Unless your job is sipping cocktails on an island, there are probably things you wish you could change about your role at work. Even if you generally like your job, or the current stresses aren’t enough for you to jump ship, they can make Mondays (and the week!) drag. But, you can still shake things up, without handing in your letter of resignation.
Here are our five quick fixes for getting out of your job rut:
1. Constructive conflict
Been putting off that tough talk with your boss? Life coach Marj Murray says your approach makes all the difference. ‘Know what you want and why you are having the conversation in the first place. Give your point of view, listen to what your manager is saying, and respond in a way that is both honest and constructive.’ It doesn’t have to end in tears or yelling.
2. Take charge in 1-2-3
Feeling overlooked for opportunities to progress? Make some for yourself! If you see a need in the workplace or a quick win, jump at the chance to fix it. The key is a three-step method of making sure this contribution doesn’t go underappreciated:
- First, highlight the gap that you have spotted to your team and your superiors. Make sure you already have an idea in mind for how to address it.
- Then, implement your big idea.
- Third – and this is critical – report back in a way that highlights your personal agency and results. Try this format: ‘Last quarter, I noticed we were losing out on ABC, so I implemented DEF, and now we’ve seen XYZ in saved costs/time, etc.’
3. Ask for what you want
According to several studies, women don’t ask for raises or promotions as often as their male counterparts do. And, we are less likely to ask for a higher starting salary than the one offered. This means we don’t start on equal footing, and the wage gap widens as we progress.
It can be daunting to ask for more money, but experts agree that if you focus on what you can offer to the business – your experience and insight, your skills and recent successes – rather than the reasons why you want a raise, you’re more likely to succeed. Remember, you’re not appealing to your employer’s charity, but you’re participating in a two-way negotiation in a business environment.
Read more: 8 ways to get promoted at work
4. Work/life balance: find your best blend
It can be hard to enjoy your job if you’re burnt out or too stressed to function. Downtime isn’t just good for your family and health, but it’s better for work too: well-rested staff are more motivated, focused and productive. But that elusive work/life balance is hard to achieve.
Life coaches and authors of Chaos to Calm, Shannah Kennedy and Lyndall Mitchell, recommend ‘blending’ over balance. Balance suggests an equal split, which may not be achievable, but blending means making time for both as required. Add a lunch workout to your work to-do list; drop off a client file on the school run.
Manage expectations with your boss, so you get credit for the work you fit in after hours, and can push for the downtime you might need during the work day.
5.Cutting your losses
Learn the difference between tough and toxic, says Marj. ‘Staying in a job that makes you unhappy is not ideal. Sometimes it’s scary to walk away, but often it can be the catalyst for moving ourselves forward.’