Are you happy in your job?
Do you feel undervalued, unappreciated, underrated and get Sunday night blues or, even worse, dread going to work every single day?
I hear these stories every week when I talk with applicants. They don’t get enough recognition at their job, or they don’t see where their career is going. Or, they feel intimidated by their workload – basically, they aren’t happy!
As one Senior Product Management applicant told me this week:
“Going into work wondering who I’ll have to ‘do battle’ with every day is exhausting. Am I really expecting too much by hoping to just enjoy work…?”
No way - we spend so much time at work that we might as well love it!
So, where are we going wrong? Why are so many people unhappy?
Now, I reckon you’ll be thinking: “Who is this chick? She’s 24 years old and only in her second job out of Uni – what does she know?!”. Like many others my age, I left Uni with no blooming idea what I wanted to do with my life. What I did know was that communication was my thing and that I needed to get a job pretty-damn-quick to pay for this expensive thing called life. So, I popped onto Google and discovered recruitment.
Within about 2 weeks of starting my job search, I’d found my first job at a huge corporate recruitment agency. I was so excited to get my career started and become part of a well-known and successful company. Pretty soon after I started, though, I realised the “dog-eat-dog”, KPI-driven, high-pressure environment (with little-to-no management) just wasn't for me. The only thing that got me through was the handful of incredible people I met who supported me every step of the way. Shout-out to you guys – you know who you are!
It got to the point where I was mentally and physically so unhappy that I went to bed at night dreading the next day at work and hating every minute of every day. It massively affected my attitude, my productivity and my success, so I had to get out. Does this sound scarily familiar to you? Are you feeling like this right now?
Although you may think I'm inexperienced, both in jobs and life, I’ve had a pretty good insight into just how bad it can be and hear similar stories from experienced Tech applicants on a daily basis.
Luckily, I took the risk, got out and joined the best hiring communications company ever: I found Talent Point! Here, I’m valued, appreciated and rated – the entire focus is on my communication skills, not my ability to hit KPIs.
It doesn't matter whether you’re 19 or 59, working as an Engineer or a Product Manager or a QA - work happiness is achievable! If you’re bashing your head against a brick wall then it’s time to get out and rediscover the happy you.
Here are my top five tips to keep in mind when searching for your new, happy job:
You deserve to find yourself a role where your hard work is appreciated and acknowledged as important to both you and the company. You need to work in a place where you’re not bullied or undervalued, but where you receive respect for your work. It’s your right to work in an environment where your voice and opinions count just as much as everyone else.
Top Tip: Why not ask a couple of questions at the interview like: “If one of the team was to suggest a change to the delivery process, how would this be acknowledged?”.
Surround yourself with great, positive people who will become lifelong friends and will support you daily. Being surrounded by negativity rubs off on you and affects you more than you realise. Everyone has their negative moments, but internalising them can be dangerous. Having a positive outlook and supportive environment is vital to keeping you happy.
Top Tip: The best way to investigate a company’s vibe at interview stage is by meeting as many people as possible and touring the workplace to see how you feel in the environment. This will usually be down to your “gut feeling”, which you should trust. If it feels wrong or uncomfortable then just move on and don’t look back.
We all need people to lean on and we all need to get our emotions out when the pressure gets too much or something really frustrating happens. You need to find a safe environment with a team who will support you if things get overwhelming and you need someone to turn to.
Top Tip: Again, you can spec this out at interview stage. Ask something like: “How is workload managed?”, or “What should an employee do if something goes wrong or not to plan?”, or even “I imagine things get pretty stressful in the lead up to each product launch - how do the team support each other?”. It’s particularly great if they can give an example of someone who they personally helped.
A brilliant management team is essential to the happiness of employees and companies as a whole. Without competent management, there’s only chaos, confusion and messy office politics! Shout-out to my current manager Marg (the best line manager in the world)! You need to make sure that your line manager will guide you and support your development, but also give you breathing room to grow yourself.
Top Tip: Make sure that you meet your line manager at interview, as you need to judge how well you will work together and make sure they have your best interests at heart. You could straight up ask: “How do you currently manage the team? Do you have any particular pet hates when it comes to managing your team?” which should give you a really solid idea of how they’ll be to work with.
Be YOU. Never take your own intuition for granted – it’s much more powerful than you think. You need to listen to your mind, body, wants and needs in order to make the best decision for YOU. I made the mistake of choosing an environment that didn’t suit me and it had an incredibly negative effect.
We’re all human and we all make mistakes. You need to learn from them and apply your new knowledge to your next challenge, like taking the leap and finding a new job.
I’ve now found the perfect environment for me, where I’m genuinely one of the Talent Point family. I'm praised for my communication skills and we all respect, encourage, support and work together all day, every day.
So there you have it!
Those are my top five tips to find your brand new happy job. These values are just some of the qualities we look for in our customers. We only work with employers who look after and support their employees, so I am confident that applicants that I work with will take on a new role where they will be happy.
A customer’s happiness and your happiness mean so much more to me and my team at Talent Point than anything else. We're not in it for the deals and the KPIs; we're in it for long-term happiness for everyone involved in a hire.
There are only so many deep breaths you can take, and brave faces you can make (been there, got the t-shirt!). So, if you're unhappy and need some advice, hit me up! We can talk about what happiness at work would look like for YOU, and we might even be able to help you find a job where you’ll be happy!
Images sourced from Pexels.com; lower image by Bruce Mars