Some people are lucky enough to find their dream job, that is, something they really love doing and someone willing to pay them to do it.
That’s great, but for most people the opposite is true. They find a job that someone is willing to pay them to do, so they can pay for all the things they really love. Most of the time that is fine, but what happens when you get to the point where you really hate your job? It’s not as simple as just leaving. You may end up in an environment or role that is just as bad as the one you left or you may end up working even longer hours than you did before. So what steps should you go through before you call it a day?
- Step 1 – Identify the Real Problem
The very first thing you need to do is figure out what the problem is. All too often we are tired, frustrated and negative about our job but when we take a closer look at things we realise it’s not really the job that’s the problem. It could be relationship issues, stress at home, illness etc that is really making us unhappy but we blame our job because that’s where we spend the bulk of our day. Ask yourself:
Am I putting in enough effort?
Do I have the right attitude?
Then if that is all good, ask yourself:
Is it a work problem or a home problem?
Is it the work or the environment?
Once you have figured out if it is a home problem, a work environment issue or the actual job itself consider the following options:
Change in your job description – Can help if your frustration is that you are bored with the role itself and are not exploring new skills and experiences
Change of job/role within the same organisation – Can help if you want to try other job functions within the same career path with low risk
Change in organisation – Can help if the work environment is toxic or unsupportive and unlikely to change
Change in career – Can help if you really hate not just the role but the career path you have chosen
- Step 2 – Talk Through The Options With Your Boss
All too often, people who are unhappy at work just get angry and frustrated then find another role and leave. They don’t often sit and talk through the issues with their boss giving them a chance to change things a little. You should definitely talk to your boss early on, they may be able to make some changes that make a huge difference to you. You can approach the meeting by calmly explaining your frustrations and bring along any ideas you may have like:
Changes to your workload
New skills you would like to develop
Inter company project teams you could be part of
- Step 3 – Revisit Your Short and Long term Goals
Once you are clear about what the problem is and you have given your boss ample opportunity to make some necessary changes you ma find you are still unhappy. At this point, you need to consider your short term and long term goals. It may be a while since you have given these a lot of thought but sitting down and re evaluating your future means being clear about what you are aiming for. Revise your list of both and be clear about what it is you really want. Rank them in order of importance if that helps give you clarity.
If you decide to stay with your current company in another role or a revised version of your role that’s great. Make sure you approach it with a positive attitude and focus on developing new skills and achieving your short term goals. Make sure you are clear about what your limits are and set aside some time each week outside of work just for you.
- Step 4 – Update Your Resume and LinkedIn Profile
If you have tried everything above and you are still unhappy you may need to move on to another role and company. If this is the case, make sure you set a realistic timeline for departure. It takes a while to update your resume, set up or optimise your LinkedIn profile and get yourself job interview ready. Make sure you have allowed enough time if this is your preferred path.
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