In these recessionary times, quitting a job isn’t really an option, so what does a disgruntled employee do if they hate their current role, but can’t afford to look for another one? The easiest way to make working life easier and happier is to look for ways to improve a current job. Liz Wolgemuth has some top tips on her USNews.com blog.
Making the Journey to Work a Pleasure
Getting some pleasure out of the journey to work can help make a whole day better, says Wolgemuth. Taking a book to read on the commute, or listening to an iPod or a favourite radio station while driving is a great tip. Even catching up on the news can help escape the daily drudge and keep things in perspective.
Wolgemuth also suggests making friends as a good first step, as having people around that a colleague can talk and laugh with will make the working day more bearable.
Finding Something to Treasure
Finding something at work an employee treasures is another great tip. This can be anything from a few words of praise from the boss to Friday drinks after work, to a colleague’s sense of humour or a new project that an employee has control over.
Getting on Side with the Boss
Being on good terms with the boss is vital to being able to manage workload and discussing things when the going gets tough. They may even be able to help make a job more interesting and enjoyable, or may be able to make things happen when an employee has a good idea.
Keeping quiet and accepting a bad situation is no help when an employee can actually do something about it. If they see a colleague needs a hand or an ear, they should lend it. And offering up good ideas about how to solve problems or improve processes that don’t work is also a good way to make things better. Companies want employees who are driven and visionary as they know that those employees will be happy in their work.
Employees can make themselves more valuable and widen their expertise by learning new things. Making the most of the company’s training budget and learning something new will make any job more enjoyable. Employees will be less likely to be made redundant and will be more employable in future, as well as being more useful in their current role.
Most employees can ask for time off to attend short courses or for study leave for longer courses, and also find out whether they will subsidise courses relevant to the current job. Courses are also a great place to make new contacts for future networking and job opportunities.
If employees can’t take a course, they can ask a colleague to help them up-skill in their area or mentor them while they learn on the job. Technical know-how looks good on a resume or CV and will make someone more employable in future. Broad skills, such as IT and communications skills, will also make any employee more rounded at work. Just asking whether they can help out with the company website or write something for the next newsletter will help gain these skills.
Putting A Hand Up
Employees shouldn’t be afraid to put their hands up for new projects. Volunteering shows they’re keen to develop themselves and contribute to the company, which can have other positive spin-offs. They might get the opportunity to learn leadership, project management and other skills, and will get to know more people.
Life outside work is hugely important. If all someones lives for is the 9 to 5, then any work situation will be amplified and seem much worse than it is. Regardless of what someone does for a living, it’s important to pursue their own unique set of interests, whatever they are. No job can satisfy everything someone wants from life, and good employers know that.
Personal interests are a good clue to someone’s strengths and a job should play to those strengths. If an employee knows what their strengths and interests are, they’ll be in a better position to make any job more satisfying or to look for another one.