Unsatisfied? It’s not the job that’s the issue, it’s you



Phill Nosworthy, executive advisor and keynote speaker

Workplace

By Loren Webb

Currently in Australia job satisfaction is at the lowest point it’s been in over 5 years[1], and as we approach the end of 2019, many will question if resignation is the right move for the New Year.

Although it’s easy for individuals to blame their lack of fulfilment on their current role, Phill Nosworthy believes that by taking greater ownership of their work, Australians get what they go to work for and keep that career spark alive.

Phill Nosworthy, executive advisor and keynote speaker, has spent most of his career educating individuals at world-leading companies such as Microsoft, Universal Music and the AFL, on strategies that challenge perceptions on work and its purpose in our lives.

He says, “In our age of comparison, it’s easy to feel dissatisfied and lose interest in our own careers and relationships. We believe that the grass is greener on the other side, and unfortunately there is a tendency for people to jump ship because it’s the easy choice, when in fact what they’re looking for is already in their own backyard.”

He continues, “There is a simple way that people can find satisfaction in their current roles, the key is to find genuine meaning in what you do. In fact, research has found that meaning in work has been associated with employees feeling 2.2 times more satisfied with their jobs, 2.8 times more likely to stay at the company, and 93% more engaged[2].”

His key advice to Australians is to become a ‘meaning maker’ by combining an understanding of what matters most to them with the things they are good at: a combination which results in rewarding and satisfying careers.

Phill shares his expert process to achieve this below:

First, you need to find your ‘meaning’. Take the time to consider why your work matters; to you and the people that matter to you. There are obvious reasons such as income and security, but going beyond that to find the reasons why you do what you do will infuse even the most mundane tasks with significance and purpose.

Understanding the meaningful reasons behind why go to work will help you get out of bed on the days that you don’t feel like it and give you the motivation to keep going when times get tough. Your work might seem frustrating and challenging sometimes, but reminding yourself of the ‘why in your work’ will insulate you from the two biggest risks for people not getting what they go to work for; dropping out and burning out.

Second, once you’ve established your why, you need to keep investing into your ‘mastery’. Put simply, your mastery is the thing you are best at doing! Taking the time to identify those skills and deliberately investing into growing them will always pay career dividends.

It sounds obvious doesn’t it? Find what you’re good at already and get better at it? But so often, our own insecurities, the needs of the company, or small changes over time to our job descriptions move us away from the things we love to do, and are great at doing. Being deliberate to leverage our strengths, and finding reasons to spend more time doing those things will not only create better results but will likely lead to more enjoyment at work. To do it, we need to jump in; reading about it, studying it, talking about it, watching the documentaries, going to meet-ups, and immersing ourselves in that discipline until we are recognised as a leader of that skill.

Finally, constantly monitor your time to ensure that you are moving towards the reasons you go to work in the first place. Ultimately, time is all we have and how we spend and invest it determine the very substance and success of our lives. So spend your time on things that matter to you, and things that move you towards your goals. Phill’s advice is to be especially careful of time traps like social media. Facebook and Instagram are incredible platforms when used well, but they are either a tool or a trap! You get to choose. The mantra here is to educate yourself more than you entertain yourself.

Phill concludes, “Meaning and mastery have to be a package deal. So many people know what matters to them, but aren’t prepared to get good enough at work to make that happen.”

“Worse, I’ve seen people who are world class at things that don’t matter to them. Whenever there is a gap between what is most meaningful to us in life, and the things we are good at doing, there will be the risk of frustration, disappointment and unhappiness.

“Of course there are people who should get out of the job they are in right now to find a better fit for them, but from my experience – most people stand to gain so much more from their work, by taking a step back, re-discovering their own ‘why’ for work, and asking themselves, am ‘I prepared to do what it takes to good at it?’. These are the people who thrive at work.”


[1] Gartner Q1 2019 Global Talent Monitor

[2] The Human Era @ Work, Findings from The Energy Project and Harvard Business Review, 2014

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