One of the best lessons I’ve ever learned was to pursue a career, not a job. A career, I believe is personal and professional in nature. It should allow you to enjoy each day where a job is limited in its ability. A job in our minds is something we have to show up for, where the enjoyment comes from leaving the workplace and looking forward to days off. When you feel you hate your job, there are strategies to employ which help find your career. Strategies that can keep you not only motivated, but to know when it’s time to move on, or when it’s time to adjust.
Hate Your Job? Find Your Professional Direction
Often, we get asked “What do you want to do in life?”, or “What do you want from your professional career?”. Most of us are unsure. There’s nothing wrong with not knowing, but we seem to second guess ourselves. We question our destination. When we see others get a promotion or friends having children and getting married, we look at our own lives, even if it’s just for a split second. It’s human nature. It’s moments of uncertainty where we can amplify our own life and think about the professional direction we go. If you find yourself in a position where you hate your job, don’t leave before you leave. In other words, don’t mentally check out before sending in your resignation letter. Find your career direction in the way you would use a compass.
1. Set your destination.
What are your interests? Do they align in your current industry? Think about what you want most from your career and set a deadline. Is it management, or starting a small business? You might still enjoy your current role but would like more energy. The likelihood of reaching a deadline increases when you identify a destination.
2. Analyze your current position.
What do you currently offer in your career? Are you appreciated in the workplace? Identify your strengths and ask yourself if they’re utilized. Is your personality suited? By understanding how you feel about your current career and what you offer helps identify your starting point.
3. Plan your route.
What do you have to do to get there? Identify how you can reach your destination by understanding what’s required of you. There may be unpleasant roles to undertake, but similar to how a rookie becomes a professional, be career-focused, and you will find a way.
4. Recognize the hurdles.
There will be plenty of challenges on the way, but avoid self-sabotaging, burning bridges, and burnout. There will be obstacles you can predict, so find out what they would be. Relocating? Extra qualifications? Dealing with difficult people? How we reach our destination is how well we handle the hurdles.
Improve Your Universal Skills
Many skills in the world are useless to us. Some of us don’t need to know how to code, fix a car engine or become a marketing expert. While they can be useful skills to have, they aren’t necessary. There are, however, universal skills that are indispensable and can impact how motivated we are when approaching our career.
Communication. Good communication skills help improve your career. Our success often depends on our ability to work with others.
Productivity. Learn how to get the best results in each day you have. We all have the same amount of hours in the day.
Writing. Whether you’re sending an email, writing reports, or texting a friend; the ability to write clear and concise is underestimated in our career.
Emotional intelligence. An important skill when working with any team or if your career requires networking. A way to improve our it is to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes.
Soon enough, you’ll find what you’re good at and what you’d like to improve on. When you feel you hate your job, confidence in applying a versatile set of skills gives you the ability to stay focused, motivated and lets your mind know if you’re on the right path.
Change Your Routine
When you’re consistently showing up tired and unmotivated every day, audit what you do outside of work. When you feel you hate your job, it can be an inconsistent routine that amplifies the feelings you have on your career. Do you get enough sleep? Continually run late? Getting out of old patterns open you up to new ideas and a new incentive. To change your routine, look at what bad habits you have and replace them with something new.
Overworked and Overwhelmed
When you’re on the verge of burnout, motivation is always a struggle. The reason why we are overworked come down to a few reasons:
1) You’re good at your job.
2) The structure of the company promotes burnout.
3) You’re not smart with your time.
One way or another, I’m sure you fit into one of these categories if you have felt overwhelmed in your career. The challenge is to draw the line at what is ‘enough’ before going back to manageable work levels. If your career has become only your job and you have removed what’s important in the outside world, then it may be time to move on.
When To Look For A New Job
Many of us at some stage throughout our career lack enthusiasm in our job. After trying to experiment and navigate different options to overcome, there does come a time when you should consider a change. If you have improved other areas of your life and find you hate your job more than before, consider moving on. Working on your professional direction helps pinpoint different aspects of your career and open up the opportunity to either stay the course and be successful or make the switch and be better for it.