Feeling lonely at work? Feeling like you don't belong at your company, in your job, or in your career at all? Loneliness can creep up on us at any stage in our professional lives. When it does, we often don't know how to handle the feeling. Is it normal to feel lonely at work? Is it normal to walk into the office or log on for the day and instantly feel alone?
Yes, it is. You're not alone in feeling lonely.
The good news is, you can do something about it! You can become empowered in your career and feel a sense of connection again.
Loneliness is often caused by a lack of connection--to people, to yourself, or to the work that you do. Without connection, you won't feel happy or satisfied in your career.
Here are some ways to deal with loneliness in your career so you can finally find happiness and satisfaction in your professional life.
Learn How To Network
Connection is essential in our lives. We need to connect with others every day, or at least feel connected to them. If we don't, loneliness can set in. And that's when our mental health (and performance at work) can really start to suffer.
In your career, you might not be friends with your boss or co-workers. That's okay. But you should have a network of people, a support system, that you can fall back on. These people know your professional strengths, weaknesses, and accomplishments. They know your skills, the type of work you like to do, and the causes you're passionate about. This is not your family. This is your professional network.
Having a strong professional network is not only important for career success. It also gives you a sense of connection to others in your professional life. For this reason, it's important to learn how to network, even if you hate it. The more you network, the easier it will become. Reach out to people you admire. Find people who can help you succeed. After connecting on LinkedIn, make sure to add value to your network. If you help others, they will return the favor.
Discover Your Career Purpose
One of the biggest reasons why you might feel lonely and unfulfilled in your career is because you feel disconnected from yourself and the work that you do. That loneliness could be amplified if you're working with people who aren't passionate about the same things as you are. This is why it's essential to discover your career purpose.
Finding your career purpose is a relatively simple process. First, you need to discover your professional strengths (take our Career Decoder Quiz to figure this out!). Then, you need to determine how you want to prioritize the eight key areas of life, and how you have been prioritizing them (there's probably a disconnect, and that could be the primary cause of your loneliness and career dissatisfaction). Finally, once you've figured out your professional strengths and how you want to prioritize the eight key areas of life, you need to create your interview bucket list.
An interview bucket list is a list of 10-20 companies you'd love to work for. Are you passionate about a company's product or service? Do you feel connected to their mission? Can you relate to their values and beliefs as an organization? Think about these questions as you make your list. You'll probably notice a pattern, and that'll help you identify your intrinsic motivation and the type of job/career that would make you feel unfulfilled and satisfied, where you would feel connected to and passionate about the work, overcoming loneliness in your career once and for all.
Find Your Community
In addition to building your professional network and discovering your career purpose, you should also find your community.
A community is different from a professional network. A community is close-knit. It's a safe space, a fortress. Inside, there's a sense of solidarity and togetherness. It's hard to be lonely when you feel supported by and connected to a group of like-minded individuals who all have the same goal, whatever that goal may be. Essentially, everyone in your community is a part of your professional network, but not everyone in your professional network is a part of your community.
Join organizations or groups, volunteer, or do something you've always wanted to do (especially if it's outside your comfort zone). Follow your passion, your career purpose, and you'll find your community along the way.
The best community for professionals, though, is located inside Work It Daily.
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