Feeling dissatisified with work? 5 important questions to ask yourself about your next career step

If you’re noticing you’re feeling dissatisfied with work or experiencing a lack of direction, what’s the best approach to getting back on track? I believe it’s important for everyone to enjoy their job, and to find meaning and fulfilment in their career.

If you’re feeling dissatisfied with work, ask yourself some questions:

  • Are you happy with the direction of your work and career?
  • Are you really doing what you want to do and going in your planned direction?
  • Do you feel in control of your growth, development, and future?
  • Are you where you want to be?
  • Have you accomplished all you thought you would by now?

It’s a sort of career MOT; the process allows you to evaluate your career direction and strategy.

Guidance and challenge for when you’re feeling dissatisfied with work

Bill Gates says: “Everyone needs a coach. We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.”

Lots of very effective managers have coaches, however well you are performing you probably aspire to do even better. Coaching is about objective challenge and providing a sounding board to enable an employee to push themselves. It is about enabling you to become even better at what you do, affording the space and time to think, about pushing to be more.

We use a coaching app 10eighty.co.uk that allows clients and coaches to make contact and contract with each other. Then they can work, communicate and meet, sync calendars, share information and resources, and have access to training courses, podcasts and discussion forums.

The personal touch

Online coaching is facilitated by technology, but the personal touch still matters and it’s good to have the choice of online or face to face. For a busy manager, it’s a bonus to be able to access resources at a time that suits them and to be able to organise interactions online.

Unlike training, coaching is predicated on continuous learning and developing capability to build confidence and skills while anticipating challenges and maximizing potential and opportunities. Research by the ILM has found that amongst those who have received coaching, improved confidence, performance, and productivity are cited as three of the most positive changes witnessed for themselves, others and their wider team or organisation.

An experienced coach will challenge and support you to develop greater self-awareness while encouraging you to put yourself outside your comfort zone to learn how to raise performance at work and help tap into your full potential.

Be your best self

Chart a career path for yourself – where do you want to be next year, in five years, what will success look like? Commit to a professional development plan and take ownership of your career capital and stated long-term development objectives.

I favour a strengths-based coaching approach with a focus on building and using innate strengths to perform better and be energised by work, to sustain high performance, and increase confidence and engagement at work.

Motivated employees actively want opportunities to learn and grow, seek out different experiences, try new things, new projects and perspectives; and this diversity of experience is really important to employers now; they need employees with learning agility who proactively seek to learn and grow as human beings in order to do their best work.

Moving forward

A technique I sometimes use with coaching clients is to ask them to think of two things:

  • What did you enjoy doing when you were a child – before life got in the way? Can you use these memories to help find your true passion?
  • Try a new perspective and think about being very old – what might you wish you had spent your life doing?

Next identify the goals that will enable you to follow the career path you have chosen. That enables you to seek out training, stretch assignments, secondments, and coaching etc. that will afford you the experience to expand your skillset and develop towards the roles and career you want. Use a skills-based development approach to create a dynamic action plan.

Own your career – build on strengths, embrace new experiences, and keep skills fresh and up to date so you can be future-focused. We can’t exactly predict the skills that will be needed in five or ten years, so flexibility, versatility and adaptability are increasingly important, and employees need to respond to organisational change and be ready and willing to learn and acquire new skills and experiences.

Future proof your career

The world of work has changed and whatever your role, there is no guarantee of a job for life. You can’t even be sure that the job you take at the start of your career will still exist when you reach retirement age. To succeed in a dynamic environment, you must develop the skills and behaviours that will enable you to manage your career path effectively and confidently.

To be able to bring the best of yourself to work, you must be able to express creativity while being accountable for decision-making and productivity. I encourage everyone to invest in their employability not just for the current job but for the inevitable change ahead.

Research shows that 81% of employees feel that they don’t make full use of their talents at work. It’s important to seek roles that allow you to explore new avenues, to broaden your perspective and to engage with fresh challenges. Then you will be ready for the next challenge.

If you’re feeling dissatisfied with work, we hope the above inspires you to look at how you can make change.

Liz Sebag-Montefiore is the Co-founder and Director of 10Eighty,  helping individuals and organisations to maximise their potential.  To excel your career., improve performance and give a sense of focus in terms of career direction why not get a coach? Find one here.

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10 thoughts on “Feeling dissatisified with work? 5 important questions to ask yourself about your next career step

  • Lucky I’m in a position where I really like my job. These are good questions and things to think about for anyone who is in this situation.

  • If you are not happy in your work life I say you should change your job. It can be scary, butter it’s better for your mental health in the long run

  • My cousin has been at a career crossroads for a couple years now so I will definitely be passing this along to them. Great insight and info…thank you for sharing!

  • I am happy with my job, but I have a friend who’s struggling with her work and I will be sharing this to her. Thank you.

  • Such important questions to ask and I am sure with Covid and the pandemic, a lot of people are having to ask these questions in the hope of finding the right job

  • Future proofing your career is such a great concept – especially when it comes to making sure you are good for your future. These questions and ways to think about work is really good to reflect on.

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