For some, if we are lucky enough, work is our vocation. We train to do something we have an interest in and enjoy the work we do. However, many adults do not enjoy their work or don’t earn enough to create the lifestyle they want.
Our work gives us a sense of meaning and purpose in life outside of our family and social life. For many, work is the main reason we set the alarm and get out of bed most mornings. Working in a job is our means to afford a certain standard of living, to pay the rent or a mortgage and bills, and to buy food and clothing. The more we want, the more we must train and develop our skills and expertise to have a job that pays for our desired lifestyle.
‘UK workers rated only 73 percent on the report’s happiness index, compared to 81 percent in Germany and 93 percent in the US’ – Dec 2019
‘More Than Half of U.S. Workers Are Unhappy in Their Jobs’. – Oct 2019
UK Working Lives the CIPD Job Quality Index Summary
If you are among those looking for more job satisfaction, maybe it’s time to look at your options to create a more fulfilling work life. (If you looking to take a step back read on below).
Things to consider
Where are you now?
Firstly, you need to look at where you are now in your career. Are you doing a job you enjoy? Are there parts of it you enjoy and other parts not so much? How many hours do you work and do these hours suit you? What about your pay?
How did you get into this line of work? Is it a career where you can progress or a job that pays the bills? How ambitious are you?
Think about these questions and write down your answers. Maybe your overworked or on a minimum hours contract with irregular overtime. You may be stressed with too much pressure or bored preferring to be challenged more. You may have fallen into a job that was convenient at the time you started or chose something you thought you might enjoy.
What kind of work would suit you best?
Is there a job you have always wanted to do? You might have no idea. Either way, a good place to start is to research possible roles. The type of job best suited to you should match your values and interests. The UK national careers advice service offers a free skills assessment where you are asked a series of questions and possible matches are given. You can then research the roles offered to see which job could be a good match. Follow the link to find out more. https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/skills-assessment
In addition, there is a skills heath check https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/skills-assessment/skills-health-check/your-assessments which asks questions about your experience to identify personal skills and strengths.
Once you have found something that appeals to you, think about the time you need to put in. Is it related to your current work or completely different? Is training available through your workplace? Are you willing and able to retrain and put the hours in to develop your education and experience? How easy / difficult will it be to study alongside your current job and family commitments? Do you have financial support that allows you to give up your job and afford to retrain full time? Find out if there are grants available to help with living costs whilst studying for a new qualification. Be careful and make the best decision for you knowing you can still pay the rent.
By completing the skills assessments, you will acquire the information needed to decide on the training and skills involved and whether the job is an ideal fit for you.
Are you looking to take a step back?
On the other hand, you might be at a stage in your career where you want to simplify life. If you have worked in a high-pressure job, working long hours, it may be time for you to take on something less challenging and stressful. Your health can be affected by a high-pressure role and sometimes it is necessary to ease off a little. Again, the assessments above can be helpful in deciding the next steps to take.
For less stressful work ideas visit these websites:
Career Development Considerations
There are many jobs to choose from, but it is up to you to research and make the best decision for your individual circumstances. Make sure your finances are sound and don’t put yourself at risk.
- Talk to someone you know who does the job you are looking to retrain in or ask at a local company if you can shadow someone or take on a voluntary role in their company if possible.
- Look at the salary and make sure it will cover your standard of living in the future. You may need to start low and progress to higher earnings, how long will this take?
- Are there jobs available in your area, think about travel costs and how far you are willing to travel for a new job.
- Talk to local colleges about the training, how many students succeed in procuring a job?
We spend a large amount of our life working and it is important that your job brings out the best in you and gives you some level of satisfaction. It often not worth sacrificing your mental and physical health for a job. A job that involves repetitive strenuous physical work or causes you to be miserable for a long period of time could eventually end up shortening the length of time you are able to work because of ill health.
If you know you are stressed, miserable or are caused a considerable amount of pain caused by work, it’s time to create a plan to work towards new career goals for a healthier, brighter future.