How do you feel about your job? A study, by Gallup, found most people are not exactly loving them.
Only 30% of American workers are engaged or enthusiastic about their job, the lowest score since Gallup began tracking the U.S. workers in 2000. A whopping 70 percent of American workers are giving less than their best effort at work.
Are you one of them?
Nicki Anders is not and she has advise for you haters.
Anders loves her job as VP of Customer Collaboration at Ultimate Software. It helps that she works for a company that ranked #9 on the Fortune List of Best Companies to Work For 2013, a company that lives by the motto: "employees take care of employees." I heard Anders speak this morning at a meeting of Women Executive Leadership.
Anders pointed to us that sometimes, people aren't suited for the job they go after. For example, they try to advance to manager and discover they aren't passionate about managing. "That's a painful lesson," she says.
To advance to the top, and be happy when you get there, you have to know what your definition of "the top" is and when to change your definition. "Getting to the top is a journey and people can get stuck doing the same thing too long," she says.
The best way to learn to love your job is to know what you are good at, know what you are passionate about and understand the economic model of combining those two things, she said.
Consultant Shari Roth spoke up and said most of the time, when you ask people what they want from their careers, they are silent. They don't know and that's why they aren't happy.
"I didn't know what I wanted," Anders admitted. "But I was driven to figure it out."
Anders says people often enjoy their jobs more when they actually listen to others in their workplaces. "Listen voraciously," she advises. Rather than getting worked up over a co-worker's email, read it out loud and take the emotion out of it.
Another suggestion for making work more enjoyable: Seek growth opportunities. "Are you growing if you are never uncomfortable? No. Get comfortable being uncomfortable."
Some people spend hours at work, unnecessarily. Don't burn yourself out and hate your job because you're putting in long hours. Concentrate on results not effort, she says. And, know what's not as important. "Life and work are hard. We have 100 balls to juggle. We're likely going to drop 20. The struggle is figuring out which 20 to drop."
A key component of work life balance is feeling fulfilled at home AND at work.
Sure there are employers who can work harder to engage employees. But you can take control of your work life balance and figure out ways to enjoy your work life — or start seeking other opportunities.
Readers, if you're completely disengaged at work, is it too late for your employer to help you feel differently?
Check out where your state ranks: Gallup: Best and Worst States for Employee Engagement