Written by: Mona AlHebsi, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
There is no doubt that our work takes up a great portion of our lives and many of us identify ourselves to a large extent with the kind of profession we are in. The reason being that this is where we see ourselves contributing and being of service to others henceforth, we derive our self-worth from the work we do or with the discipline we are best experienced at or love the most.
Nevertheless, it is a quite common scenario to see many people who are stuck in jobs they dislike for long periods of time and cannot stop complaining about the hard nature of their jobs, the insane company policies, or their demanding bosses, etc. while they are acting powerless about their situations forgetting that they are contributing in some way or another to the problem. This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes that goes: “If you don’t like where you are, move. You are not a tree”!
Besides, there are several repercussions of working without purpose, I will be highlighting the top 5 in this article as follows:
1. Disconnect From Self & Others
This is a common state of mind that you will ultimately be in if your choices in life are mostly based on analytics and logic alone. A lot of people choose not to lend an ear to their gut feelings or emotions when making big life decisions. This is very unfortunate as each one of us has the wisdom inside to lead a happy and fulfilled life if we only dare to pay attention and act upon it.
That is why we see people who choose to continue in jobs or professions that do not thrill them anymore for other reasons, suffering in silence and the symptoms show on the outside to others around them. There is a disconnect from the external environment and people as a result to disconnect from their own selves. This is exactly what happens when you always try to suppress your inner wisdom or “Intuition” for other mediocre worldly gains. You better learn how to trust your instincts and break the habit of needing to have constant validation or data for every single decision you take in life. Have the faith that if you listen to your intuition you will soon be exactly where you are meant to be fulfilling the purpose of your being.
2. Overworking & Exhaustion
Most people who work in jobs or professions they love report that they do not even know where the time flies. This is because the person is so much engrossed in the moment; the element of time fades out and nothing matters more than the current moment. It is such a pleasant feeling that people who are passionate about their work will understand what it is. On the contrary if you are just working because it is just an obligation to provide necessities or have a job because everyone else is working, then you will end up working in all directions and spreading yourself too thin to the point you feel too exhausted to do anything.
In other words, like our directed efforts motivate us, make us “Focus” on what matters, give us the energy to do a lot of valuable things to ourselves and others and stay strong in challenging times; aimless work can be a massive energy-consuming behavior where you always feel that you give more efforts but receive incomparable returns, rewards, and inner satisfaction.
3. Feeling Lost and Off-Track
Our work contributes in a big way towards creating a positive self-image from the outside and can provide us many reasons to achieve inner fulfillment. Many people work hard most of their lives to wake up one day and wonder where did their lives go and why they still feel so empty from the inside? Here, I will use my favorite word “Intentions” matter! Most of us were never taught how to make our endeavors worthwhile for ourselves and others. We keep going around in circles for the most part of our lives to realize later that this is not what we really wanted in the first place or that we completely feel lost and do not know how to get back to “our right” track.
That is why one of my key lessons that I have learned later in my adult life is to set the right intentions before starting anything meaningful in life and following that with concentrating your efforts in the right direction that will allow you to achieve what you want.
4. Mental Stress & Anxiety
If you know your bigger picture while doing your day-to-day job, you will be happier because the passage of every day means that you are one day closer to achieving your goal. When we do the work we love, this can be greatly beneficial for our mental health. According to a recent CIPD report, over 11 million working days are lost a year because of stress at work. It mentions that occupational stress causes risks to both businesses and employees in terms of higher sickness absence, lower employee engagement and reduced productivity. That is why we see an increasing focus by big corporations towards mental health by providing yoga and meditation classes and offering coaching and therapy as well.
This is on an organizational level, but individually, as grown-up adults, we are all responsible for taking care of our spiritual, mental, and physical health by knowing what works for us and having the ability to practice it to feel better and this can be as simple as not saying yes when we need to say no! Therefore, the magic formula here is “Self-Care” because when you are on purpose you know that you must be healthy to be able to achieve your dreams and having the courage to stop when you are done with a certain job or role especially when your health start giving you unpleasant messages you must acknowledge those messages and do what is best for your overall wellbeing.
5. Adverse Impact on other Life Areas
Whether you are focusing too much on your work, or not doing any work at all, both can have a negative impact on other areas in your life such as family, finances, recreation, self-development or even the career itself. The key is to choose balance in life. Being balanced will allow you to have an astute perspective on your life as a whole and support you in allocating your time to the things that matter the most to you at any given time. You will learn how to prioritize what and when and not just run on the treadmill without direction.
I have come across many people in my work life who have given big sacrifices to maintain a job or move to the next level in their careers and that is all because they felt powerless and imagined that a well-paid-job or a position of power can give them what they lack in life; unfortunately, they found out that this was not the case when they attained that lucrative job or the so called status. For instance, many women chose to delay starting a family until they are well settled career wise to realize that it is too late to have children, likewise, men who thought they can spend time with their kids once they achieve a reputable position in the hierarchy to discover later that kids have already grown up and busy in their own lives. So, the keyword here is “Balance” in taking all life areas together so that there are no regrets later in life.
Lastly, it is painful to see so many people around us stuck in jobs they dislike and so, working aimlessly, and the lucky ones among those who realized at some point that this is not a good bargain then gathered up the courage to pause and do something that will allow them to strike a balance between the various life areas to achieve purpose and fulfillment.
If you find yourself struggling to overcome these toxic work patterns and feel stuck in a mediocre job, know that you are not alone. Career & Success Coaches like myself can help you be aware of your blind spots while guiding you towards career options that will make you achieve personal effectiveness and fulfillment. You can email me at email@example.com
You can also subscribe to my channel on YouTube.
Mona AlHebsi, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine Mona AlHebsi, is an Award-Winning Hotelier, HR Practitioner, Success Coach, Renowned Author, and Speaker. She has recently been named “Most Influential Woman in Hospitality Human Capital” and "Inspirational Female Leader" due to her eminent contributions to the hospitality industry and Human Resources profession. Through her book “Beat The Odds,” Mona aims to provide a roadmap to all hoteliers and working professionals on how to make their work a vehicle to delivering excellence and achieving astounding success. She instinctively knows how to ignite the courage in others to stay true to their values and capitalize on their strengths, which will ultimately steer them towards success and fulfillment. Mona's life mantra is "The more odds you beat, the greater will be your feat"!