Now that pandemic restrictions have been lifted and most people are returning to their workplaces, I am seeing an increasing number of clients who don’t want to go back.
Most of them have been on some kind of mental health leave and the prospect of returning to work is causing a lot of anxiety and depression. Very often these are single mothers with good jobs but they feel trapped in golden handcuffs.
Each situation is unique, of course, and often complicated. But we have to start somewhere, so I usually start with looking at two key elements of a good job fit: (1) their core job duties, and (2) the work environment in which they perform those duties.
Core Job Duties
First, let’s be honest, there is no such thing as a perfect job where you are 100% happy and satisfied all the time. The world is just not organized that way! One key to job satisfaction is to spend 60% of your day or more performing job duties that energize you.
Because, let’s face it, many job duties are just grunt work, things you can do but don’t really enjoy doing—in fact, these job duties drain you. Think of your energy level like a bank account; if you keep withdrawing money from it 60% of the time and only putting money in 40% of the time, then you are on the path to financial stress, even bankruptcy. It might take 10-20 years, but you will crash!
List the job duties that you regularly perform day in and day out. Then, ask yourself, what percentage of an average workday do I spend performing job duties that drain or bore me? If it’s greater than 50%, you’re in trouble with your health and well-being.
You could have the best job duties in the world but if you work in a toxic work environment with a bad boss or mean-spirited colleagues, your stress levels will skyrocket. Working each day in circumstances that don’t align with your values, priorities, and preferences will aggravate you at best and drain you at worst.
For example, who controls the pace of work is critical…tight deadlines and high-speed is a source of stress if you are not motivated by pressure. If you have no say over what you do, the way you do it, and who you do it with, then your mental health will suffer serious consequences.
Job fit and satisfaction are influenced by many factors related to what energizes you in terms of core job duties and what brings out the best in you in terms of a work environment.
If you feel confused or sick about your current work situation, let’s meet to discuss your unique situation.