Jobs are out there. If you don’t have one, you can get one. The problem is getting and keeping the job you actually want!
What happens when the job you thought you wanted turns into a job you hate? What if the job you’re in started off as a means to “get by” but now you’re so stuck in it for financial reasons that every day is utterly miserable and you seem destined to be depressed for the rest of your working life? What if the people you work with are killing you slowly?
I turned my back on a high flying career to follow the career of my dreams and 6 years down the line, I’m still glad I did. I traded a toxic corporate environment with a nice pay-packet for complete freedom with zero financial stability. (welcome to entrepreneurship).
I’ve learned however, that no job i perfect. If I didn’t have boundless energy, resilience and love for my own desire to make my business work, I could run into a dark place of worry and exhaustion pretty quickly. Resentment would surely follow. So, what can be done to stay upbeat? Whether solopreneur or part of a large team, how you handle yourself at work, and the way you think in good times and in bad is key….
Ok, so you’re in the “I hate my job” frame of mind right now, here’s what I recommend you do before you decide to commit career suicide.
Do a quick self-assessment.
Why do I hate my present job? Is this a new feeling or have I always disliked it? Is it the people I’m working with, the tasks I’m asked to do, the culture of the organization? Try making a list of the likes and dislikes of your job and what you’d want in your next job.
Figure out if it’s you or the job you’re unhappy with.
Once you do a self-assessment, determine whether the things you’re unhappy with have to do with you, or the job. If you decide to change jobs to relieve tension, it may follow you and you’ll find the same thing in the next job. If you’re unhappy in your job because you’re unhappy in life, the solution may be to seek help outside of the office. (Skyrocket coaching is great for that stuff!)
Talk. Do you think your boss is a mind reader?
The art of communicating what you want is key. People often just “go with the flow” and then get upset when they don’t get what they want! You’re boss is not a mind reader. If you’re not happy with your schedule, your compensation, or the projects you’re assigned to, before you go complaining to the office agony aunt, think about the clarity of communication you have with your boss. Are you being clear? By talking about what you are good at, what you like and what you enjoy might make all the difference and the jobs that are assigned to you may improve.
Don’t quit immediately.
Remember that the grass is not always greener on the other side, and new pastures are not always what you thought they’d be. Before you head for the hills, or change to another field, do the research and preparation necessary so you will be informed, educated and qualified. If your job is tolerable, secure and satisfying enough then it’s possible that things can get better through change management work. Do some research and make some suggestions towards how you, your team and others can benefit from a bit of a shakeup.
If you’re in a situation where your job is intolerable or unsafe—let’s face it, you should leave, maybe not today, but soon.
Change your attitude.
Maybe you had one bad experience at work that left a sour taste in your mouth. If so, learn something positive from it for the future and let it go. In my corporate days, I had a saying of “S.U.M.O” (Shut Up, Move On). Maintaining a positive attitude and focusing on the aspects of your job that you enjoy is a better way for you to get through the day. If you seem to be saying S.U.M.O every minute of the day, it might be time to consider moving on.
Even if you plan to quit, keep doing your job well. This way, when you decide to leave, you will have good recommendations. And if you’re situation improves and you decide to stay, you won’t be embarrassed about your behaviour. Always remember: It’s never a good idea to burn bridges, no matter how dissatisfied you are with your employer or your job.
Set your career goals.
Figure out where you want to be in five years. Will your current role help you get there? If not, what would? How can you move toward that? If you know what you want to accomplish and where you want to be, it may put things into perspective for you. Concentrating on the compelling vision of how you’ll feel in the future can make any struggles you’re experiencing now seem more bearable and simply part of the process of gaining experience.
Look for appealing opportunities.
Are there any opportunities to join a committee, project, or initiative or network within your company? Volunteer to help someone you admire; someone who could teach you things or mentor you. Engaging in projects and initiatives that make you happy could make the overall experience in your workplace more enjoyable.
Don’t take it out on others.
Negativity spreads. Don’t treat your clients or colleagues poorly because you’re miserable in your job—and definitely refrain from gossiping or complaining to them. If you have a complaint, share it with the person who can help you resolve it. Moaners, whingers and gossips are known as “energy suckers” to the people who are going in the opposite direction, no one will ever thank you for dumping your problems on them!
If, like me, you wake up one day and decide “this is it!” I’ve done all of the above and I still feel like i’m in the wrong job, then there’s only one thing to be said….Go for it.
You are never too old, never too young, never too inexperienced or never too set in your ways to decide to start. It’s your life.