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Nearly one-third of Finns have considered changing jobs due to exhaustion – an expert gives five precision tips for doing well at work in 2020

According to a survey carried out by the YTK Association, the will to develop yourself is the most common reason for changing jobs, but nearly one-third of the respondents say that they have considered changing jobs or line of business due to exhausting work during the past three years. Many people also feel a conflict between their strengths and the expectations of the working life. The expert reminds that the Christmas holidays offer a good break for thinking about your own coping and the things that are the most important.

According to a survey carried out by the YTK Association, as much as 56% of the respondents feel that they can best use their expertise and skills in the working life, but on the other hand, too exhausting work can become an obstacle to the employee’s potential. As much as 28% (women 32%, men 24%) of the respondents say that they have considered changing jobs or line of business due to exhaustion during the past three years. 17% of the respondents have already changed jobs or line of business for that reason. The feeling of exhaustion was pronounced in women in particular.

”Many people come to think of changing jobs when the work begins to feel heavy”, says Heli Hannonen, Occupational Health Psychologist at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health. “Changing jobs alone does not always help, if you don’t at the same time learn to affect the loading and resources factor at work and your own recovery.”

Half of the respondents have changed jobs or their duties have essentially changed during the past three years. The biggest reason for changing jobs was the will to develop yourself professionally and learn something new (34%). 26% of the respondents changed jobs because of better pay.

Fear prevents the use of potential

Heli Hannonen stresses that the meaningfulness of work is one of the cornerstones of well-being at work. The important thing is that your own values are realised at work and that you can use your own knowledge and skills. A conflict between the employer’s and your own expectations generates a burden.

One-fifth (19%) of the respondents think that their own strengths and the expectations of the working life do not meet, because expertise and qualities are favoured too narrowly in the working life. The respondents feel that their strongest qualities are skills related to characteristics and other than actual professional know-how, such as common sense, problem-solving skills, and empathy.

The respondents feel that extensive professional expertise and strong expertise in a specific job are appreciated in the working life instead. Social skills were considered to be both a strength of the respondents and qualities valued in the working life.

Every tenth (11%) respondent recognises that fear prevents the use of their own potential – the fear that they can’t do the job or are not good enough. That is emphasised slightly more in women than in men (women 14%, men 8%).

”Weakening of professional self-esteem can also be a symptom of exhaustion”, Ms Hannonen points out.

”So you should stop to think whether the reason is decrease in strength or a long-time lack of faith in your own skills which is also referred to as the impostor syndrome. Whichever the reason, you should remind yourself on a daily basis about your own strengths and positive qualities. The Christmas holidays, for example, offer a good break for remembering your own strengths and thinking about the things that give you feelings of success.”

The expert’s precision tips for doing well at work in 2020:

  1. Remind yourself regularly about your own strengths and commend yourself for an achievement of a day, week or month. Also give regularly positive feedback to your colleagues.
  2. Hold on to regular development discussions with yourself: Does my work give me joy? Am I able to use my own expertise and potential?
  3. Set yourself meaningful and realistic goals and sub-goals that you want to reach. They can be very small and concrete.
  4. Take control of luck. Try to affect actively your own role and working conditions if you feel dissatisfied.
  5. Follow your coping and do not hesitate to talk to your supervisor about issues that you think about.

* The survey was implemented as an online survey from 16–29 April 2019. The number of respondents totalled 9826.

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