Fighting career dissatisfaction and finding fulfilment at work
Have you ever felt career dissatisfaction? Or that you aren’t where you want to be, envious of people earning more or seeming more satisfied in their work? Do you ever worry that your work isn’t fulfilling enough? Or, do you ever feel that you are just a few steps behind where you think you should be?
Feeling dissatisfied with your career is more common than you think. Though these thoughts can feel quite isolating, chances are, the people around you are feeling similar ways. But just because it is common doesn’t mean we have to put up with it. So, how do we break away from dissatisfaction at work and feel fulfilled in what we’re doing? In this blog post, we will break down where these feelings are coming from and how you can address them.
Where is your dissatisfaction coming from?
There is a lot that can cause dissatisfaction. Comparing yourself to others, seeking and not getting validation from work, high-stress environments, poor management, or even just feeling like you’ve made the wrong choice in what to study or work in.
Wherever you’re at, it’s worth checking in with yourself to determine where this dissatisfaction might be coming from. Ask yourself:
- How are you feeling about your current job?
- Do you feel stuck in your career?
- If you’re still studying, are you enjoying it?
- Are you looking forward to graduating or getting experience in your industry?
- Do you know what you want to do next?
- How do you feel going to work or while you’re at work?
- Do you find yourself living for the weekend?
You may feel burnt out, sick of your current job, or tired of looking for a new one. Addressing these feelings and analysing why you might feel the way you do is the first step to knowing how to manage it.
How do you stop feeling dissatisfied with work?
Sometimes, we want an easy fix. We want someone to look at our problems, give us a simple solution, and resolve that issue quickly. However, these feelings of dissatisfaction are often complex, and straightforward solutions just don’t cut it.
We see this crop up when people change degrees, jobs, or industries, but the problems don’t disappear. While feedback, addressing workload issues, or even a pay rise might make you feel better in the short term, it doesn’t guarantee that these feelings won’t crop up again.
So, how do you address it?
1. Look after your needs.
You are your own best advocate. Only you can continuously look after yourself, check in with how you’re feeling, and take steps to address any issues you’re facing. Self-awareness is crucial in coming to terms with your feelings about work. Knowing your worth and valuing your time and needs can help you show and look after your value and power as an employee.
2. Assess your purpose for working.
There is a common saying: find a job you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life. While that’s great in theory, at the end of the day, work is to fulfil our physical needs, and an inevitable burden comes with that.
It’s okay to treat your career as a means to an end – aka, your survival and not your purpose for living. Changing your perception of work may help you feel less pressure to have a perfect job or career.
3. Make sure you’re gaining fulfilment outside of work.
Satisfaction comes from many places, such as family, friends, hobbies and interests. Check-in with yourself, and ask how your work/life balance is going. Do you do things outside of work that you enjoy and feel satisfied by? If not, maybe it’s time to pick up a new hobby, take on a new interest, or reconnect with your friends and family.
The truth is attitudes to work are changing. Over the past few years, more and more people are distancing themselves from the emotional burden of work, quiet quitting, and setting healthier boundaries with their relationship to their jobs. It may be time to start thinking about how you can do the same.
4. Know that it’s okay to make a change.
So often, we can feel trapped in our job or career, not wanting to start all over by going into something different. But, if you’re dissatisfied with what you’re doing, there is always room to change. Whether that is stepping into a different role in the same industry or changing that industry entirely, it’s okay to pivot your career direction.
If you’re feeling dissatisfied with your current career, the important thing to know is that it isn’t something you just have to put up with. By looking after yourself, finding interests outside of your job, and putting changes in place to step into a job you enjoy more, you can address career dissatisfaction and find fulfilment.
Featured image courtesy of Unsplash
Amelia is a Sydney-based writing and communications enthusiast working at UTS Careers as a Communications Assistant. She is UTS Alumni who studied a Bachelor of Communications (Creative Writing & Advertising), and a Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation. She is passionate about creativity, storytelling, and the art of a well-timed gif, and has a vast collection of crazy socks.