Your Job Is Not Fulfilling
Expecting an employer to fulfil all of your professional needs is like expecting your significant other to be that perfect person to fulfil all of your personal needs. In your personal life you would know that to expect that of another person is simply unrealistic (no matter how much you want them to be that ‘everything’ for you). You need to understand and adopt the same realistic view in your professional life.
In fact I would contend that an employer is not even responsible for fulfilling your professional needs. If you asked around at your office to see who really a. loves their job and b. feels fulfilled – you’ll probably find people who answer yes to both questions – are in the minority.
It is not uncommon for people to gripe about their bosses, their jobs, decisions that management make, their salary, their work conditions. In some respects it is human nature for people to be negative. It is the default mindset for many, but if you fall into that same trap you miss the point of your job and what your contract is for. It is true that most of spend more time at our jobs than in any other area of our life but unless you have the opportunity to work for yourself, you are working for someone else. And when you work for someone else you are getting paid to meet the strategic and commercial aims of that company.
If you start from a more realistic viewpoint, you may find your job much more palatable. The corporate world imposes the terms ‘career’, ‘career path’, ‘career progression’, and ‘professional development’ upon us. They are in and of themselves positive terms, but the economic and often political climates we all work in, means that the opportunities for every single employee to progress in their career, are just not available.
The very notion of every single employee progressing in their career in the company they work in contradicts the commercial goals of that same company. But what is the impact of this notion (that many of us accept to be true) on individual employees? On the one hand we have the imposition of the expectation that we should be able to develop a career path. Failing to progress as one hopes or expects due to a lack of opportunity, or a lack of success or both in this regard – manifests as the strong sense of not being fulfilled.
Nothing is ever simple, but let’s say for example that we try to remove the expectation on the company we work for, and the expectation on ourselves to feel fulfilled in the workplace. In other words, change our view, to change our experience. To do that it is helpful to review the obligations our company has to us, and vice versa.
Here’s a quick list of a company’s obligations to you:
To keep you safe
No matter what you do if you work in an office your company should comply with your statutory authority’s legislative requirements around work, health and safety. That is the baseline expectation that we should all have. In Australia (where I work) work, health and safety is highly regulated and closely monitored.
To provide you with a clear job description
A job description is a guideline as you will often be asked to do tasks not outlined in your job description, but nevertheless it provides solid guidance of what is expected of you. Indeed it should be the basis upon which you were hired.
To pay you as agreed
Based on your contract, you can expect your company to pay you regularly for the work you have done. Those are pretty straight forward.
Here are your obligations to your company:
To work the hours you are paid to work
You may not need to clock in and clock out, but as part of your work ethic you should be working at minimum, the number of hours your company requires in order for you to be paid. It sounds so obvious but I have observed in my career that many people take advantage of a more flexible workplace, and often don’t work their minimum hours. They may steal a few minutes here and there, but it all adds up.
To do the job you are paid to do
Once again your position description outlines what you should be doing as a baseline, plus any other tasks you have been asked to so.
To keep yourself and those around you safe
Work health and safety is everyone’s obligation and the way you conduct yourself at work should reflect a commitment to safety.
If you keep your focus on the basic obligations of your employer to you, everything other benefit you get from your job is a bonus.
If you concentrate on what is great about your job, your state of mind can easily change to a more positive one. Do you like working with your colleagues? Do you have flexible working conditions? Do you happen to have a great boss? But try to understand, that your fulfilment is not part of your contract, and in many cases not realistic.
Make sure therefore that you find your fulfilment in other parts of your life. Seek fulfilment in your personal and family life, your hobbies and other interests. If you place it in your job, you are likely to be disappointed.
DotPointz to help you get perspective when you feel unfulfilled in your job;
Remember that your employer has hired you to do a job and they should keep you safe – feeling fulfilled is your state of mind, not a company obligation
Focus on what is great about your job – your colleagues, your boss, your working conditions
Do things outside of work that bring you fulfilment – take the pressure of the need to find that at work
This is our personal blog . The views expressed on these pages are our views alone and not those of our respective employers.