Your job should be more than just a job. You should see your work as a career. Something you enjoy and are passionate about, not a chore. We all look forward to the weekend, vacations and time away from the office, but if you find yourself hating your job you need to dig in and determine if you’re experiencing burnout or if it’s time to make a career change.
Begin by re-engaging at work in a different way. Approaching your job with a new mindset may be just what you need to recharge your excitement and avoid a career disaster!
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Take A Vacation, In Fact, Take All Of It
To recharge, take a vacation! A vacation can do wonders to change your professional perspective. I’m amazed at the number of clients we coach who are burning the candle at both ends. Although they have ample vacation time, they believe they’re too busy to take it. Sound familiar?
Well, I hate to burst your bubble, but your organization will be okay without you for a week or two. In fact, if you quit tomorrow they might lose a few steps, but the company would be just fine in short order. A single person does not make a company tick. So take a week off. Use all your vacation time. Don’t let the end of the year come and go with unused vacation on the books!
I’m sure my advice to give back to your company sounds incredibly stupid because you’re already pressed to your breaking point, but trust me, this works.
Sometimes we get so embroiled in our own situation at work that our team and peers become background noise. Unfortunately, this only further isolates you and makes you feel alone in your plight. Instead, engage with your team by finding a colleague to mentor.
Being a mentor for a younger professional in the office will help you immensely. Seeing your organization and career through the eyes of a young staffer allows you to appreciate how far you have come. Helping someone else broaden their perspective and grow as a professional is rewarding and will reenergize you.
Make Time For Yourself At The Office
One of the most difficult things to come to terms with as a busy professional is that your work never ends. It doesn’t matter if you lock yourself in your office for a week to get “caught up” you’ll never be successful in your quest. Why? Because your work will never end. There will always be a new fire burning, a new customer situation, a new employee issue, a new report, a new request, a new project…get my point? It never ends! Trying to chase yourself every day only increases stress and leads to burn out.
Come to terms with the fact that when you walk out the door and come back tomorrow, your work will still be waiting for you. It’s okay to take a break. Go out for a long lunch with a friend. Hit the gym or go running on your lunch break. Leave early and go do something you enjoy. Just stop pushing yourself so hard.
Avoid Burnout Through Delegation
A huge issue we continually address with our career coaching clients is delegation. Similar to the other topics I’ve covered here, delegation is critical to long-term career happiness. You are not a one-man band, nor are you the only person in the office with the skills, intelligence and ability to do complicated work or projects.
Whether you’re currently managing a team or are an individual contributor, by not delegating, you’re exhibiting micromanagement behavior to your team and superiors. You send the message that you believe your team is incapable and incompetent. You’re telegraphing that you’re unable to make decisions and prioritize your work.
Begin delegating today. Start by pushing a few tasks off your plate. Then try a few more. The more you delegate the more you will see how important delegation is. You will free your mind to focus on more pressing matters while allowing a colleague to learn and grow as a professional. Delegation is a win for everyone!
Do Not Become A Slug
After all of my advice to unplug, recharge and reenergize, my final piece of advice will seem completely contradictory, so here it goes…do not become a slug at the office! Taking time away, and finding different ways to use your time at the office is critical for long-term career happiness. If you have your foot on the gas at all time you will burn out, hate your job and will be miserable to live with. But, that doesn’t mean you should become less effective as a professional.
Balance your professional life and your personal life. Do not allow one to encroach too far into the others space. As a professional you need to be present, engaged and ready for a challenge, however, that doesn’t mean you should be “on” all the time. There is a fine line between becoming unreliable as a team member and becoming burn out at the office.
Be mindful to not abuse your flex schedule or your team’s efforts to pitch in and take more work off your plate. But don’t lose sight of your needs. Make every effort to balance both and you’ll likely find your work more rewarding. Try it for a few months, if your attitude doesn’t change it is time for a career change!