I’ve always found it strange when the topic of work-life balance comes up. It suggests you can’t have the best of both worlds. There always has to be a compromise.
Work is always pitted up against life as if, most commonly, work is the dark side and life is the light.
The average person spends around 100,000 hours at work in their lifetime. Are you going to tell me you’re happy spending that amount of time on something that is taking away from the enjoyment of your life?
Why don’t we see work as a part of our life?
A good part.
A part that actually contributes to making life better, other than the income it provides.
Why Did You Choose This Career?
If you’re wondering how on earth I can make your accountancy job seem like a joyous experience every Monday morning, then you might not be thinking big enough.
By the way, I have nothing against accountancy as a profession, it was the first job that came to mind.
Let’s do a little exercise.
Look back at how you got into your job. I’m not talking about when you landed your first job, nor even when you chose your degree or school subjects. What were all the influences in your life that led to you finding yourself in your current job?
We like to get clients to write an autobiography of themselves. Just a short story of the big events in life that led them to where they are. It’s a powerful exercise that highlights events you might not immediately consider without the process of thinking through your life from start to finish.
If you look back at the path that led you to your current job, are you happy with the decisions you made? What were the criteria you used to make the decisions?
It’s hard to think of work in terms of how it fits into your life when you’re only just out of school, so there is no shame in choosing the wrong career. It’s even normal, almost part of the learning process.
What turns these decisions into something detrimental is when you don’t recognise that you’ve made a wrong choice and fail to do something about it.
But what if you are happy with the choices you’ve made and still find that you see work in a negative light?
We want to address all scenarios by rethinking work.
Changing The Way You Think About Work
Don’t worry, this isn’t a ‘Find Your Purpose’ article.
It’s more of a ‘Let’s Rethink Work’ article.
Let’s be honest, when you think of the purpose of your work it’s probably to earn money to pay for the rest of your life. That’s never going to put work in a good light. You’re telling yourself that it’s a necessary evil.
Wouldn’t it be much better if your work added something positive to your life, if it seemed like you were no less happy when you worked than when you were doing other things in life?
I’ll let you in on a secret. This doesn’t have to mean changing the work you do.
It means changing the way you think about work.
Watch this hilarious TED talk from Shawn Achor.
That’s how you do a TED talk!
What is great about this TED talk is Shawn’s description of the concept that you can change the way you think about work through simple practices. Things like exercise, meditation, gratitude and acts of kindness.
At Better Work Heroes, our successful career transformations happen largely because we help change the way clients think in this way.
Our ‘Supercharging’ element of career transformation is all about raising energy, thinking more positively and feeling more in control. At this point, it is far easier to make good decisions and have good ideas.
That is a great starting place when thinking about your career.
How Do You Turn Things Around?
Great, you have an idea of how you arrived at your current job and you can see that it’s possible to view work in a positive light.
How does this all come together?
There are two possible outcomes:
- You make the most of your current work and find that you actually enjoy it when you rethink how you view it.
- You make the most of your current work and decide you need to make a change in order to find work that you can enjoy.
Both involve giving your current work the best chance to prove itself worthy of the rest of those 100,000 hours. There is no sense in throwing it away and diving into something else without giving it that chance.
We have some favourite practices that we encourage clients to use in order to bring more positivity into work and life, so we’d recommend trying them out and seeing what difference they make to how you view work.
But as Shawn Achor says, there are many ways you can introduce positivity habits. Acts of kindness is a really low hanging fruit that you can start doing today. Try this at work, see how people react, see how it makes you feel about work and how you feel at the end of the day.
Career transformation doesn’t have to be a complex, in-depth course of action. Sometimes it is about understanding your past a little better, trying things out and giving yourself permission to make a change.
Of course, we’re here to take things to another level if you feel like doing this properly.
Do you feel like there is a constant battle between work and life?
Do you feel like you lose either way?
It doesn’t need to be like that.
If you want to arrange a free conversation about improving or changing your career with a coach, send us an email to [email protected]
We want to see you fulfil your potential!