The default reaction to being unhappy at work, especially in recent years is to look for a new role. Knowing that there’s a skills shortage in the UK infrastructure and construction sectors gives many professionals the confidence that they’ll easily find something better.
Often this is true, but for some people change isn’t easy. The idea of having to draft a CV, go for interviews, resign and start somewhere new and unknown can be overwhelming. For others there may be more pressing reasons to stay – such as supporting a loved one who is undergoing medical treatment and knowing you can’t change health plans. Or going through a major life change like dealing with a death or divorce and not being able to disrupt family life more than it already is.
Sometimes it’s necessary to stick it out in your current role, at least for a while. Consider these three tips for feeling happier about your decision to stay, rather than moving on.
Focus on outcomes:
Have clear targets in mind that align with project and team goals, then focus your time and energy on achieving those targets. The need to focus will help reduce getting distracted by everything else that is going on. Achieving these targets is also empowering and can help you feel more motivated about your job.
Whether it’s family, work colleagues or even your manager, have people around you that know what’s going on and who can support you on days where you’re not feeling focussed or motivated. Knowing you’re not alone, having to put on a brave face and pretend everything is ok, can make a world of difference in enabling you to keep going.
Stay connected and read
Reading industry articles and staying connected with your industry network has two benefits. Firstly, knowing what’s happening in the broader industry can help build your professional knowledge and open windows of opportunity if you discover a particular area of interest. Secondly, staying connected gives you an outlet to share your knowledge, and might generate future work opportunities when you’re ready to move on.
On the days where it’s a little harder to stay motivated, remember that your current situation isn’t forever. At some point things will change and you will be able to make a move when the time and opportunity is right for you. In the meantime, focus on what you do well and apply yourself to the job at hand.