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What To Do When You Hate Your Job

According to a stunning Gallup's World Poll, over 80% of workers in the world either hate their job (and especially their boss), or are not fully engaged in the work they do.

Here’s how productivity icon, Jim Clifton interpreted the data: “Only 15% of the world's one billion full-time workers are engaged at work. It is significantly better in the U.S., at around 30% engaged, but this still means that roughly 70% of American workers aren't engaged.”

That means chances are that you, reading this article, is one of those people that hate your job (or at least, not fully engaged in your work).

If that’s the case, my best advice for you is to look for another job! You can talk to a career coach today to help you figure out what to do.

However, until you find a new job and move on, you may still need to keep working at your current job. And the question is how do you do that?  

How can you do your work and do it well if you’re lacking motivation and a sense of engagement?

You certainly don’t want to be let go prematurely, and you also do not want a poor performance evaluation either. Those could make it difficult for you to get another job.

To make the most of situation when you hate your job, consider the following strategies:

1. Keep your current job, but start working on the new skills you need for the job you want:

Instead of wasting whatever spare time you might have on Netflix binging, social media surfing or mindless chatting and text messaging, consider building the skills you will need for your next career move.

Perhaps, you might return to school and obtain the certifications necessary to pursue a job that would provide you with greater satisfaction. LinkedIn Learning, Udemy, and numerous other online learning platforms have many useful courses, training, and certifications.

2. Find a hobby outside of work that you like:

Make something other than work the highlight of your day. Take up a hobby, if you don’t have one. Or step up volunteering in your community or place of worship.

It's crucial to have something to look forward to outside of work. It’s a good way to make the unfulfilling and boring work go by fast. It’s also a good way to clear your mind after eight hours of mindless work. Plus, they may be useful networking avenues to help you find your next job.

3. Make the most of your work breaks:

Try reading positive affirmations or meditating or yoga during your breaks. These activities can help you cope with an otherwise unsavory workday. Music may also be a wonderful method to improve your mood.

If you make the most of your breaks, you could find that the day goes by faster.

4. Make a list of all the reasons you're thankful for your current job:

 Yes, that sounds weird, because we are talking about a job you hate. But every bad situation has some sort of silver lining. Remind yourself of all your job's positive qualities, no matter how small you might think they are. For example, the job pays the bill, or you like your co-workers, or you are learning some new skills you never had before, etc.

The reason for this exercise is not so that you will then settle on the job. NO. The reason is because, positive psychology tells us that focusing on the positive is always better, and leads to a better outcome, than dwelling on the negative, even when you hate your job.

5. Avoid the “Ain’t It Awful” Club:

I borrowed this from the famous master, Jack Canfield. As Canfield explained in his book, The Success Principles: How To Get From Where You Are To Where You Want To Be, members of this club engage in nothing but “constant stream of negative judgments, criticisms, blaming and complaining.” Membership in this club cannot do you any good, professionally or otherwise.

Instead, find positive groups to hang out with. Reach out socially and make friends with successful people. As the saying goes: you become like the people you spend the most time with.

6. Concentrate on excelling in your work:

Rather than focusing on your dissatisfaction at work, make a concerted effort to improve your performance. With such good intentions, you could even begin to love it.

If you put out excellent work, you may earn a bonus, or get promoted to a position you might enjoy. At the very least, you will get a good endorsement or letter of recommendation when you apply for another job.

7. Crank up your professional networking game:

Networking is the surest route to most good jobs these days. You should take it seriously if you want success in your next job search.

When you start feeling like you hate your job, be sure to update your LinkedIn profile (and your resume). Identify the industry you are interested in and widen your outreach of people that work in that industry. Join relevant professional associations and get active in their activities. And reconnect with the alumni associations of your alma maters.

At some point, you may have a job you’re unhappy with. Until you find your dream job, use these tips to cope to make the best of your current situation.

7 Ways to Cope with Job Transition

Job transitions are almost always stressful. Whether the transition is caused by a lay-off, moving into a new position at your existing job, or starting a new job, you will encounter some stressful moments and powerful emotions like anger, frustration, fear and feeling of uncertainty and overwhelm.

