Gallop's most recent State of the Global Workforce report shows that only 15 percent of people in full time work are engaged and happy. Most of the other 85 per cent are actively looking for a new job. Coach and Joy of Business program facilitator Corinna Kaebel, however, warns unhappy employees to think twice about jumping ship too quickly.
'It is important to be able to live a happy and fulfilled life and our work is such a big part of our every day," she says. 'What many people don't realise, however, is that your work and workplace can move from feeling wrong to very right once you know how to go within to access and show up with a truer version of yourself."
Inspired by her own success, finding joy in work she vowed she would never do again, Corinna now teaches everything she knows in a seminar called the Joy of Business. Below, Kaebel shares her top tips on how to re-orientate yourself to find more happiness in your existing job or workplace.
Write down everything you love doing at work
Open yourself up to more positive energy by writing a comprehensive list of anything and everything you enjoy doing at work. Then, figure out if there is a way to do more of what you love and less of what you don't.
Write down everything you love doing outside of work
Do the same thing for your hobbies and passions outside of the workplace. Pick one or two and start doing them more often. Whether it's baking cookies or playing a team sport, the fastest way to improve how you feel at work can sometimes be to improve how you feel outside of it.
How can you bring more of YOU into your workplace?
You're not a robot. You are much bigger than your job alone. Not being seen as a whole person by the people you work with can feed into very low job satisfaction. Realise that you do have a choice around how you show up and figure out how to bring more of the -real you' to work so you feel more alive.
What can you change that you have always felt you can't?
Identify what you don't like about your work or workplace and brainstorm ways to make the experience a better one. It could be suggesting a weekly lunch with co-workers or a physical space for meditation in the office. Whatever your ideas are, speak up and suggest it. Even if they don't accept or actualise your idea as is, it could open up new possibilities.
Don't wait to receive recognition from your leaders and bosses. Give yourself the acknowledgement you feel you do deserve. Realise the contribution you make to the organisation, the job or other team members through both your work and as a human being.
Complete your favourite tasks first
If given a choice, start your day with something that is light and easy for you. Then, when you move onto harder tasks you are already in the flow and you can use the energy to carry you through to the things that are more difficult.
Dealing with tasks you don't like
Apply the energy of tasks you like to the task you don't like. Ask yourself: -What if this task could be as easy as [...insert task you like doing... ] ? Transfer the ease into the tasks you don't like doing.
Be in positive relationship with your job.
Treat your job well, care for it like you would a best friend, and you will get more richness, positive energy and enjoyment from it.
Corinna says: 'I love helping people find happiness at work again. It's important to know it's not always about changing things externally. It can be helpful to know how to find the positivity and joy in -what is' rather than looking for the next best thing and changing your whole life in the process."
Corinna Kaebel is a professional interpreter, communicator, coach and mentor. Being fluent in English, German and Russian allows her to travel the globe extensively to teach, coach and interpret. Corinna loves being on the road, exploring new places and working with people from all different cultures and backgrounds. Her number one goal is to inspire, support and help people to show up with more of themselves in tact and to navigate their own life journey with more ease, grace and glory. Corinna is a Joy of Business facilitator, a specialty program from personal development organisation Access Consciousness.
Question: Are you surprised that only 15 per cent of people in full time work are engaged and happy?
Corinna Kaebel: Not at all. To be engaged and happy the actual tasks we carry out in our jobs only play a minor part; far more important are factors like a general lack of acknowledgement for our creative contribution to the workplace, not to mention as a person. Personal frictions or simply an unappreciative work atmosphere account for additional stress.
Question: Why should we look within rather than search for a new job?
Corinna Kaebel: Most of the factors accounting for not being engaged and happy are related to how our coworkers and superiors see and treat us, and since we cannot change other peoples' attitudes, the only thing we can change is our own. The clearer and more self-assured we become, the more other people will treat us differently, and we will see what can be changed.
Question: How can we find happiness within the job we already have?
Corinna Kaebel: By being grateful for having a job in the first place, appreciating ourselves – both as a professional and as a person, looking at what we can change and making suggestions to that effect. Apart from that, getting clear on any unrealistic expectations we might have of our emotional interactions at work and not engaging in them any more, and by the same token, realising that our coworkers' and superiors' expectations have little to do with us personally, can be a great relief. Finally, finding joy in our life outside of work – both on a personal level as well with respect to activities, together with aforementioned approaches – will help regain a broader perspective of our situation and our life.
Question: Are we able to find content within our work if we feel under-valued or under-paid?
Corinna Kaebel: Yes, if we are willing to realise the contribution we make to the organisation, the job or other team members through both our work and as a human being. And if we realise that we do have a choice around how we show up, and see what we can bring into the workplace that would make it more enjoyable for everyone. Switching to this happier vibe will make it much easier for more different possibilities to come into our life, including money.
Question: How does that play into the art of internal validation?
Corinna Kaebel: Seeing ourselves from a bigger perspective will remind us of our own value, in addition to showing us we do have a choice in life. This way, we don't reduce ourselves to our role in the job and don't make our internal validation dependent on validation from outside.
Question: Can you share your steps for cultivating more positivity in our space?
Corinna Kaebel: Apart from the factors mentioned above; giving ourselves the recognition we require and deserve, not getting entangled in expectations with respect to and from our colleagues and superiors, bringing more of us into our workplace, seeing what we can change that we thought we couldn't, enjoying life more outside of work – it is crucial to be in a good relationship with our job. By this, I mean treating our job well, caring for it like we would a best friend, really, start talking to it! This, however, requires that we see ourselves as part of it, not only its performer.
Question: Why do we need to turn our entire life into our own business?
Corinna Kaebel: It's not so much a matter of turning our entire life into a business but a change of perspective with respect to the term 'business" as something separate from our 'regular life". If we see our life as our business, including all factors, such as our job, our personal relationships, our hobbies and interests, all areas can contribute to each other.
Question: Can you share the first steps to do this?
Corinna Kaebel: The first thing every night would be to let go of any emotions and expectations tied to and associated with your life, your job, anything that has happened up until that very moment. You could also ask yourself: What 5 things am I grateful for my job today? What 5 things am I grateful for myself today?
Then, the next morning, you can ask your business (which, as we have established by now, can be viewed as your whole life): Business, what 3 things do you require of me today? You might be surprised what comes to mind – it may be something not at all work-related, like going for a walk, visiting a museum, doing something fun. Do these 3 things, and then see how the rest follows.
If you see your whole life as your business this will gradually help you redirect the focus to what is true for you, and will help you make informed choices in every area of your life.
Interview by Brooke Hunter