You might have some days where you feel like work was ok, but you have other days where you’re tearing your hear out.
On those days you head for the nearest computer and type in “job hunt” faster than you can leave work at 5 p.m. You’re thinking about your next job. You want to get out of there.
But when it is time to find something new, you should know some key things that will make the next job a better place for you, otherwise you may end up in the same trap as before.
Here are some of the factors that will make your work way happier. You may already know some of these happiness factors, but others may surprise you.
Interaction with People
You don’t have to be an extrovert to enjoy interaction with people. Most people like at least some interaction, and when it’s with the right people, it can make all the difference. Decide on the types of people you like to work with, and the types of projects that you enjoy working with people on.
Making a Difference
If you’re not enjoying your work at midlife, chances are its because there’s a lack of meaning attached to it. There are probably a host of other reasons as well, but you will probably agree that you wish you were doing something that gave you a bigger sense of meaning at the end of the day. Do work that you feel means something at the end of the day, no matter what that is for you.
Ability to be Creative
Find something that gives you the ability to be creative. You don’t have to be talented with a paintbrush to consider yourself creative. If you create new ideas, develop client solutions, or find ways for your team to work better together, you’re creative. You might be feeling stagnant in your creative muscle right now, and you’re probably feeling pretty sad. If you’re a creative not getting to exercise it, it can be pretty painful.
Helping others is, for most people, inherently meaningful, but people do find meaning in ways that don’t involve people directly, so I created another category. If you’re someone who loves giving back to others, make sure you find a way to include this in your work. Remember, you don’t have to work for a non-profit, give up your paycheck, and live on rice and beans to be able to help people. There are tons of creative solutions to helping others and earning a paycheck.
Find work that is who you are
Finding work that is “who you are” means finding work that you have an emotional connection to. You may be emotionally connected to the work because of the tasks you get to do, because of the outcome from doing it, because of the people you get to do it with, or a host of other reasons. Finding work that is who you are may feel impossible, but it’s really just a series of questions you need to ask yourself to figure out where you fit.
Your work is important, your life is important, and finding work that allows you the flexibility to be able to have both without enormous amounts of stress to balance the two is invaluable. You’ll be way happier if you can find a job that offers this. Fortunately, many jobs are realizing that happy employees produce better work. Don’t stay stuck in a job you don’t like because you believe you can’t find something better!
Your Next Job
Your next job might not have all these factors, and you might not have to have all of them to enjoy it. If you’re working towards something you believe in, in a setting you care about, you will end up being way happier in your next job.