There’s always that one guy at the party who doesn’t know when to back off when you’re running game.
Career consultant Kathy Caprino has identified six common ways people self-sabotage their job satisfaction in her article, “The Most Paralyzing Blocks That Successful People Have Overcome To Be Happy In Their Work.”
At Intelivate, we try to be more of a wingman to cultivate and keep that work game active. So here are six ways you might be killing your job satisfaction and how to be happy again.
6. Making your own Kool-Aid
.If you think you’re selling snake oil, you’ll never move a single bottle.
In your career, you’ll come across aspects of the job that you don’t particularly love. If you fixate on those parts, it’s an instant killer to job satisfaction.
But if you’re in a position that your end goal completely conflicts with your moral fiber, or even if you just don’t think the product you’re peddling to be all that great, you’ll never find job satisfaction – or success.
Find what motivates you in your work and shift your focus to something you can get behind to be happy again.
Once you find something you believe in, your enthusiasm will follow, your job satisfaction will skyrocket, and you’ll find more people drinking your Kool-Aid.
5. Rolling back the price of your worth
People like to get what they pay for. You don’t go to Walmart for diamond tiaras, and you don’t hit up Tiffany’s for off-brand Cheez-Its. Charging what you’re worth helps potential investors identify you as more than a generic product.
Tailor your business and career to meet the needs of varying markets: Don’t try to offer champagne services on a beer budget. Instead, offer High Life with an ancillary offering of Patrón.
Be clear about what you have to offer, identify its worth and ask for it. Have the self-confidence to put an appropriate value on what you bring to the table.
The same holds true when interviewing. Telling a potential employer that you’re only worth pocket change equates you to a tarnished ring in a plastic egg, when in fact, you’re a clear-cut tension-set diamond. Don’t be afraid to shine. Job satisfaction starts even before you land the job.
4. Check your toolbox; find your wrench
Don’t shortchange your abilities or take any of your talents for granted. Take a good look at what you’re working with, then shake that moneymaker to build your own job satisfaction.
Everyone has a unique skillset, so if you think you’re a bland mayo sandwich, your first order of business is to find out where that idea came from and then figure out how to be a Katz’s Deli sandwich gut bomb … in business.
If you lack some training or experience, then make a game plan to tackle those things one-by-one. If you have all the tools in your toolbox, then squash those negative thoughts, recognize your arsenal and appreciate the heat you’re packing.
However, if you aren’t sure what you’ve got in your bag of tricks, then just ask.
Find recruiters and hiring managers in your field and ask them Spice Girls style what they really really want.
You may find a training opportunity to help where you’re lacking, or you may just need to zigazigah.
3. Beyoncé isn’t your mom
If your mom is Beyoncé, then I will assume you are a single lady who runs this motha – and this doesn’t apply to you. But if instead, your parents were more likely to shush you while your older sister belted out her choir solo, we may have found your hangup.
No matter what industry you’re in, the ability to promote yourself is critical.
Many of us were culturally conditioned to think that standing out is a bad thing, but in your career, you have to be able to let people know why they need you.
And there is a healthy way to sing your praises without coming across as a braying donkey.
Everyone has something they’re good at, even if it’s just being unstoppable at Pictionary. Find out what your superpower is and let the people of Gotham know.
If you’re truly passionate about what you do, your public displays of self-affection will come through as excitement instead of bragging.
2. Art History isn’t just for waitresses
My 6-year-old wants to be a dragon veterinarian, and I’m going with it.
There is a nearly zero percent chance she will become a vet for mythical creatures, but if she’s willing to take steps to get there, I’m positive she’ll find her path to success, even if that path most likely leads away from fire-breathing patients.
One of the biggest blocks to success and job satisfaction is believing that following your passion is a mistake.
Since many parents are not blind to the high correlation between art history degrees and waitressing jobs, they guide their children away from following their passion, steering them instead toward their perception of success and a “stable” path.
However well-intended, that type of training yields adults who are indecisive and unsure of themselves without constant guidance.
These adults have trouble identifying their values, skill sets and standards with confidence because they were conditioned to follow perceived security rather than listening to their inner voice.
Go back to your childhood for a little while. Shed the insecurities of adulthood and brainstorm every day for a week about what you would be doing if money, time, support and the ‘likes’ weren’t in the way.
Figure out which passions should stay hobbies (Looking at you, Ren Faire), and which ones could bring value to the world and your career choice.
1. My life, the Mulligan
Just because your path has veered doesn’t mean it’s time to run your car into a tree and hoof it the rest of the way.
You don’t have to leave your entire career in the dust and run into the wild to be happy. Since it is, in fact, probably a combination of things that are leading to a feeling of dissatisfaction, your unhappiness will follow no matter how far you run.
The key is just to note the roadblocks you’ve identified and tweak your focus.
Take a moment to reevaluate your direction, gain clarity and identify three things you could do to shift your priorities and your focus.
Use what you’ve already accomplished in your career as a stepping stone to where you want to be.