Quick Assessment of Why You Hate (or Love) Your Job

I have a lot of conversations with people who feel very frustrated and unhappy in their jobs, only they don’t know why. I felt this way in the past about my job, but I didn’t have someone to talk to who could help me figure out what to do. So I am glad to have these conversations.

What about you? Have you ever felt this way? Do you feel this way now?

I have a quick and easy assessment you can use to help you identify some changes you can make to feel more satisfied, even happy, in your job.

1.  Make a list of the tasks and activities you perform in a typical work week. What is it that you spend your time on, day in and day out?

2.  Now take a look at your list and, very quickly, mark the items you enjoy doing with ‘+’.

3.  Next, quickly mark the items you hate doing with a ‘-’. (We all have tasks we can’t stand. That’s normal.)

4.  Finally, mark the items you feel neutral or ambivalent toward with a ‘0’.

5.  Excellent! Now tally up your scores. Count the ‘+’, ‘-’, and ‘0’.

Great work. You’ve just completed the quick assessment. If you want to love your job, your goal is to maximize the ‘+’s and minimize the ‘-’s. Take a look at the details of your typical workweek, and look for opportunities to do just that.

Here are two examples of how this might work.

Tracy discovered that she only had one or two activities that she truly enjoyed doing. But she didn’t have any items she hated. Instead, her average work week was filled with tasks that scored a ‘0’. She felt nothing toward them. As she began to consider past jobs, she realized that she used to love these tasks and activities, but now they bored her. She just found them uninteresting. What Tracy wanted, and needed, in order to love her job again was to seek new challenges.

Michelle on the other hand scored most of her items with a ‘-’. She just hated all the tasks. Her company had gone through a lot of changes in the past year, so she repeated the test using activities from an average work week from a year ago. Michelle discovered that she loved her job then, and scored many more ‘+’s last year. As she compared the lists of tasks, she realized that she had moved from being a project and team lead into a role of expert resource. She felt like she had been moved to the sidelines. Michelle now knew that she needed a job where she could be a team leader or project manager.

What about you? How does your job score? What changes do you need to make to be happier at work?

I invite you to share your thoughts and questions below.

 

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Client Stories

I hired Lori because I was feeling stuck in my job and needed to find a career that was more rewarding, more challenging, and more suited to me.  In the arts, it's difficult to find a job you enjoy that also pays enough to live on, but Lori helped me do just that! 

As we worked together, Lori always helped give me that extra nudge when I was having trouble taking the next step toward success and acknowledged and applauded me when I accomplished something that I'd been struggling with. 

Thanks to Lori, I got out of my 8-year rut at the same job and discovered a new career I love that brings me all of the things I want in a job--creativity, variety, challenge, learning, flexibility, teamwork, and cake.  With no professional experience but a desire to learn, Lori helped me find ways to become a cake decorator--first on my own and then, eventually, at a reputable cake shop.  Now, something I used to do just for fun has become something I make my living doing, and each workday flies by!

Emily Sweeney, Chicago, IL