Finding fulfilment at work

14 Sep 2022

Happiness in the workplace does not just mean better performance. It’s also good for your personal wellbeing. No-one can be truly happy at home if they’re having a miserable time at work. 

As the philosopher Aristotle famously said: “Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.” But what if you don’t feel happy in your job? What if the sound of that early morning alarm fill you with dread? Does your working day drag so much that you keep glancing at the clock, counting the hours until it’s time to go home?

Sadly, a recent study from Indeed, found that only 27 per cent of people in the UK feel fulfilled at work. That means nearly three-quarters of the working population are not getting the job satisfaction they need. Being miserable in your job affects not just the quality of your work; it also has a negative impact on your quality of life. After a hard week’s slog in an unfulfilling job, you’re likely to start your weekend feeling tired and resentful – and this will put a strain on your family life. 

So, how do we go about fixing things? 

Find your Ikigai 

What on earth is Ikigai (ee-key-guy)? Put simply, it’s the Japanese meaning for a person’s reason for being. A Venn diagram showing the four elements of Ikigai can be used as a tool to identify your dream job. The belief is that if you dedicate your life and work to something you’re passionate about, you will find true fulfilment. These four questions can help you find your Ikigai:

Are you a creative, imaginative person, or do you have an analytical, logical mind? Do you enjoy working as part of a team, bouncing ideas off other people, or do you work better alone? 

It’s important to find a role that aligns with your interests and allows you to play to your strengths. Maybe you’ll reach the conclusion that you’re simply in the wrong job. On the other hand, perhaps you are in the right field – but need to make some changes to find fulfilment.

Set goals

If we don’t evolve, we stagnate. If you’ve been in the same job for a while, you might be getting bored. This is the time to think about where you are heading. Set goals and objectives with your manager so you have something to strive towards. Your manager should hold regular appraisals of your work to discuss your progress. Be prepared to throw your hat in the ring if your employer needs help with a major new project. If there’s a chance of promotion, go for it – don’t let it pass you by!

Learn new skills

When we break out of our comfort zone and learn something new, it can be immensely satisfying. Your employer should offer you the chance to grow and develop new skills. Find out if there are any training courses available in your workplace to help you step up. 

Foster a sense of self-belief 

When a new challenge beckons, it’s all-too easy to fall prey to the dreaded imposter syndrome. You might think you’re not up to the job but you must silence that inner critic! Your manager or client is trusting you for a reason. Think back over your previous achievements and allow yourself to feel proud – it will give you the confidence to succeed. A can-do attitude goes a very long way.

Be methodical

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work you have, take a breath. Make a list of the tasks in order of importance and check each one off as you complete it. This will give you a sense of satisfaction that you’re making progress. And if there really is too much on your plate get some help; speak up and let your manager know.

Declutter your desk

If your desk is a chaotic pile of papers and Post-It notes, you’re going to feel just as disorganised. Take time to declutter – this will help you feel much more focused on your tasks and you’ll complete them much more efficiently.

Take regular breaks

Don’t sit staring at the screen all day, it will drain your energy and make you less productive. Give your eyes a rest and take the breaks you’re entitled to. The day will go faster and you’ll get more done – leading to more job satisfaction.

Maintain a work-life balance

Work to live, not the other way round! Your work doesn’t have to define you as a person. Don’t get into a habit of working overtime and neglecting your home life. Make sure you use your spare time to do things you enjoy. Watch out for signs of burnout at work and learn to switch off after-hours. if your job is making you truly unhappy and you see no way of fixing it, then maybe it’s time to look for something new. 

At Ingeus, we share a passion for making a real difference and we have a culture that is committed to diversity and inclusion. Visit our careers page to find out more about our culture, view our latest roles and apply today.

Nurture positive relationships with colleagues 

Take the time to be friendly and helpful towards your colleagues. Chat to them, get to know them, and if they ever need help, be ready to lend a hand. Helping others and developing connections is a great way to feel fulfilled and needed.

A sense of camaraderie and collaboration with your colleagues can be a huge boost to morale. In fact, according to a survey by Officevibe, 70% of people claim that friendships at work are the most crucial element to a happy working life. Take a look at our blog on how to navigate friendships at work.

Look after your health

If your physical or mental wellbeing are below par, your work is likely to suffer. Make sure you eat well and get plenty of exercise to help you de-stress and burn calories. Get those feel-good endorphins going and you’ll feel like you can achieve anything! If you feel your mental health is struggling, services like Able Futures can help.

Don’t compare yourself to others

A workforce is made up of many different personalities with a variety of skill sets, but they all have one thing in common: Everyone has a positive contribution to make. The skills you bring to the table are uniquely yours, so learn to value your contributions. 

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