Whether you are financially strained, creatively frustrated, or just plain bored, feeling stuck in a job is unpleasant to say the least. Given how much of our time we spend at work, it is important for our physical and mental health to find a healthy, rewarding environment. Depending on your situation, you may be actively looking for new employment or just feeling bogged down by your current work. Whatever the case, there are steps you can take to make the msot out of your current situation.
- Figure out what you like and dislike. What are you passionate about? What do you find most rewarding? What do you consider your strengths? If you strongly prefer working with animals, the service industry may prove unsatisfying for you; whereas, a strongly extroverted person may thrive in this field. Take time to sit down and think about what it is that you want and find fulfilling. You may also want to ask those around you for opinions and support. While only you can know what you truly want, sometimes others can point out things we had not noticed about ourselves. It's worthwhile to think about tasks that you like to do and those that you don't. If you're unhappy with your current job, are there situations or activities that are making it hard to enjoy work?
- Assess your current needs. Taking time to figure out not only what you enjoy but also what is troubling you can help you begin to address the problem. Has something changed in your workplace that is now impacting your job satisfaction? Are the issues you have fixable? Are you bored and in need of a challenge or feel you are being overworked? Are you being bullied at work? Instead of quitting your job, you may just need to voice your concerns to a supervisor. Simply sitting down to discuss how to make better use of your time and commitment to the company could change your experience altogether. Whether it is adjusting your schedule, taking on more responsibilities, or asking for help, a small conversation could have a massive impact on your work.
- Focus on skills you can learn and improve. If you find that for whatever reason your job cannot be changed, you can focus on ways to develop and improve in your current capacity. If you are staying in your position until you can find a new one or looking to advance within the company, try to gain as much experience as possible so that you can not only feel a greater sense of purpose at work but also have more to offer in your future positions.
- Look for outside opportunities like volunteering or education. If you feel stifled by the lack of opportunity at work or need more experience in your field of choice, you may want to consider outside opportunities such as volunteering or education. While work/life balance may be stressful, advancing your education or gaining additional experience outside of work could help in creating future career opportunities. Additionally, some employers offer compensation for volunteer work or provide support towards education.
- Look for new work. If you are in an unhealthy work environment or a situation that cannot be improved, your best option may be to find a new place of employment. Although it may take some time, finding satisfying work can put you at a lower risk for the dangers associated with unhealthy workplaces.
What makes a mentally healthy company?
MHA surveys show that mentally healthy workers are happier, more productive, and more loyal. And yet, most American workers report high levels of stress and worry and low levels of support from managers and coworkers. Employers that value mental health in the workplace retain their employees, have lower overall absenteeism, and lower health care costs.
MHA is proud to introduce the Bell Seal for Workplace Mental Health, a certification program that recognizes employers who are committed to creating mentally healthy workplaces. A mentally healthy company has policies and practices that support a culture of growth, employee engagement, and prevention of mental illness. The MHA Bell Seal will evaluate companies on the following areas:
- Workplace Culture
- Health insurance & Benefits
- Mental Health Programs & Perks
- Legal Compliance & Inclusion
- Leadership & Community Engagement
For more information about the Bell Seal for Workplace Mental Health, please visit here.