I pondered on whether the same approach could be, or should be taken when looking at your job, as many people are spending a lot of their precious time in roles, offices, or around colleagues that do not “Spark Joy” in their lives.
So this weekend I jumped on the Kondo bandwagon and blitzed my wardrobe, ridding myself of anything that didn’t “spark joy”. Between thanking my super amazing diesel jeans that I have not been able to get into since the turn of the century, I pondered on whether the same approach could be, or should be taken when looking at your job. Given most people spend more time out of their newly decluttered abodes than in, many people are spending a lot of their precious time in roles, offices, or around colleagues that do not “Spark Joy” in their lives.
Now, I am not suggesting that we all need to take our bosses to the nearest charity shop but what I am recommending is we should at least spend a bit of time reflecting on whether our work life and work environment is truly making us happy....(or could it be better?).
Do you get enough time for your family or for the things that bring you joy?
If not...maybe you can think about the following.
Do the flex thang. Many candidates I speak to are quite surprised that, as part of my interview with them, I ask if they want to work full time…or require any flexible work arrangements. Many big firms are very accommodating these days and are encouraging flexible working hours. Hiring managers are able to demonstrate they are embracing the company values.
Do you really need to be put through commuting hell five days a week? Could you work from home one day a week or even two? Many don’t know what they are missing until they start with a new company that are advocates of this way of working. These companies have benefited from increased productivity by adopting a flexible work environment. Arm yourself with some of the best pieces of information on this stuff and schedule a meeting with your boss. If all else fails, believe me when I say, it doesn’t hurt to understand what the other firms are offering in this respect.
What are you good at? Do more of that!
Work out which parts of your job you excel at as it is more likely you are passionate about this part of your working day. If you are unsure of what your strengths are, think about the tasks you are enthusiastic about doing and the parts of your day when you feel energised. Forbes Coaches Council has many other suggestions to help you work out your strengths if you are unsure.
Why would a natural flanker work tirelessly to develop skills as a hooker?
Now think about the stuff you loath doing. For every yin there is a yang! Is there a way of trading parts of your role that you despise or that are not your forte, to someone who loves that particular task and who would be able to do it in half the time. Again, sometimes it just needs some innovative thinking to make yours, and your colleagues' work days easier.
I have a girlfriend who has a strategic role, but part of this role is admin heavy. This admin is not difficult to execute and is a waste of her brain. She has recently hired her own EA from offshore, paying her $5 an hour and has reclaimed 2 full days in which she is able to get to the gym more, and work on her personal passion project! She is less stressed and the strategic parts of her role get all her attention.
Do the people around you inspire you, do they spark joy?
Let’s face it, if your favourite co-worker is the coffee machine, the office manager is a hot mess, and your boss is the kind to stab you in the back and then ask why you’re bleeding… you need to ask yourself if there is a better working environment for you. One of the key reasons people take the jobs I present to them is who they are working for and with. And my clients tend to hire people they like. One consulting client cited he would always think ‘would I be happy to spend a long haul flight sat next to this person?’.
A recent study from Gallup shows that one in two employees have left a job to get away from a bad boss. If your boss is making your life seriously miserable, there are some tips you can try to improve the situation. Alternatively, you could be happier thanking your current leader for everything they have given you and taking yourself off to a more joyous place.
Often candidates will choose the boss over the job. When interviewing with a potential future boss don’t be afraid to ask them some questions about their career to date. What makes them someone you should work for? The interview is a two-way street. Do your due diligence, meet the team before accepting the role and speak to others that may have worked for your future boss. Your day to day happiness is at stake so do that extra bit of digging.
How much money is enough?
Now many think, yes I could be happier if I dropped a day a week or took a less demanding role, outsourced all the stuff I hate doing or followed my passion however many are scared that any drop in salary would result in more stress and less happiness. However, a recent study proves that there is a level of satiation and any money earned above this point does not increase happiness. The level in Australia a few years ago was $125k which was the highest amount out of any county recorded. So there you have it….
If you have considered all these factors and feel that a lot more said “joy” could be sparked in your working life, you may want to think about how you want for your future work life to look. Times, they are a changing and many companies are going above and beyond to adopt new ways of working to facilitate that “spark” people want to feel in their working life.