Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Got the Workday Blues?

(ARA) - With all the sunshine and warm weather, we all want to spend time outdoors doing our favorite activities like working in the garden or playing our favorite sports. But for many of us, that's not an option during the workday.

It's only natural to feel a little down about being stuck inside all day when the weather is so nice outside, says Julia Kennedy, career services director for Everest Universities throughout North America. If you do have a case of the summertime work blues, Kennedy says there are many ways to cheer yourself up.

For example, if you have a window, open it to let the fresh air in. You can also bring nature into your office by putting a bouquet of flowers on your desk or creating a desk-sized rock garden. You should also try to spend as much time as possible outdoors and build in special times for getting out of the office. You can pack your lunch and eat it outdoors, or take an afternoon coffee break to walk around the block. Lastly, Kennedy suggests that you talk to your boss about flex-time or working from home once a week, if you really want to fit more freedom for outdoor time into your schedule.

But if your dislike of your job goes deeper than simply the summertime blues, Kennedy says your dissatisfaction should be taken seriously. "Everybody has a bad day at work, but if you're having a lot of bad days, you might have the workplace blues, and they can have a real effect on your quality of life," she says.

Kennedy suggests asking yourself the following questions to fairly assess your current work environment: Do you feel trapped at work? Do you dread going to work in the morning? Do you see real potential for advancement at work? Do you have a good relationship with your boss? Do you constantly dream of the weekends?

"Ask yourself, 'How often am I feeling this way? Am I blaming my boss or co-workers for the way I'm feeling consistently?' Once you're aware of the reasons why you feel a certain way, it usually becomes quite obvious what change is necessary," Kennedy adds.

New evidence from north of the border shows that Americans are not alone in our work problems. In fact, half of all Canadians report suffering from occasional bouts of work-induced blues, according to a December 2007 survey commissioned by Everest College of Business, Technology and Healthcare -- Ontario’s leading career college.

Feelings of job dissatisfaction can range from mild frustration to consistent feelings of unhappiness. On the same survey by Everest College of Business, 22 percent of respondents indicated that their salary was the most depressing thing about their job, whereas 12 percent said a lack of opportunity for career advancement was. Perhaps more troubling, 40 percent of respondents believed that their current job did not offer a lot of opportunity for advancement.

“If you are reaching a moderate level of job dissatisfaction and have not yet started thinking about alternatives, it’s time to start learning about new opportunities of which there are many,” says Kennedy. “Career fit is important to happiness on the job. Retraining can play a key role in changing lives for the better and most of our students are working while learning new skills to transition to a new career path.”

If you are thinking of making a career change, Kennedy recommends evaluating these factors: your interests; value system; skill level; opportunities in the market; and which fields, industries or companies seem attractive. “Your career needs to fit with your personality and interests, and support your goals for the future,” adds Kennedy. "Most importantly, remember that you deserve to be happy and fulfilled in your professional choice."

Courtesy of ARAcontent