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7 signs that your career happiness is at risk and needs your attention

Being happy at work means something different to each and everyone of us. Therefore, creating an overarching definition for career happiness is quite a tricky task but I decided to give it a it comes: Career Happiness is a long term feeling of overall enjoyment at work combined with the intrinsic drive to make progress towards a mission that we see as purposeful. With that in mind, below are 7 signs that your Career Happiness needs a top up.

1- You are living for your time off

If you are regularly counting down the days to the weekend or to your holiday, it might be the sign that your career isn’t giving you the positive energy that you need. The weekends are never long enough and Mondays are generally not enjoyable days for you.

2- Your brain feels like it is carrying a heavy mental load

You feel like your brain is constantly processing information, either re-living scenes of the past or doing some scenario building for the future.

You rarely spend any time enjoying the moment present, your brain is constantly chasing the next project, the next goal, the next promotion, the next job, the next “you”....

3- You seem to have an increased amount of triggers

You experience signs of irritability and emotions that are disproportionate to the triggering event. You snap. You sigh. You aaaargghh. Or maybe you feel all the emotions inside and you express them by tearing a piece of paper down in tiny little pieces or throwing your phone on the sofa or typing really REALLY loudly on your keyboard or listening to loud music in your headphones or you start obsessively scratching your hand, or forearm inexplicably. However these emotions manifest, it is important to acknowledge them, you don’t need to try and justify them, or numb them, let them exist. These emotions do not define you, they are temporary, other emotions will come and replace them when the moment is right. In the meantime, you can gift yourself some extra self-care attention whilst remembering these wise words from Brene Brown:

‘’Vulnerability is not weakness. And that myth is profoundly dangerous. Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change’’.

When you feel like the moment is right, you may start asking yourself what you would like to change in your life in order to get new emotions flowing through your body.

4- Your eating habits are disrupted

You experience a change in appetite which can manifest in different ways:

  • You eat less than normal during your meals

  • You skip some meals which you would normally have

  • You eat more than normal, whether it is more during a meal or you have more meals or snacks throughout the day

  • The times when you would normally have your meals has changed.

  • You obsess over certain foods

These are all signals that your body is sending you, it is a message for you to decipher, it’s your body’s way to contact you. Like children, your body has two reservoirs that need filling everyday: Power and Attention. Power comes from nourishing food at regular times, sleep, exercise and all that it needs to function well and attention is the need for you to listen to the little signals that it sends. When your eating habits change, identify the patterns that are at the source of this change so you can create new habits that are serving you better. Remember, it takes about 21 days to form a new habit.

5- You feel like the situation you’re in is misaligned with some of your core values

We see trends showing that freelancing is on the rise and it is no surprise in a society that is shifting its focus from a transactional way of working and doing business to a more ethical and personal way for individuals to contribute professionally. When working for themselves, professionals remove the frustrations due to a potential value misalignment with the company they work for. Interestingly though, despite value misalignment being an important cause of unhappiness at work, the majority of people are unable to answer the question ‘’what are your values?’’. This is because values are often subconsciously experienced. Understandably so, we don't really get many opportunities to bring them to our awareness...have you ever taken a value elicitation course at school or attended a value elicitation workshop in your career?

If you are a little unsure about what your values are and you feel like something is bothering you at work (it can be someone’s behaviours, a situation, a process, your attitude towards it, your lack of motivation, etc.), try and write down your answers to the following questions and fill out the statements (it’s important that your answers are written down (the writing can be rough on the edges though) for the second step of this mini-activity):

  • What is important to me in my career?

  • What is important to me in my work environment?

  • {previous answer} is important to me because...

  • To me, what makes a good working relationship is…

  • {previous answer} is important to me because

Then put your Sherlock Holmes hat on, it’s time to observe, notice and analyse:

1/ Notice the keywords that are repeated across all your answers.

2/ Do any of these keywords relate to some of the values on this list?

2/ Are any of these values being put in question in your current work situation.

6- You are having trouble focusing at work and feel indifferent

You lose interest in the things you normally love and care about. Your motivation to meet with colleagues or engage in any sort of new project or initiative is at an all-time low. You have created a little work bubble that keeps an extra layer of social distance between you and the rest of your work environment. Now what?! How about getting your MOJO back by trying our our 7-minute to Career Happiness method {link to article}.

7- Your sleeping patterns have become unhealthy

Your sleep pattern is off. This can manifest in different ways:

  • Revenge bedtime procrastination which has been defined by journalist Daphne K Lee as “people who don’t have much control over their daytime life refuse to sleep early in order to regain some sense of freedom during late-night hours”

  • Struggle to fall asleep due to your Mind Clutter (when the mind has too many thoughts that are going through it making it difficult to process)

  • Keep waking up during the night (and it is not because of the kids!)

  • You have become a big snoozer in the morning (and you used to be a morning person)

If you experience any of the symptoms above, your sleep quality is at threat and sleep aids or sleep gummies might not be the only thing you’ll need to get your sleeping health back. Listen to the signals your body sends you, it might be time for you to make a change!

In conclusion, I would like to share a tip to determine whether or not it is time for you to take actions in favour of your Career Happiness. If you can relate to one or several of the seven points described above, ask yourself the following question, after work, for 2 weeks in a row: on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being extremely unhappy and 10 being extremely happy), how happy do I feel in my career today? If your score is constantly below 6, it is time to open your career thinking box, a better life awaits! You might want to check out our Career Happiness Personalised Programme.


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