Finding fulfillment in your job is incredibly important. Think about it. You spend nearly as much, if not more, time at your job then you spend anywhere else in life.
Most jobs take up at least 40 hours of our weeks. That’s 40 hours of 168 hours in a 7-day period. If you get an average of 8 hours of sleep (as is recommended), this means we only have about 72 hours in a week that belongs to us outside of work.
If you’re spending that much of your time at work, you should enjoy your job in some way. Will you love every single moment of your job? Probably not, but the question is, are you satisfied with your job? Are you happy with what you’re doing or is it time to consider other options?
If you came here because you typed in the search box “I don’t like my job but I don’t know what else to do”, you’ve come to the right place. You don’t have to sit unhappily at your job just because you don’t know where else to go.
Shed the misery and move forward!
Staying in an Unfulfilling Job
There are two primary reasons that people find themselves settling for a job that isn’t truly where they want to be.
- The pay is good
- They don’t know where else to go
It is amazing how many people will stay in a job because they feel stuck. Can you imagine how liberating it might feel to walk away? Whether you’re staying because you like the paycheck or you’re staying because you just don’t know what to do with your life, you need to walk away.
Let us give you some hard truth. Money isn’t everything.
Sure, you need to pay your bills. We understand that! But is the detriment of your health and happiness really worth a higher tax bracket?
Here’s another hard truth. You won’t find fulfillment staying in a place you’re not happy in.
There can be a multitude of reasons that you aren’t happy with your job. Maybe you don’t enjoy what you’re doing. Maybe you don’t like your co-workers. Maybe you can’t stand your boss. Whatever your reason for disliking the job you’re in, let yourself move on when it’s time.
Now let’s be clear, we’re not telling you to just sit at home and refuse to work. We’re telling you to find a job that you like and can enjoy on a deeper level.
Choosing a Job You Love
It’s easier said than done, right?
It can be very challenging to choose a career path. You go to school or pursue a career path because at the time, you think that’s what you want to do.
You find yourself successful in landing a great career in your chosen field, only to find that it’s not really what you wanted. Now what?
Let us tell you this. It’s OK!
It’s Ok to decide you’re not a fan of that career after all, to change your mind about what you want to do or to not really know what you want to do next.
Slow down, take a deep breath, and let’s work it out together! Try walking through these steps.
What is the Problem?
Can you identify what it is about your current job that you don’t like or don’t enjoy?
What is it about your job that leaves you wanting more or makes you unhappy? You might not be able to answer this right away. It may take some time and thoughtfulness. Or, you might be able to shout out a few things right away.
You can sit down and make a list of all the things you really dislike about your job. Start by listing everything that makes you unhappy. Take a deep breath and write it all down.
Now, look at your list. Are the things on your list related to the company you work for, your role in the company, or are they specific to the industry you’re working in? Go through every item you listed and identify where it falls.
If you find that the source of unhappiness is the company, the good news is, you can look for another company doing the same type of work and move on that way. If you find that you simply don’t enjoy the industry you’re working in, it’s time to consider a total change.
Make a Plan
You don’t have to jump ship right away but it might be worth your while to consider whether or not you can take some time off and determine what you really want to do. If you don’t have to work right away, consider a sabbatical to take some time to discover your path.
If you find that you simply don’t like the company you’re working for, then the solution is to find a similar role with a new company. However, if you find that you simply don’t like what you’re doing or the industry, your planning will require much more effort and recon.
Take the time to network and talk to others about their careers to try to determine where you want to be. Get to know people, get to know industries, research, communicate, and don’t just sit back and wait for something to find you.
Here are some great tips for trying to find a new career path.
- What are your strongest skills?
- What makes you feel fulfilled?
- What makes you feel needed?
- What are some things about you that set you apart?
- What are some common compliments you’ve received?
Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Take the time to find yours and then find where you can best use your strengths and skills for something you will enjoy.
What NOT to Do!
There are some common misconceptions in the working world that you simply have to suck it up and deal with it if you aren’t happy.
We said it once and we will say it again – you won’t find happiness in every single working moment but you should be able to find an overall sense of happiness and fulfillment in your career.
Here are the misconceptions that you need to throw out right away.
- All jobs are the same, there is unhappiness everywhere
- At least I have a job, misery is ok
- It’s hard to find a new job
- I’m scared I won’t like anything else
- Nowhere else can pay me well
Quitting your job and moving on can be one of the biggest challenges you will face. Don’t let these things hold you back.
You deserve to be happy in your career. Stop being scared to let go and focus more on what you can accomplish if you break away.
The worst thing you can possibly do for yourself is to do nothing. Hating your job depression is a real thing and it can cause misery in every aspect of your life. That doesn’t even take into consideration your health and stress levels.
Figure out what you like and don’t like and take action.
Don’t Burn Bridges
If you’re not happy where you are, don’t just become an awful worker. You don’t want to burn your bridges. You are at your job most likely because you don’t know where else to go and you need the paycheck.
While this may not be the place for you, you want to continue to be a good employee as you make a decision.
Don’t quit your job just yet unless you simply cannot bear another moment. Take the time to have a discussion with your boss. Let them know what has you so unhappy and have a conversation. Maybe they can help fit you into a better role or solve a problem within the office that is causing your unhappiness on the job.
Continue to be a valuable employee for the entirety of your career with the current employer. You want to receive recommendations when you decide to move on and you want to be a valuable employee. Show the utmost professionalism and continue to do your job to the best of your ability.
Don’t be the person in the office who constantly shares their misery with everyone around them. You might not be happy where you are currently but you don’t need to bring everyone else down.
You can share improvement ideas and have private conversations with your supervisor but it’s very important that you don’t become the office downer. Don’t alienate yourself and don’t spend all your time griping and complaining.
Stay positive and share the bright side.
Changing careers is never easy. We often feel guilt and remorse when we feel the need to move on from a certain employer. The key here is to handle everything on a professional level. Take the time to figure out where your skills might be valuable and where you can put them to use.
In the meantime, stay happy and positive and simply put your best foot forward!