I hate my job, now what?
One of the most amazing things about being alive is that we’re seeing the rise of different job models that adapt to your life, your schedule, your needs, and *cough* dare we even say … your desires. If you are sitting cross-eyed at a cubicle (or in your home office because … pandemic) miserable with that dreaded phrase, “I hate my job. I hate my job. I hate my job!” running through your brain, we have some advice for you.
Hating your job can be pretty complex. For instance, a good boss in a bad corporate culture can still keep you motivated. Or a mundane task in a nurturing environment can seem enjoyable.
But this is not sustainable. Getting fulfillment in a role stems from engagement. Engagement, it turns out, is about more than just on-site daycare and a juice bar.
And no, this doesn’t necessarily mean a sabbatical in a foreign land with copious amounts of green tea and meditation. While that can be a game-changing reset for some, it doesn’t offer a palpable solution for everyone.
It’s about harnessing your talents and abilities, involving you in policies that matter, and better access to opportunities. A study by Randstad found that 57% of workers felt that they were stunted in their careers if they stayed with their current employers.
Why do you hate your job?
- Corporate culture
- Company policies
- Staff morale
- Your role
- The commute
How do these things tie in with your dream job?
I hate my job is a strong feeling to have towards something that takes up, on average, nearly 2,000 hours out of your life every year. If you’re working more than the typical 40-hour workweek, it means that you’re devoting more than 25% of your year to something you hate (more if you include the amount of headspace your job takes up when you’re not at work!). For at least 40 years. Can you deal with that?
How to stop hating your job in 5 easy steps
Step 1: Identify your dream job
Turn off the damn TV. It’s time to give your dream job some attention. You should give this just as much (if not more!) attention as you did when you chose your first Prius in 2001.
- Choose your dream job – this is the part where you decide whether you’re going to open up that corner deli or work your way up the corporate ladder.
- Deep research – business plans and feasibility studies for that corner deli, or market research into your dream job. You’ll be faced with some tough questions here, such as financial viability.
- Natural networking – stick your pokers into all those little fires to find strong business partners, suppliers, and clients. On the corporate side, this is where you find out who’s hiring.
- Test the market – It’s showtime! When those pokers start warming up, it’s time to test the market.
- Focus on your dream job – You’re officially on the road to your dream job!
Step 2: Draw up a career plan
Imagine planning a 30-day trip through Europe and you’ve decided to skip the services of a travel agent. However, you have a goal to stay in 5-star accommodation throughout the journey, visit at least 20 landmarks, you get the picture? So how do you do this? Hours and hours of research and an itinerary later, you might just get what you want.
The same goes for your career. You need a career plan to get to the job of your dreams. The size and intricacy of our plan will rest on the number of steps it will take for you to reach your goals. For instance:
- Will you need to further your studies?
- Does it involve moving to a different company?
- Are you going to start an entirely new career?
Once the plan is in place, it’s important to bide your time. Don’t rush into a new job if you’re not ready. In fact, we feel so passionately about this that we literally covered the topic.
Step 3: Scope the market
It’s time to put your feelers out there to see who is hiring, what the job packages look like, or whether you’re better off striking out on your own. A career path doesn’t always have to follow a corporate totem pole.
If you are striking out on your own, start out with a feasibility study. The research you do before you start your business will help a great deal to formulate your business plan going forward.
Now, you may not want to hear this, but if your current company offers your dream job, only you don’t have it, it’s time to ask your boss.
There are a number of reasons to speak to your boss before saying hasta la vista.
- You can ask for an increase
- There might be a fast track program for the role you want
- They’re looking to start up an initiative that you might be interested in
- You have an opportunity to work remotely
- He says no
The point is, there is no reason not to ask. The fear of rejection shouldn’t stop you from asking for what you want. Companies are very rarely willing to lose an employee over nickels and dimes, as Ramit would say, because a new hire is a sizable investment for a company. Even the small business down the street or the non-profit.
Step 4: Secure your safety net
You need to plot your finances. While money might not be everything, it sure sucks to be broke. It’s pretty hard to like your dream if you’re constantly having to stave of debtors and bill collectors. So get real with your finances and plot a journey that will allow you to comfortably move across. You’ll love your career trajectory all the better for it.
Ways to strengthen your safety net include:
Not worrying about money is a great launchpad when you change your career.
Step 5: Quit with style
While it might be tempting to trash the office zen garden and swop decaf out with regular coffee (you’ll show them), don’t. Keep it professional and quit when you’re equipped with everything you need to make it in your new journey. Perhaps even smile and wish your annoying (soon-to-be-ex) boss well in their future endeavors.
So, quit the mess. Show up for the things that will add meaning to your dream career path.
Consider your ability to earn an income an asset and something you should invest in, along with your relationships, health, and wellbeing.
If you’re ready to make a change for the better, we can help. Enter your information below to get access to our free video on the top 5 most common job search mistakes. Once you stop falling for the usual pitfalls, you’ll be amazed how many more opportunities start opening up for you.