Life isn’t always cherries, stuff happens that isn’t nice.
You apply for a new position at work and don’t get it. Your boss grabs the glory, and you feel invisible. You notice other people getting choice projects, better briefs or more responsibility. You hear the voice in your head turn into your five year old self, and say “It’s not fair.”
Well it’s not. Life isn’t fair and companies aren’t fair.
One of the most frustrating things about this, is the misconception that we just need to do a good job and people will recognize it.
We believe there is a master plan for our career, somewhere in the company, and if we work hard enough we get to move forward on the game board called work.
I don’t want this
In the meantime we start identifying all the things we don’t like. “I don’t want to still be doing this in 2 years,” “I don’t understand why my boss never shares information,” “I don’t like working like a maniac because you can’t plan ahead.”
As you define more and more things you don’t like about your job, a real sense of discontent sets in. You feel frustrated, get annoyed, and become impatient.
You aren’t doing your best work and you know it, but you feel generally aggrieved and you’re hoping someone will put it right.
Discontent seems to be synonymous with identifying what you don’t want.
You may even recognize that you are sick of feeling discontented – the first step in moving forward.
So, what do you want?
To break the cycle, it requires you take time out to evaluate, rather than live in response mode.
Set aside some time to think, reflect and assess – then figure out what you DO want.
When you know what you do want (rather than what you don’t) you can go get it. It is that simple.
If you want better projects, find out who has them. Ask what you’d need to do to get a shot. Listen to their requirements and fill them. Then go back with your checklist to review what you’ve done and show you are ready to take on the good stuff.
If you want more acknowledgement and recognition for your work, figure out who you want that from. Identify the people you want to know about your achievements, and find ways to tell them the story of what you’ve accomplished.
Accept that we can’t change the people around us, and that we can’t change what has already happened.
Acceptance stops the endless loop of discontent in your head. Challenge yourself to accept that this is where things are at the moment, but that you can change that in the future.
If you want to move forward on the game board, figure out which square you want to get to and what needs to happen to move you along.
The sheer act of identifying and aiming for what you do want gives you energy, focus and purpose. It’s hard for discontent to live in that space.