You should never settle when it comes to working. Think about how long you spend at work per week. Then think about how long you’ll be spending working over your lifetime. You might be comfortable due to location, accessibility, colleague friendships but what about ambition, goals and the question of what if which we all ask ourselves.
To not settle you first need to have a goal set and understand your worth. When I first graduated I use to apply for jobs between £15-20k, non-managerial, no experience required because I was so use to seeing ‘unfortunately’ emails when I applied for anything else. I had experience in what I was applying for and due to University, I had the knowledge but the one thing I didn’t know was my worth. It took me years to build confidence and know my worth and that was due to constantly bettering myself with qualifications and by having the right colleagues in my corner to motivate me. “What do you have to lose if you apply for a £30k job”, one colleague said to me and it’s true. The con would be another ‘unfortunately’ email, whereas pros would be they see something in me to move me through the interview stage or even offer me the job.
Until I meet my goal, I never get comfortable in a job. I constantly search to see what jobs are out there. I don’t necessarily apply for them all, but it’s good to understand when during the year more jobs are available and to see what companies are doing in comparison to where you are now. As I said above, it took me a while to know my worth and now, as long as the position looks right for me and the money (including benefits) looks right for me I will shoot my shot and apply. I will only be holding myself back if I don’t.
There will be times when you know your worth and where you wish to be in life however, you might not be ready at that moment in time and that’s ok. If you think you want to be promoted or you want a certain managerial role however you’ll be readier in 2 years, do what you need to do for your CV and character to stand out in 2 years. If you hit the 2-year mark and the promotion isn’t available or there’s no job within that company you want, don’t be afraid to move on. Find a place that is willing to offer you exactly what you’re looking for. That could take a long time and out of anyone I know this, but sometimes you need to leave a position, take time out, wait and soon enough the right position will come along. If not, think about what is missing. Maybe you need a certain qualification to stand out, or maybe you are looking for work in the wrong location.
If you get to the stage where you have got everything you can out of your job and the company, ask yourself why you’re not pushing yourself further or ask yourself what your next step is. It’s easy to stick to what you know and to get comfortable within that environment. If you’re content then do what you need to do, however, if you’re sitting at work and you feel like something is missing that could be your mind telling you it’s time for a change or to be your own boss.
Be aware of who you confide in at work. Not everyone you smile at is your friend. Just as you have an end goal, someone else you work with does too, and it might just be that your goals are the same. Sometimes healthy competition is needed at work however don’t let people take advantage of you and don’t get left behind. I’ve met some genuine people in previous roles, some I now consider my closest friends, but I have seen people get double-crossed and I have seen workplaces go from sweet to sour. Keep reminding yourself work is work and home is home. Focus on yourself and remember your journey.
At work, it is so easy to stay in your own bubble or to stay close in a tight ‘work squad’ and forget about other people. Do you ever take time to think about the people around you?
That person you think is being a ‘bitch’ or that person who’s always negative or quiet might be going through something whether in their personal or professional life. It doesn’t hurt and it doesn’t cost you anything to ask that person if they’re ok or if they might want to join you for lunch sometime. People always think what if and think they could have done more when it is too late. If you see signs that someone isn’t doing well, don’t stand back and wonder, step in and ask. A common sign would be a change in behaviour or someone becoming standoffish. Another common sign could be someone who is usually loud or constantly talking as that could be a coping mechanism; a way of taking their mind of what is happening in their life. People who suffer from mental health or have difficulties may keep things hidden especially at work. If you are someone who is not comfortable approaching someone that you don’t know, you can send them information via email of any mental health awareness news, posts or events that are coming up at work.
A lot of us want to travel more, have breaks from work and eat out at the nicest restaurants but we also want to save for the future, have a mortgage, live comfortably. With a lot of jobs not paying enough and the economy today, it’s hard to have the best of both worlds. So, to stay on track, in an attempt to live in both worlds, here are a few things you can do to save money:
- Have a personal bank account as well as 1-2 saving accounts; be sure to put 70% of your monthly wage in the saving accounts.
- In line with that, transfer money into saving accounts monthly and have the will power to not take money out of these accounts.
- Research/get into investments (shares, houses etc.)
- If you have a business idea, write up a proposal and go for it.
- Limit how much you spend weekly (through your personal account). Example, how much you go out, how much you eat out.
- Only buy what you need, not what you want.
- If there is something you need, look out for discounts or sales.
- If you need extra assistance, make use to piggy bank apps, help to buy accounts, Monzo.
- A great search for knowledge is money supermarket expert wesbite.
- Make cut backs if possible. For example, if you pay for the gym but don’t go, do you really need to keep the membership?
- If you have time and are willing, you can take on a second job (part- time).
- If you’re not happy where you work, use this time to progress with your career. This might lead to a promotion or a job with a salary increase.
- Look back on my previous post on saving money during the summer. It looks at how to have fun on a budget.
Statistics show we spend 13 years over a lifetime working and 11 years, 4 months staring at a screen (Huffpost Australia, 2017). That’s a huge amount of time we spend waking up and going to work repeatedly, day in, day out. Even worse if you are doing this whilst in a dead end job or in a job you can’t stand. So why allow yourself to continue living that way? Understandable in the world we life in today most of us can’t afford to just quit our jobs, make businesses, travel the world, do whatever we like (I applaud people who do). We have bills to pay, family liabilities etc; to summaries, we need money. Due to this leaving a job isn’t as easy as it sounds however life is to be enjoyed.
Spending this much time at work has a big impact on our health and lifestyle. The majority of us snack and put on weight, may have problems with management or colleges, even problems with the organisation overall. These have affects on us whether it enhances stress, triggers the lose of motivation or ambition, it happens.
Think about what you once wanted to do with your life; your deepest ambitions. Don’t settle for anything less. You may not be able to quit your job but you can move on, better your self professional and more importantly work on your happiness. If you can afford to quit your job, take time out to create a plan and draw up options in order to find something you really enjoy.
Being in a dead end job affects your mood and mental health so ask yourself if its worth your sanity. Older generations will say they have been in the same job for 20+ years but 90’s babies and below well probably go through 3-5 within the first 10 years of leaving college or university and I think its brilliant as we get a feel for what is out there, what we like and how we expect to be treated.
Don’t spend 13 years thinking what if.