5 Tips to Turn Your Job into What You Want

New year, new job? If the thought of going back to work is filling you with dread, you might already be thinking about moving on to something new. But what if the job you want might actually be the one you’ve already got – and it just needs some tweaking?

Research by The Oxford Group suggests that making small changes to how we work can actually reap rewards. Here are their top five tips to turning the job you’ve got into the job you want:

1) Get to Know the People You Work With

Only one in four of us say that our team performs well together and less than a third of us feel comfortable disclosing our concerns with our boss. If you’ve got an awkward relationship with someone at work, perhaps now is the time to address that. “Having trusting relationships is at the heart of getting things done,” says The Oxford Group’s Nigel Purse, [easyazon_link asin=”1909623717″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”achievstrate-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]author of the book 5 Conversations[/easyazon_link]. “If you can build that relationship, it is more likely that the people you rely on will be prepared to go that extra mile for you in the moments when it really matters.”

Having trusting relationships is at the heart of getting things done. @NigelPurse

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2) Be Clear About Expectations

What do you want to achieve at work, and how can others help you achieve that? One in five of us have no idea what is expected of us by our boss – which is how we end up looking elsewhere. This may be because only a third of bosses make an effort to spell it out. “Increased clarity helps us feel grounded, which we know is vital for people to give their best at work.”

3) Show Genuine Appreciation

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We’re all too quick to jump in and play the blame game when a job goes wrong, but when was the last time you complimented a colleague – or they complimented you? “One in three people we spoke to said they were rarely praised at work. And for those of us lucky enough to receive praise, a quarter say this is insincere to means nothing. We are our own harshest critics – and we don’t need our colleagues to reinforce that too.”

4) Challenge Unhelpful Behavior

If someone is being disruptive or unreliable, have a conversation with them and find out why. Only one in three of us would challenge this kind of situation, with two thirds of people saying that the situation got worse, not better, after they had addressed the issue. “Try to keep the conversation focused on the facts”, Nigel suggests. “Try not to blame the person, but find out their views on the situation. Having the conversation in the right way can actually deepen, not damage, the relationship.”

One in five of us have no idea what is expected of us by our boss – which is how we end up looking elsewhere.

5) Plan for the Future

It happens to all of us: you wake up one morning and realize that the job you once loved is the one you now hate. Make sure you futureproof your career by planning your next steps in advance. “One in five of us say there are no career development opportunities with our current employer. But this probably isn’t the case – talk to your boss about your ambitions. Where do you see yourself three to five years from now? Is that something your company can help you achieve? We know from our research that today’s organizations are changing so rapidly, there will often be a new career path you can take.”


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Nigel Purse is Chairman and Director of The Oxford Group, which he co-founded in 1987 following a successful career in HR and business management for global clients including Mars and Burmah Oil. Nigel is an experienced facilitator, writer and speaker whose passion lies in developing management and leadership capability in new and senior leaders. He continues to work full time in the business as CEO, supporting colleagues in developing and delivering innovative learning solutions for major clients worldwide. The Oxford Group has 230 facilitators, trainers and coaches based in 28 countries and working in 28 languages. Nigel was instrumental in the development and launch of the 5 Conversations programme, and co-authored the book 5 Conversations: How To Transform Trust, Engagement And Performance At Work. The book is based on 30 years of learning from world-class organisations, tried and tested leadership coaching techniques and emergent thinking on neuroscience and employee behavior.

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