6 ways to thrive at work

Busy working day. Top view of beautiful young woman in smart casual wear holding a cup of coffee and using laptop while sitting in modern office

Make your career shine with Karen Gately, founder of Corporate Dojo and author of The People Manager’s Toolkit

So, you’re having a tough year at work! Are there times when you wish you were anywhere other than at work? Do you fear losing your sanity if you have to work another day with some of the people that you do? Or maybe you’re just bored and find even the thought of turning up to do your job utterly tedious.

Regardless of why you are finding life at work hard, take comfort in the fact your future is ultimately in your own hands. While you may not be able to control other people or many circumstances, there are six ways you can ensure you have a great year as far as work goes:


1. COMMIT. Choose to make this your best career year yet. The simple reality is if you want to thrive at work you need to do more than just talk about it. Wishing, wanting, hoping and praying rarely leads to the outcomes we want. It’s up to us to make change happen.

Decide whether you will stay with your organisation or move on to new opportunities. Once you’ve made your decision, choose to commit fully. A word of caution however; staying in an unhealthy environment is not a wise choice to make. If you’re experiencing bullying or other types of disrespectful behaviour that undermine your wellbeing, it’s definitely time to speak up or move on.


2. BE COURAGEOUS. While it may seem that you have little choice but to stay and tolerate your circumstances, have the courage to at least challenge that thinking. Be careful not to allow limiting beliefs or unfounded assumptions to stop you from exploring new and better work options.

Having that difficult conversation with your manager or colleague for example, just might make enough of a difference to improve how you feel about your job. Choosing to believe you can learn the skills needed to do your dream job, might be all it takes to find the courage to step forward and give it a go.


3. FACE REALITY. The sooner you face the truth of your circumstances the sooner you will be in a position to make the decisions and take the actions you need to. Being in denial only delays the inevitable.

While it may for example feel easier to tolerate your bosses bullying behaviour than to find a new job, the reality is you will never thrive at work if you feel mistreated, disrespected or undervalued.


4. ASK FOR HELP IF YOU NEED IT. Struggling through on your own can make the job of deciding what to do especially difficult. Seek the wise council of people you trust and respect. Leverage your networks to tap into the information or guidance you need to achieve the changes you want to.

If you’re unsure who to call on, just start somewhere.

Talk to friends about who they may know that can help you. For example, if you’ve always dreamed of doing a particular job but have no idea where to start to make that happen, look for people working in that industry. LinkedIn and other social media platforms are another great way to find people you can reach out to for advice.


5. HAVE GOALS. Feeling as though we are moving toward meaningful outcomes is important to most people’s ability to maintain resilience and focus when working through change.

Break long term goals down into smaller steps that you can check off the list as you achieve them. For example, if your goal is to find a new job but you lack confidence, set yourself the smaller goals of updating your resume, reaching out to recruitment consultants, attending a seminar that will give you useful information or insight and finding someone to help you write great job applications and prepare well for the interviews.


6. CHOOSE YOUR ATTITUDE AND ACTIONS. While you may feel hard done by or mistreated, being grumpy in ‘retaliation’ is unlikely to benefit you in anyway. Avoid the all too common mistake of hoping a bit of ‘poor me’ drama will do anything to change your circumstances. Going down that path can in fact work against you as people inevitably begin to see you as a part of the problem.

While you may not have all of the answers to your problems right now, choose to believe that you are capable of finding them. Most importantly choose to have self-respect and want a better reality for you. Then be willing to take the sometimes-courageous steps needed to bring about change.


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