And by the way, you’re not alone in making a job or career transition. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the US Department of Labor , the average person born in the latter years of the baby boom (1957-1964) held 11.7 jobs from age 18 to age 48. And that number is going up, with some studies finding that younger Americans last barely 4 years any given job before moving on.

It’s not a matter of if, but when you will have to deal with a job or career transition.

So, if you’re facing one, consider the following:

1. Take an Honest Look at You:

What are your strengths, weaknesses, skills? How did those influence—positively or negatively—your transition? Do not lose focus of who you are, of the strengths that have helped you pull through tough times in the past.

2. Take Care of Your Health:

Major changes are physically and emotionally taxing. You need self-care now more than ever. Exercise regularly, eat well, sleep well, and laugh often. Start meditation. These will help you to feel calm, focused, and in control of the situation.

3. Engage Your Curiosity:

What went wrong, or right? What could you have done better? What worked really well? Be careful though, not to dwell on the past, but look for lessons learnt and opportunities to be seized. “In every adversity there lies the seed of an equivalent advantage. In every defeat is a lesson showing you how to win the victory next time,” writes Robert Collier. Seek for the advantage in this particular situation. You’ll find it, when you engage your curiosity.

4. Focus Not on What You Don’t Want:

Rather, focus on what you want. Know what you need, know what you want, and know how to tell the difference. Keep your eye on the prize.

I can’t emphasize this enough, because often times, when we are under stress such as this, we tend to think more of that thing which created the stress in the first instance – second guessing ourselves, as the cliché goes. And then we end up feeling even more stressed out. The best way to deal with that situation is to shift your gaze to what you really want and to stay positive.

5. Create Your Own Rite of Passage:

Psychiatrist Abigail Brenner writing in Psychology Today argues that ceremony and ritual help with all transitions. I remember when I was younger, whenever I was moving up to something new, like going away to college, or starting a new job, my mother would make me go to our church and pray a full rosary in front of the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary (we were Catholics). At the time I did not know how they worked, but I have always felt that those prayers helped me cope with those transitions.

Dr. Brenner, who is the author of the book, Shift: How to Deal When Life Changes

You can create and perform your own personally expressive rituals, and they don’t have to be anything religious. They can be as simple or elaborate as you want them to be, using them to mark and honor your transitions and special moments in your life that you find significant, in ways you find personally meaningful.

6. Let go of how things were “supposed to be”:

And accept “how things are.” Find appreciation for what is. If you have not read Byron Katie’s book, The Work, now is the time to do so. Read the book and do the exercises (all free on her website), I promise you’ll experience a significant shift not only in how you perceive your current career transition, but in your life.

7. Find Support:

Since your transition affects your family as well, it may be better to seek the outside support of friends or professionals. Career coach Tess Taylor advises that a good way to manage the emotional effects of career transition is to seek the services of a professional career coach or counselor. She writes that talking about your feelings and your goals makes them tangible and easier to manage. A career coach can help you map out a job plan that aligns with your personality, life purpose and personal values.

In conclusion, be sure to keep things in perspective. Or try on a new perspective. Don’t allow yourself to get stuck. Remember, the only constant is change.

Are You Ready for Career Change? 5 Key Steps to Plan and Execute Your Move

While many people would love to change their careers, not many people know what to do or where to start. Indeed, this is one of the reasons why many people remain stuck on jobs they don’t like.

Career or job shift can often be the desirable and rightful thing to do when you no longer feel fulfilled in the job you have, however, I will strongly advise that you plan your move carefully.

Do not leap before you look! You do not want the regret of making the wrong move.

With adequate planning, the switchover can be exciting, motivating, and rejuvenating instead of fraught with worry.

Consider the following strategies as you plan and implement your career move:

1. Life Purpose Evaluation:

This is perhaps, the most critical step. You must start by identifying and evaluating your life purpose and values.

