It’s a no brainer that our occupation/job/career/profession greatly impacts our overall wellness. According to research done by Gallup (Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements, 2014), when we spend the majority of our time (and lives) in work that is stressful, unfulfilling or unenjoyable, the odds of us experiencing high wellbeing in other areas of our lives diminishes greatly. And what do workers report hating more than their jobs? If you guessed their boss, you are correct.
The reality is, people don’t leave or quit their jobs or companies. They quit their managers or direct supervisors. According to time use studies, workers rated the time they spent with their manager as the worst part of their day. This is truly unfortunate.
When we are thriving in our work lives, we are twice as likely to be thriving in our lives overall. According to various studies, 53% of workers report being unhappy at work (85% worldwide) and 70 percent of employees are actively disengaged. And disengagement highly correlates with clinical depression. The research is very clear. Our workplaces significantly impact our physical and emotional wellbeing.
Managers who primarily highlight your strengths instead of your weaknesses have a profound impact on your engagement and well-being.
But get this. If your manager primarily focuses on your strengths instead of your weaknesses, the chances of you being actively disengaged is just 1% or 1 in 100 (Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements, 2014). THIS IS HUGE! Managers who primarily highlight your strengths instead of your weaknesses has a profound impact on your engagement and well-being. This research finding is truly noteworthy. Furthermore, when we have the opportunity to use our strengths every day, we can boost our career/workplace well-being even more!!
Another way to boost your workplace well-being is knowing your workplace/career fit factors so you can leverage them for your success and overall well-being.
Knowing your goodness of fit for a particular job, career, workplace or organizational culture helps you to know the types of work environments that will help you to flourish personally AND professionally. When you don’t know your fit factors, you run the risk of committing to a career, job or organization that may cause you undue stress, frustration, and even depression. Let’s avoid that.
When considering your goodness of fit for a particular career, organization or job, consider the following from Brad Pugh’s book, The Fit Factors:
Sometimes it’s hard to know these things until you actually live them out in a role or particular organization and that’s okay. It’s all a part of our self-discovery process. But should you discover a particular career, profession, role or workplace is not a good fit for you, here are some things to keep in mind in an effort to protect your mental health and emotional well-being.
If you are undecided about leaving a particular career/organization, ask yourself,
If you choose to exit your current workplace, take responsibility for sharing the good (strengths) AND the grow (opportunities for improvement) with your boss/manager. It will help them to gain insight into how they can grow and make the organizational culture better. Whether your boss agrees or disagrees with your feedback is irrelevant. What matters most is being true to who you are and what you experienced in the work culture. Be honest, respectful and transparent. And be sure to leave well.
If you are looking to find, change careers/jobs or leave your current organization, I encourage you to know your four fit factors. Know what your strengths are so you can stay engaged and thrive! No one in their right mind wants to spend their days working in the areas of their weaknesses. Know what interests you. If you don’t like fiddling with numbers, don’t take a numbers job. If you’re not interested in working with children all day, don’t take a child care related job.
Know what your career goals are. Don’t spend your time interviewing for a job or career that doesn’t align with where you want to go professionally. And when it comes to company fit and culture, know which cultures you thrive in and die in. Ask a lot of questions of the employer during your interview. Research the company’s core values and ask questions about how those values are lived out in the organization.
Ain’t nobody tryin’ to be blindsided and get married to a career/organization that doesn’t align with your personal values and cultural standards. And just like you may not always like everything about your spouse or friends, you won’t always like some things about your workplace BUT—you need to be clear on your non-negotiables because in the long haul, it can mean the difference between you surviving or thriving through your work days.
I don’t know about you but I don’t want to just survive through my work days–disengaged, demotivated and stressed. When you are highly aware of your fit factors, the greater your probability of landing on a work/career path filled with peace, fulfillment, purpose, excitement, and passion. Thus the greater your opportunity to thrive!
While you’re discovering your fit factors and searching for that new job, I want to encourage you to still bloom where you’re planted. You’ve been planted where you are for a specific purpose. Don’t exit before it’s time. Keep shining your light but do take care of yourself while you’re in it. You have the ability to rise above any non-sense, stress or mess in your workplace. Here are some ABC’s of practicing self-care in the meantime.
When we are in a career or job that doesn’t fit our divine design, strengths or goals, it’s easy to get discouraged and negative. I’ve been there. And it doesn’t help. For some insight into how to lead your thoughts and attitude during seasons of transition, check out my podcast HERE.
Stay positive in what you say and do in the workplace. Choose joy. Choose to stay engaged in your work knowing that integrity matters. It’s a matter of choice. Choose to rise above the noise.
Take mental breaks. Leave for lunch and get some sunlight. Read inspirational and motivational literature on your breaks to reset your mindset. Practice gratitude for all that is good in your life. Connect with a colleague for lunch, take a brisk walk, organize your workspace, or listen to uplifting music while you work. You can influence yourself and your immediate work environment. Get creative. Don’t bring work home and don’t work overtime unless you must. Set boundaries.
Stay honoring your leaders, stay respectful, stay positive and stay hopeful for your next. One of the greatest things we can do in a dark, toxic or undesirable workplace is shine bright like a diamond. Stay encouraged. Your positive attitude and will position you for success!
Check out my FREE Career Thrive Guide for additional tips, assessments and tools to thrive in the workplace.