I work with many clients who are incredibly depressed related to not feeling fulfilled or happy at their job. My job as their clinical therapist is to help the client understand possible reasons why they are not feeling fulfilled at their job and then possible coping strategies to find some fulfillment at work. While I hope for people to be genuinely happy, I encourage clients to take a more flexible stance to find fulfillment instead of being happy all of the time. The reason I believe to work toward fulfillment instead of happiness is because it allows for a more realistic expectation in yourself. I don’t know anyone who is happy 100% of the time, but people who are fulfilled are able to find moments of happiness in a day that was also somewhat challenging.
I recently read an article from Fast Company that touched on this very topic, “How to find fulfillment in a job that bores you” by author Tracy Brower.
Below are the 6 easy ways Brower discusses to find fulfillment at your job that is boring.
- What can I learn? Learning something new can be a simple way to start feeling fulfilled at your job. When learning something new, your brain will be much more engaged at work. When learning something new your brain is able to feel challenged and excited all at the same time. Also, who knows if learning something new at your job could surprisingly provide you a new exciting opportunity there!
- What can I do differently? When doing something differently, it will allow your brain to stay engaged, as opposed to doing the same thing the exact same way each time. Maybe this means even discovering a new way to do something that is perhaps even more effective than the way you were originally taught.
- Networking. Humans are creatures that crave connecting with others and it is another way to feel fulfilled. Take a break here and there to get to know your coworkers, whether it is at the break room, water station, or wherever your coworkers mingle with one another. It is also helpful to build those connections especially if you are hoping to possibly find other job opportunities as they may be a great resource to connect you to the right contact.
- Helping others. Similar to how humans are creatures of connection, they also are creatures who thrive off of helping others which also can bring a sense of fulfillment. Maybe a coworker is struggling on a project that you have additional knowledge on, give them a helping hand! From my own personal experiences, I feel more fulfilled in my day knowing when I had a direct impact on others.
- Enhance your skills. Just like it is important to build new skills, it can also be just as important to enhance the skills you already have. If your skills become better, then you can produce better work, which then likely will give you a sense of fulfillment knowing you are improving professionally. Focusing on what you don’t think you’re good at will likely create negative self-talk. Boost yourself up by building the skills you already have.
- Professional identity. Remind yourself that you matter. Whether you are a doctor saving lives to being an administrative assistant, you are still helping others. Your work does matter, which means you certainly matter as well!
If you are currently struggling with finding fulfillment at work, it may be a good idea to connect with one of our skilled counselors at Symmetry Counseling today. You can contact them at 312-578-9990 to set up an appointment.