x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Workplace doctor: I’m miserable in my job, how can I reinvigorate myself?

An unhappy employee is advised on how to have a happier 2014 in their job.

I’ve been in my role as a project manager in the aviation industry for five years and I’m utterly miserable. In fact I’m so miserable that I find myself moaning about everything and resist taking on any new assignments. I realise this is damaging any prospects of promotion in my current job but I also have no desire to relocate elsewhere. So, how can I adopt a fresh and energised approach for 2014? CF, Dubai

Dear CF,

In the hope of a better 2014 for you, I need to be frank. That won’t be possible until you take a long, hard look at something you don’t seem to be seeing – yourself. Why are you speaking about promotions, relocations and probably a million other topics when all these are simply doing is distracting you from the real issue, which is a lack of alignment between who you are and what you do.

Even if I was to come along as a magic fairy and sprinkle promotion all over you, you would still be miserable, and at this rate you may even be sabotaging the likelihood of continuing success with your current job.

With all this doom and gloom around you, here’s a thought. If, on your fridge door, there was a list of a finite number of days left in your life, and each evening you were to cross another day off, would you be living the way you are? Is the life you are living what you want?

And if not, then I say that you are the only person who can create a different outcome?

Hopefully this has given you a shot of courage to make a change. If I were you, I would ponder the following:

• Remove yourself from the current environment for some untainted reflection.

Take extended leave or free up time to entrench yourself into another environment, one that has no similarity whatsoever to the current one. It may be a different country, city or just venue, but ensure it provides a differing experience. The purpose of this action is to get out of a rut and let new perspective in. Significant reflection is likely to occur.

• Explore what it is that makes you feel great

Once you are breathing in new perspective and seeing the world through a new lens, try to understand what it is that makes you feel great in life, and what it is that makes you feel otherwise. From there the choice is easy – do more of what makes you feel good and less of the other.

• Formulate some goals based on that list

With goals being something to aim for, and a clear list about what makes you happy, wouldn’t it be smart to work out what situations could contain opportunity for you to feel that way? You may be astounded just how much choice is out there when you start this process, and who knows? You may just find some hidden work scenarios emerging through this.

• Requirements for those goals

Now’s the time to ask yourself: “What can I do to help some of these goals enter my life and guide me every day?” My past experience shows that when I’m clear on what I want and am happy to proactively do things to help it along, a lot will fall into place.

• Face your fear and commit to moving forward

With all that hard work done, would you really run back to your comfort zone?

My new year’s gift to you is a burning platform, one for you to stand on right now. All the above is simply a process of personal change and you’ll only change when the pain of staying where you are is greater than the pain of making a move. Just how much longer will you put up with the current heat, C F?

Doctor’s prescription

Jump before medical help is required, and reap your well-earned rewards.

Debbie Nicol, the managing director of Dubai-based business en motion, is a consultant on leadership and organisational development, strategic change and corporate culture. Email her at debbie.nicol@businessenmotion.com for the Workplace Doctor’s advice on your challenges, whether as an employee, a manager or a colleague