Ask Yourself These Questions To Avoid Funks
Have you ever felt like you were in a funk? We’ve all been there. Our friends at NexGoal have published a couple articles surrounding this topic including five different career ruts and some tips on how to break out of workplace funks. The question remains: How can you avoid these funks to begin with?
At different points in your life (and career) there are different reasons that we fall into funks. Regardless of your stage in life or career, you more than likely want to be happy with where you are at and rightly so – according to the Harvard Business Review, “happy people are 31 percent more productive, have 37 percent higher sales and are three times more creative than their peers.” Common ways to find happiness in your life include: exercising, pursuing a side hustle, or traveling. In your career, these avenues to happiness might be more difficult to find, thus leading to falling into a funk.
The mantra “if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life,” is something that we all strive for in our careers. However, the path to getting to that point is full of speed bumps and detours. This is not a bad thing, as each detour can provide learning experiences. Nathan Tanner knows what this is like. In an article for TheMuse, he highlights five questions that he has asked himself throughout his career to not only avoid falling into a funk, but also determine the changes necessary to be happy.
Have You Decided To Be Happy?
This is the first question you need to ask yourself because everything else (in work and life) stems from your happiness. Once you figure out whether or not you are happy, that feeling will trickle down to other aspects of your life and ultimately create a positive outlook (“trickle-down happiness” if you will). According to Neil Pasricha, author of The Happiness Equation: Want Nothing + Do Anything = Have Everything, “most people think if they do great work and become a big success then they’ll be satisfied.” In his research, he found that it is actually reversed – if we’re happy or content, then we’ll do great work and in turn become successful. Therefore, happiness should be the main thing you look for.
Many people think that if they have a good career (high paying, great benefits, etc.) that they will be happy. However, research has found that if you are happy, success will follow.
Are You Learning And Developing?
Your career can be thought of as a roller coaster. In the beginning, the build-up and anticipation is exciting. Whether it is your first job out of college or a new job this is certainly an exciting time. As you continue on, there will be peaks and valleys. Your interest might be waning at times and you could find yourself simply going through the motions. The way to counter this is by continually learning.
There are a variety of resources available to continue learning while on the job. Hubspot, Lynda and Skillshare all provide online courses that can help you develop in your career while taking relatively little time. By taking some of these courses, you can not only learn something new, but this knowledge can be applied to your career and help you grow professionally.
Are You Leveraging Your Strengths?
One of the most difficult questions asked during an interview is the dreaded “what is your biggest weakness?” Obviously, these are areas that you can improve on throughout your career, but most people don’t put enough emphasis on their strengths. According to Marcus Buckingham, “Your strengths are the work activities that consistently make you feel productive, energized, and engaged.” If you are good at something but don’t enjoy doing it, then you aren’t bettering yourself. When you are good at something and enjoy it, that is where growth happens.
Are You Surrounded By People You Like And Respect?
Building on the above, when you are happy and enjoy doing something you will be successful. In all likelihood, you aren’t going to enjoy everyone that you work with. When the environment at work becomes too much to handle, not only does your productivity and quality of work diminish, but so too does your happiness.
According to Tanner, “Working with awesome people makes all the difference.” If you no longer enjoy the company of your colleagues and you don’t thrive in that environment, it might be time to make a change.
Do You Spend Your Time On The Things Which Are Most Important?
Different things are important to different people. By establishing a value system, you can figure out what is important to you and spend more time pursuing that. This will ultimately make you much happier in the long run.
For example, if running is important to you and you have found that you don’t get to spend much time running lately, your happiness is likely diminishing. Realizing that this behavior is affecting your happiness early on is key as you can focus on creating more time to run.
If you have found yourself in a funk or unhappy, it is time to take control. Ask yourself these five questions to locate the source of your unhappiness and get back on track. When you are truly happy with yourself, the rest will fall into place. Life is too short to be unfulfilled and unhappy with your career, but only you can make the proper change.