I believe that every human being has a purpose for which they are put on this earth. And the principal reason why most people are unhappy with their jobs is because the work they do is not in alignment with their life purpose and values.

You must ask yourself: what is the core message of your life? What are the most important values to you?

You must be clear of your purpose, and you work must be an expression of your life purpose. It’s only then that you can perform at your optimum.

Discovering your life purpose and identifying jobs or careers that are in alignment with it is the most important step in making any career change.

That’s what we call the inner shift. A good career coach, using the right technique, can help you work through this step.

2. Assess Your Motives:

Unearth the reasons for your desire to change careers. Do you feel underappreciated, underpaid, overworked, or unsatisfied in your current position? If so, dig deeper to discern whether your current employer or the career field as a whole is at the root of your dissatisfaction.

If you discover that the source of your unhappiness is your employer, change employers rather than starting an entirely new career. It’s much easier to get a job within your current career field than to get your foot in the door of a completely separate career field.

If your issue is being underpaid or overworked, it may not be necessary to change employers. Have a talk with your supervisor and tell them how your current position is making you feel. If you’re an asset to the company, you may be able to work out an agreement for a raise, promotion or different department that may align better with your life purpose.

3. Have a Game Plan:

Be sure you have a solid plan in place before you take the plunge.

Find out what it will take to succeed in your new career, and be clear you got it. If you don’t have it, be clear how you will get it.

Do you need a new training or certification? What about skills? Are you sure you can excel in the new area?

If you don’t have those, do you have a clear plan on how to acquire them?

If you’re considering a drastic career change, such as going from being a mortgage loan officer to a career in the medical professions, clearly you’ll need additional training. More common career changes may require less additional education, if any.

Search for job postings online which fit the career field you’d like to enter. Generally, the employer or recruiter will list the required education and experience necessary to be considered for the job.

If you’ll need additional education, of course, it will be wise to evaluate a number of issues, like time and resources it will take to complete it.

Your game plan should include your strategies for marketing yourself in the way your prospective employers will see your strength and the value you could add to their organizations.

Do not forget to update (or clean up) your social media, especially your LinkedIn account. Almost all employers these days will check you out in the social media.

Be sure you have strategies in place for accessing both the published and unpublished job markets. Indeed, it’s been estimated that more than 70% of jobs filled each year, especially beyond the entry level, are unpublished, that is, filled without being advertised. Having a plan in place to capture that market is critical when you’re trying to make a career move.

4. Update Your Networking:

Networking is very critical for all job search efforts, particularly for those planning to make a career change.

For one, networking is the number one strategy for accessing the unpublished job market I just discussed above.

It is therefore, imperative that you develop strategic relationships with people in the industry that you are planning to break into.

Remember, networking is not about blabbing to everyone you meet that you’re looking for a job. Start first by getting relevant information and referrals, and then build on those. Link up with as many people in that industry as you can through your social media and other networking channels. Learn the language of the industry and make yourself present during personal meetings and conversations.

Do not stop networking even after you’ve landed a job. Networking continues to remain crucial as you advance in your new career.

5. Balance Speed with Caution:

Yes, you’ve made the decision to move, and move you must, but do not throw caution to the winds. Don’t make reckless moves.

Hang on to your current paycheck for as long as you can, preferably until you can secure a position with a new employer. Set up interviews while you’re still employed and only quit your current position only after you have signed, sealed and delivered your new job contract.

When you’re currently employed with another company, you have more bargaining power in terms of salary when considering a position with a new employer.

Once you’ve secured a position, it may be time to give a two or three week notice to your current employer. The lengthy notice will further increase the chances of a good recommendation and it will prevent them from being surprised when someone calls to confirm a reference. Do not burn your bridge; you never know when you might need it again.

There is nothing wrong in making a career change. There are many jobs available for qualified candidates. If you aren’t content in your current position, life is too short to continue to spend eight hours per day miserably.

As long as you plan carefully to ensure your family’s security, you’d be well served seeking employment in a career field that will increase your quality of life.