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The 1 Question You Need to Ask Yourself About Your Work

We’ve all been there, going into our work wondering why we’re there in the first place. According to a report by the Business Times, professionals are now more open to temporary and contract roles.

This is corroborated by the fact that more people, especially millennials are willing to move careers in order to achieve greater work satisfaction. Companies are even responding to this phenomenon, with a recent survey looking into more than 2,000 established organisations and finding that in order not to lose valuable employees, more organisations are offering internal career mobility opportunities, allowing them to test out different careers.

The 1 Question to Determine Whether Your Work Is Right for You

It may be tempting, when things are not working out, to simply throw in the towel and start looking for your next big break, but how can you be sure this is the right move? Of course, it’s also not wise to blindly commit to a place that is continuously draining the life out of you, making you question, “Is there more to life?”, and having you wonder if this is already the highest point of your career.

While work may not be everything, if you’re like most of the working population, working a 9-6 (and perhaps more for anyone in Asia), that’s already way too many hours to be cooped up in a place, feeling miserable and defeated. If that’s so, the real question you need to ask yourself is this:

Are you willing to burn the midnight oil for the thing that you do?

According to Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, Angela Lee Duckworth, a characteristic that far surpasses talent and intelligence (IQ) in predicting one’s success in their work is“grit”.

Grit, is defined by one’s passion and willingness to preserve. By looking at whether one is willing to follow through on a commitment, to rise from setbacks in order to improve and succeed, we can determine how passionate one is for their work and derive not only their likelihood for success, but also job satisfaction.

Job Satisfaction : Finding the Meaning in Work and in What You Do

So what if your answer to the question was no, does that mean you should quit your job immediately? Wouldn’t that directly contradict the idea of grittiness and the need to persevere in our work? Before jumping to conclusions, a better question to ask may be: Is there an aspect of your work that you enjoy and willing to persevere for?

If so, what is it and are you dedicating enough time and attention to this aspect of your work? Let’s use HR for example, a lot is expected from an HR professional. As cited in a recent article, in a given week, an HR professional’s time and attention is spanned across 10 or more areas, ranging from administrative work, to HR strategy development, to employee relations & engagement. With such a vast varying nature, it’s not hard to see why one may feel stretched.

Finding Your Passion in Work : Pareto Principle – 80/20 Rule

While society and the pressures of the business may push us into juggling everything at once, by asking whether or not there is at least one aspect of your work that you are passionate (willing to persevere) for, we reframe ourselves from a loss aversive to a gain maximising mindset.

Going back to our example of an HR professional. Imagine this, you are a Senior HR Manager of a multinational organisation. You’ve been with the company for over 6 years, seeing it grow from a single location firm to what it is now. You still remember your passion from when you first began, how you wanted to create an environment that not only engaged but encouraged employees to take initiative and experiment with different ideas. However, as the organisation continues the expand, you find your work now consists mostly of admin, dealing with numbers and paperwork, more and more so youre doing less and less of the thing that got you here in the first place.

Inline with what we’ve been discussing, what you need to do is re-align yourself to the area where you are most “gritty” about. Similar to the 80/20 rule, by aligning yourself as such, you tap into the place where you are most resilient to failure, willing to try the hardest, thus most likely to succeed. So in the  example of the HR professional, instead of firing yourself by doing everything, a better approach would be to put precedence on the thing that got you there to begin with, the people. By doing so, you’re able to prove true value that is unique to you and also able to enjoy your work more.

How to Properly Manage Your Work: Too Little Time, Too Much to Do

As much as we would like to be able to handle everything that is thrown at us with grace, there is undoubtedly a point where all this breaks.

What happens, when the pressures from the other areas of your work starts to interfere with your ability to perform and excel in what you do best?

If you are able to prove real value in the thing that you do, and demonstrate how the load of the other tasks are interfering with that aspect of your work, it may be worthwhile to consider one of the 2 solutions.

1. Dispatch more help, hire someone to handle the additional work.

You want to find someone with the right work ethic, who is gritty in this area of work, so you may focus on your. They can be more junior or simply specialised in this other aspect, allowing you to let go of these responsibilities at ease.

2. Outsource your distractions to the professionals.

An alternative may be to outsource your work to professionals in this realm. Links for example is an award-winning HR outsourcing company. We offer a library of services across Asia-Pacific, ranging from payroll processingwork visa application servicessecondment & employer-of-record services, to boutique recruitment and more.

Our aim is to help HR Teams around Asia achieve their potential and transform their HR functions by streamlining traditional HR processes and providing market-leading HR outsourcing solutions. Read about our clients experiences with Links and how we helped them become more “gritty” in the thing that they do.

This article is contributed by Links International

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