Do You Feel a Lack of Meaning at Work? You Could be Languishing. - Deepstash
Languishing

When you start in your career, you may sometimes feel as if you're languishing. You may feel a lack of meaning and a desire to belong emotionally.

Languishing thoughts may include:

  • "I'd rather do something else, but I don't know what."
  • "I'm okay with the work but not particularly excited."
  • "I don't love my job, nor do I hate it. I'm grateful to have it."

There are steps you can take to stop languishing and start flourishing in your career.

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The only way to move away from languishing is to give yourself time and space to reflect.

We all need boundaries to give us time to think about where we are and where we want to be. Ask yourself where you feel resentment and frustration regarding your time and energy. 

For example, you've maybe realised that you need to say no to your boss about work emails on the weekends even though you're afraid of being labelled as not a team player. Ensure you communicate your commitment to your boss.

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Ask yourself how you got to do this job. Was it intentional, or did you fall into it somehow? Did you really choose this path for yourself?

Try to understand what success means to you. Long-lasting success typically consists of four categories:

  • Happiness: A feeling of fulfilment.
  • Achievement: The things you've accomplished.
  • Significance: The sense of making a positive impact.
  • Legacy: The values and accomplishments you achieve to help those after you.

Ask yourself where you are strongest and weakest in, and let those answers guide you.

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You may find a disconnect between what you want and where you are now. That could be causing your languishing.

Take proactive steps to improve your happiness at work.

  • Shift your mindset. Figure out how your current work satisfies you and helps those around you. Ask, "What’s the impact I’m having by doing this task?”
  • Look for ways to change the type of tasks you do, their scope, sequence or number.
  • Create emotional connections with the people around you.

If your current job doesn't allow you to craft your job, it may be time to move on.

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