“Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress. Working hard for something we love is called passion.” – Simon Sinek
You’re unmotivated in your job? You are unhappy and maybe even bored? You feel you’re being overlooked and taken for granted? Living on Mallorca is no guarantee the blues won't hit. So, maybe you consider looking for other jobs but aren’t sure where to start; or you think maybe this line of work isn’t for you, and you’d like a total overhaul of your work life? Then read on. This article is for you.
The good news first: You're not alone. Studies have shown that only 13% of the workforce is actively engrossed in their jobs. That’s only one-in-eight people who are fulfilled at work. This doesn't necessarily mean the other seven outright hate their jobs; many simply feel caught out in a workplace environment offering lots of stress (or tedium) and little pay and purpose in return.
What most people lack is motivation – and what an elusive creature that is. It ebbs and flows depending on a variety pack of factors that no one can really fully explain, but the one thing we all know is that when it’s gone it’s hard to get back. Once the blues sets in, it can be amplified by the dissatisfaction of others around you, or by seeing friends and family who adore what they are doing making you feel like odd man out, adding to your negative spiral.
Believe It or Not: Your Boss is On Your Side #
Employee morale is hugely important to overall productivity, so employers are definitely on your side. They want to see you content and excited for work, and when you’re not, it quickly turns into a slippery slope that quite often drags others down with you. Discontent is easily bred in the ranks, and your boss wants to avoid that (although sometimes, quite frankly, he or she might lack the managerial skills to stop it which might, in the worst case, create a workplace environment even Oliver Twist would find unbearable).
5 Ways to Shift from Sad to Glad #
While it may seem easiest to just quit, perhaps all you really need is a makeover rather than full-on facelift. A few minor adjustments to the way you view your job and life can make a huge difference to your everyday outlook and can help you turn that frown upside-down!
1 - Eliminate Things that Don’t Matter
Yes, there are things on your to-do list that have been there since 2014. They will still be there in 2024. Why? Because either they are unnecessary, dispiriting or both. Pare down your list and get rid of these duds and you’ll feel lighter in seconds.
2 - Look at Work Like it’s Fun
You took the job because you thought you’d like it in the first place. Recapture this feeling by making a subtle shift in the way you look at what you're doing. Approach colleagues you normally don’t talk to and ask them what they are up to. They may be stuck on a project that is just right for you, or have a new project coming up that is your dream and they need help. No one is asking you to be a Pollyanna, but instead of approaching the day with dread, try looking at it like a chance to get out of your rut and into something more enjoyable. Your boss will notice, your co-workers will notice, and before you know it, you’ll be getting attention for your efforts. Suddenly, that gloomy place you called work might suddenly be a pretty fab place to be.
3 - Get Involved
Chances are your company has events periodically that try to get everyone together outside office hours. You’ve avoided them like the plague. Don’t! The next time you see a poster for a beach clean-up day in Palma, sign up. Or better yet, take the bull by the horns and create an outside-of-work event doing what you love. If you’re the outdoorsy type, ask your boss if the office can take half a Wednesday off and go for a group hike in the Tramuntana for some bond-building. Or why not suggest getting together for Palma’s famous Tapas Tuesday where everyone knocks off work on time and grabs a drink and a snack together. Friendships can be forged in these moments and unhappiness curbed when you get to know people as people rather than just another office drone.
4 - Take Breaks
No one gets a prize for working themselves into the ground. Not only does it burn you out, but it makes you rather hard to get to know. It has been proven that taking short breaks during the day to socialise makes for a more pleasant work environment, so take them. Don’t spend them texting, use them to have a chat with the accountant, or that guy from the workshop you’ve always thought looked cool.
In the same vein, go out for your lunch break. Don’t eat at your desk and mope about your sad-sack life. Grab an office friend and hit the town for a bite to eat. The island has no shortage of amazing restaurants, so give them a try! Even if your budget doesn’t allow for splurges, take advantage of those few hours you get every day. Perhaps you bring a sandwich to eat on a bench in a local park or at the beachfront (which might not be all that far away on the island of Mallorca). And maybe you share it with a friend and then go for your daily walks together.
Exercise will perk you both up and make you feel energised for the second part of the day. The walks needn’t be random, they could be used as an opportunity to explore. Check out the Palma Cathedral (and bring your bag lunch to eat on the rooftop terrace as a special treat!), the local farmer’s market, a nearby park, the Mercat de l’Olivar or the like, a vintage clothes shop in Santa Catalina you’ve been dying to visit, or a stroll along the harbour to check out the superyachts.
Even if you’re not in Palma, an excursion around the town you work in could lead you to the best bread you’ve ever had, or a super chic shoe shop, or a place that has tools you never even knew existed.
5 - Ask for Advice and Pointers
People want to feel needed, even your employer and remember that it can be lonely at the top. So, take a meeting with her and ask what she thinks about your performance, what you could do to improve, and where she sees you fitting in to the master plan. Use the time to address your concerns and things you aren’t happy with as well as telling her where you’d like to fit into the company in the future. If you’ve got your eye on a project, tell her and tell her why you’d be a great fit. Remind her why you’re important and invaluable. The communication will benefit you both, and she will almost certainly take your complaints to heart and try to improve as well, especially as you’ve taken the time to express them. You’ll feel better for having gotten things off your chest, and she will be happy to hear what is working for you on the job and what isn’t.
In the End… #
All of these tips are ways to help get your life back on track at work, but in the end, it’s down to you to just do it. Don’t waste another day! Choose happiness and the motivation, confidence and perhaps even promotions will follow!
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By Stephanie Horsman
22 November, 2020