According to the Society of Human Resources Management Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement Survey, employees are more satisfied when they have regular opportunities to utilize their skills at work.
In fact, 63% of respondents put this at the top of their list for job satisfaction over compensation and pay. Project ownership, organizational contribution and work creativity have always been important factors in helping people feel happy at work, but using strengths and skills is at the top. If you’re in a position where your skills are not being fully utilized in a way that leads to job satisfaction, there are several approaches to improve the situation.
- Put Your Skills to Work. Find ways to demonstrate how you can positively impact your team and organization by putting your skills to work in different ways. Take on a new project, job share or develop creative challenges that would allow you to implement your skill set and demonstrate your capabilities. Look for opportunities to help others or improve processes that are tired or in need of your unique capabilities. This is easier than you think. Most success-minded professionals are eager to collaborate and formulate strategic partnerships or welcome newinsight. The key is in your approach. Offering to help and honestly sharing your eagerness to grow goes a lot further than takeover tactics.
- Volunteer or Moonlight. I have a client who is content simply to implement her peak skills and strengths off the job. This is when she really feels like her work is meaningful. Now this isn’t to say she’s not using her skills at work, just in a different way. But it still doesn’t fully tap her potential. When she’s away from her steady paycheck, she finds fulfillment in doing what comes naturally to her. In fact, her career has really taken off. She’s already attracting opportunities and courting offers that would allow her to quit her day job.
- Explore a Better Fit. In some instances, the only way to really use your skills and strengths is to find a better fit. You should be enjoying your work and accelerating your income on a annual basis. If this isn’t happening and you’ve tried everything to change your current position with little buy-in or success, it might be time to find a new job. Check both inside and outside your organization for opportunities and definitely start your search before you resign. But for you take any leaps, thoughtfully and honestly consider whether you have exhausted your efforts for change in your current career. If avoiding a heart-to-heart conversation with your supervisor is the only thing holding you back from career success, then it’s time to step up to the plate.
You deserve to be happy at work and you should feel engaged while using your skills each and every day.
How To Be Career Happy? Put Your Skills To Work