A manager in a training programme this week, wrote me a note with a question: “How do I drive purpose and change of mindset when I myself, at this point, have literally been driven into the ground, and have no energy to keep fighting on?”
This is a real question and many people reading this column may be facing this, right now.
Begin by attempting to measure your happiness. As you do this, consider truly if you are being mistreated, or if you are possible just jaded or bored with what you do right now.
If you answer yes to one of these questions, then you might be prompted to look for another job.
But be really clear before making any decision. Examine your mindset.
Because in today’s day and age, no matter what job you do, it’s imperative that you take an entrepreneurial approach to your career. Being nimble, flexible, brave, resourceful, creative and innovative are the only things that set you apart from everyone else.
Your qualifications and experience do not amount to much if you don’t have these tactical skills.
First, ask yourself if you actually cleared your own “head-space” and try to be as strategic and entrepreneurial as you can be, in your current job.
If you have done this honestly, and still feel that you must move on, then ask yourself these two very crucial questions.
Are you unhappy for the most part each day, as you do this job?
If you feel that you know the “real you” but this version of yourself just never gets out in this job. Or if the way you prefer to work is just not accepted in this company, then you will possibly be unhappy nearly all the time.
If you find that you are often day-dreaming about doing something very different or being in another organisation, then do not be in denial of your feelings.
These are signals that show you that something is definitely wrong in your current work-life.
The next question to ask yourself is if your work environment is tainted with too much toxicity for you?
Remember that your job isn’t only about the tasks you perform each day. It is fashioned by numerous other influences that provide a holistic experience.
These factors give you the requisite buoyancy to get up, and come to work each day.
If your line leader or boss is a narcissist who thinks that the world only revolves around them, or if they have scant regard for your goals, needs, challenges and concerns, then you need to think about your next move.
When there is a lack of collaboration and positive growth-inducing actions in your company, or if your organisation treats its human resources like a commodity that can be bought and sold, then you need to consider leaving.
So, when you know that you have acted with an entrepreneurial mindset, yet you feel unhappy for the most part, and are surrounded by toxic people, you should resign.
But remember that before you resign, you must first drop your own self-deception.
On the flip side, some people may decide that they are demoralized in the job that they do, yet they fear that the market-place is “soft”, and that obtaining an equivalent paying job might be near on impossible.
What do you do now?
You want to leave but you either can’t or don’t have the financial resources to take a pay-cut. This is a real quandary that many people find themselves in.
All too often, this leads to you behaving badly at the workplace; acting up, being uncooperative and lackadaisical, or not being motivated enough to even function at a rudimentary level.
You really must stop this.
Ultimately, regardless of how badly you feel you have been treated in your company, this sort of behaviour simply serves to de-value you in the long run.
Remedial action must be taken, if you reach this stage at work.
In order to plough through, you need to find motivation elsewhere that helps you through your work day.
I have been in situations like this and I have gotten over it by finding motivation outside of my work, and by shaking up my routine. I began by doing various projects, both for my organisation, and externally that re-aligned my routine
For example, at the lowest point of motivation in a previous job where I felt misunderstood, I took a short-term project for the company I worked for. The project wasn’t difficult, and I got a breather from all the irritating things in my normal job.
In those three months, I got enough space to examine my real intrinsic motivation to be at my job. I was able to look at what sort of work I truly wanted to do, and if the job I actually did offered me this.
I resigned after that three months, threw caution to the wind, and took a huge pay cut. That was 18 years ago, and that’s when I started EQTD Consulting and embarked on this empowering career I have now.
Shankar R. Santhiram is managing consultant and executive leadership coach at EQTD Consulting. He is also the author of the national bestseller “So, You Want To Get Promoted?”
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the New Straits Times