I had the chance to talk to WSJ reporter Sue Shellenbarger about ways that people can find meaning at work without leaving their current employer.

Unhappy at Work? Try Hacking Your JobWall St Journal, 8/12/15

Chronic under-fulfillment leads to burnout, stress, health issues, and even overspending on “off” hours to help fill the void.  Plus, you can’t turn the burnout off when you get home; it leaches into personal relationships and sucks up all the extra energy you’d have to live a healthy life.

What to do to get your mojo back?  Here are some ideas I shared with the reporter:

– Get more training.  Is it possible that you’d like your work more if you felt you were advancing your knowledge?

– Travel for work (if you’re not already burnt out by travel).  Are there opportunities to present at conferences, meet colleagues in different locations, or get a change of scenery?  It’s possible that you’d come back recharged, refreshed, and with new ideas, never having left your job.

– Job shadow, take on matrix responsibilities, and/or help out another department.  You need the blessing of your manager for this one, but are there other departments that you’re interested in that need an extra pair of hands, or wouldn’t mind including you in their work, somehow?

– Get involved in charity work at your current employer.  Volunteer for the social committee, or find ways to get involved in your organization’s charitable activities… you’ll meet interesting people, and you may find that you’ll gain more than you give.

– Pitch a job that you think the organization needs.  (Like Leigh Nicholas did in the article.)  Is there a major need that you think you can fill, that would be a breath of fresh air for you, too?

– Go to school.  Does your organization offer tuition reimbursement?  Maybe there’s a training program that you could do while employed, that would set you up for future opportunities.

– Teach.  Are there mentoring programs within your industry, or an opportunity to teach at the college level?  You may be surprised at what’s available to you (hint: you don’t always need an advanced degree to be a professor).

Any other ideas for how to re-engage and find meaning without leaving your current workplace?

Kathy

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