Realizing that you don’t like your job is one of the worst feelings in the world. After all, your job is a HUGE part of your life. And you know in an ideal world you should feel fulfilled at work while simultaneously making decent money and growing professionally. Acknowledging that this isn’t the case for you is terrible. So what should you do about it? It’s time to make a plan to break your unfortunate status quo.
Why don’t you like it?
The first question to ask yourself may seem obvious, but why don’t you like your job? There’s a wide range of reasons people don’t like their job and they’re all equally valid. It’s important to pinpoint your source of job dread to help you decide what you want to do about it. Reflect on your own experiences while considering these common sources of job frustration:
- Culture: Is your work culture a bad fit for you? Everyone has different work culture preferences and that’s okay. Think of your ideal work environment and compare it to what you’re experiencing now.
- Relationships: Are your supervisors and coworkers negatively affecting you? Relationships, especially the one you have with your main supervisor, can make or break a job. Think about things like how you’re given feedback, the ways your coworkers communicate, and if you feel supported when you’re assessing your work relationships.
- Role: Do you feel unexcited by your daily role? There are always going to be aspects of your job you don’t exactly love. But are you feeling that way about all of your role? Think about what you do during a typical day and assess the balance of what you like and don’t like.
- Industry: Do you find yourself itching to break out of your industry? Sometimes people just need to feel like their role is a perfect match and it doesn’t matter what industry they’re in. Other people need to feel well matched with their role and their industry. Consider whether or not you feel passionate about the industry you’re in and what other industries you might want to experience.
What do you want to do about it?
Now comes one of the hardest parts. Think about everything you just reflected on long and hard. What do you want to do about it? It all boils down to two options:
- Cope: Sometimes you can’t leave a job. Maybe you just started and want to put in more time. Maybe you’re on a specific contract. Whatever the reason, choosing to cope doesn’t mean resigning yourself to not liking your job. It means coming up with a plan to make it better, which I’ll get to in a second.
- Leave: Is it time to move on from your job and never look back? There’s no shame in this option. Never feel like you have to stay in a job you don’t like. Life’s too short and there are plenty of jobs in the job sea or options to get more education to get a better job. It’s just time to come up with a plan!
What does your plan look like?
You know why you don’t like your job and what you want to do about it. Now it’s time to make your plan of attack.
- If you’re coping: Start brainstorming ways you can make each day just a little bit better. If you’re not loving your role, start offering your assistance to different projects and teams that seem more interesting to you. If you’re close with your supervisor, this can be a great conversation to have with them about growing professionally. You’ll be able to learn more about different types of roles without even quitting your current job! If you’re not loving your industry, start thinking of professional development opportunities and networking events to enrich yourself with in the meantime. No matter what your course of action is, make sure you give yourself a time frame so you can reassess how you’re feeling about your job in a few months.
- If you’re leaving: Start your job or education search ASAP! Give your resume and LinkedIn a refresh to reflect your current role as you start applying or start learning about different career paths that interest you. If you’re feeling lost on what your next step is, remember that figuring out what you don’t like is just as important as figuring out what you like. Look at what you reflected on and start thinking about making a 5 year plan to ensure this job will be better than the last.
Whether you cope or leave, it’s incredibly draining to dislike your job. Just remember that it doesn’t have to be this way and you have the power to make it better. Good luck!