It’s January and I hate my job
If you’ve clicked on this link we’re guessing that you do in fact hate your job or that some part of you is interested in exploring a career change. Do you have any idea what that change looks like? Is it a move sideways in your current role, a step up in another organisation or a complete change of direction into something new? You might have no idea which of these options it is, just that it’s time to make a change and look for something new.
So, what can you do to begin making the change? Here are a couple of positive things you can do to make sure you’re not clicking on this same link next year.
1.Get clear on what is and is not working for you?
It can be easy to assume that if you’re unhappy at work, a complete change is what you need. It is however, often the case, that some elements of your role are working fine but they are being minimised by those that aren’t.
It’s best to spend some time thinking about what these things are, when you’re away from the office or your desk. Start with a blank sheet, split into three columns: tasks I enjoy, tasks I don’t mind, and tasks I hate. Now, mentally run through each day of the week listing all the different elements of your role into the appropriate column. Try and be as thorough as you can, breaking down each day.
Also consider elements beyond what actually happens when you start your work. How’s the commute? Is there the flexibility to work from home? What part do your team and further colleagues play in your day? This exercise will give you a clearer view of what parts of your current role you’re looking to change.
2.Explore whose career you envy
It’s easy to say you envy Beyonce or Tim Cook. But is there someone you envy whose career is similar to yours but with a bit more experience. Or someone who does something you admire in a field that feels as though you could work in it also? This is actually a simpler question than most people realise. Often people can immediately think of several people who do something that inspires them, although they may be shy to voice it or act upon it. Take some time to think about what it is that makes you envious of that person’s career. Is that information something you can use to help you explore what a more satisfying career would look like for you?
If you know the person, can you ask for some advice? You may even find they give you the tools to step into a similar position. Envy doesn’t always have to be a bad thing!
3.Ask and experiment to learn what’s out there
Thinking about a change is not actually making a change. Start taking action to explore new and alternative options. Chatting with friends and family about their industries and careers, signing up to a short online course in something you’re interested in. These are ways to start dipping your toe in to making a change. Think of it like internet dating or buying a car. If you only have one option, you will pick that one option. Just by using your own network, online courses, or volunteering opportunities you could learn about new roles or industries that could be a better fit for you.
A good way to go about this is to set yourself some achievable benchmarks within a set timeframe such as 1-2 months. It might look something like this:
This month I am going to have coffee with two friends in different industries that interest me, watch 1-2 TED talks on an area that I’m curious about, look up a different career pathway on the CareerHQ Careers Database
Reflect upon what about these actions makes you curious or interested, and what elements perk up your imagination. Remember that finding out information about jobs or industries which don’t interest you is just as valid as finding out about things that do. No research is a waste of time as it always tells you something, whether that’s a new career path to explore or that a particular industry doesn’t appeal at all.
These are just a few simple things you can do so that next January you’re hopefully saying to yourself how much you enjoy your job!