If your bad days at work far outnumber the good ones, then chances are you’re probably one of the millions of people who hate their jobs. For most professionals however, coming to the recognition that they’re dissatisfied with their jobs doesn’t always come with the decision to do something about it! And that is understandable, to a certain point.
There’s no doubt that making important work decisions can have a serious impact on your career as well as on your personal life,. However, you must remember that sometimes staying on in an undesirable situation can have even worse effects on both your emotional and physical well being too.
Making a change can be especially difficult if you’ve invested years (studying, training, practicing, etc.) into doing one thing, and discover that you’d much rather be doing something else. However, doing something you hate will not only halt both your personal and career growth, but will also eventually result in highly unproductive, inefficient, and most of all, unfulfilling work practices.
So are you willing to stick it out at a dead-end job that you hate, or are you ready to take the big step towards the career of your dreams?
The first step to turning your dream career into a reality is understanding what you hate about your current job and why it is that you hate it. You must be clear on what is not working for you, in order to make the right changes.
Working through the questions below will give you a better understanding of whether you hate your working environment (work set up, colleagues, management style, company values, etc.) or the actual field of your work (journalism, business, etc.) and your profession.
1. How do you feel at the beginning of a work day?
Do you dread waking up in the morning or are you excited to get started on the day’s tasks? What is it that you dread or what is it that you look forward to? And why?
2. How does your work make you feel?
Do you find your work boring and pointless or challenging and meaningful? What aspects of the work do you hate, and which do you enjoy (if any)? Which tasks do you love doing? How much of your day is spent doing tasks you really enjoy vs tasks you don’t.
3. How do you feel at the end of the work day?
Are you exhausted and drained or satisfied and fulfilled? What causes your exhaustion or fulfillment?
Once you are clear on the ‘what’ – that is not working, you need to understand ‘why’.
1. Are your personal values inline with the values that you are able to express/fulfill at work?
We all have our own personal values, which we cannot compromise on, they are a part of us and they influence our degree of happiness and fulfillment directly. You must have most of your values respected in your job, otherwise, you will find yourself struggling to be happy in your career.
How do your workplace values differ from your own values? Are you able to openly express your thoughts/ideas and if/when you do, are they respected and appreciated? For example. If you value health, how much of a work/life balance does your career give you?
2. Do you see yourself being able to grow from your work experience?
Are you able to easily picture yourself in a higher position at your workplace in a few years or does the thought distress you? What does the future hold for you in your current job? and how do you feel about it? Does it align with your goals or is there a conflict between your long term goals and what your current career can give you?
3. What are your work relationships like?
You spend most of your day at work, relationships play a huge role in your ‘happiness’ at work. Are you, your colleagues and/or managers able to hold meaningful conversations or do you feel as though you aren’t able to find any like-minded people at your workplace? How much of the ‘social’ aspect of your job is influencing how you feel right now – good or bad?
Whether you decide to reevaluate and tweak your current career path or to have a complete career makeover, the first step to making a change is identifying and noting down what isn’t working and why. Get clear on your value at work as well, an exercise most professionals never do.
Then you can start to see whether it is your current career that needs to change or simply, the work environment, that is clouding your vision.
Remember, it’s never too late to either look for more satisfying work in the same field, or to acquire the knowledge, skills and resources required to start afresh in a new, more fulfilling area of work – you simply have to be willing to put in the effort.
If you dream of a better career for yourself, don’t let your dreams just be dreams! It’s better to do the groundwork now and have a fulfilling career for the rest of your life, than stay in a place you don’t want to be for the rest of your life. Your life is what you choose for yourself.
Thinking of hiring a career coach to help you find a career that you love? Connect with Kirstin, browse our directory of career coaches and get a FREE consultation or request a personalized coach recommendation!
Kirstin O'Donovan is a "multinational" productivity coach, author and founder of TopResultsCoaching, an international company providing coaching services in nearly a dozen countries. With over 10 years working in the field of coaching and personal development, she provides her expertise to help individuals create the life and results they desire. She works closely with individuals who struggle with time-management and organization to achieve their goals successfully and take their life to the next level.