It’s time to stop living in denial. You aren’t happy with your job, and you haven’t been happy for a long time. But what can you do? The economy is weak, if the endless stream of news reports on the subject are correct. And everywhere you turn, experts, job counselors, and your own boss are repeating the same message over and over again: You’re lucky to have any job at all. And good workers don’t complain. Maybe if you worked harder, you’d be happier. And if that answer isn’t helping, maybe there’s something wrong with you.
As an alternative to this line of thinking, allow us to present the following possibility: Maybe there’s nothing wrong with you at all. And maybe your situation is so common that it affects almost every employed person in the country at least once or twice during the course of an average career. When you find yourself hitting a wall and needing to make a change, consider each of the following options before you settle on a course and make your next move.
When Work Isn’t Working: Next Steps
1. Trace your dissatisfaction to its source, and be honest in your assessment. What aspect of your day is causing you the most stress? Are you bored with the assignments that are being handed to you? Are you frustrated with the treatment you’re receiving from your company or your managers? Have you sought greater responsibility or a promotion and been passed over? Or are you having trouble obtaining the resources you need to complete your job well? You’ll be better able to move forward once you identify the exact source of the problem.
2. Once you know what’s not working, make every effort to resolve the issue before you take more drastic action. Who can help you? Arrange a face to face meeting with your boss, your mentor, or your HR office, depending on the nature of the problem and what needs to be done to correct it.
3. Establish clear goals. If you remember how excited and motivated you were during your first year on this job, figure out how to regain that feeling of challenge and possibility. If you’re ambitious and ready to move up the ladder, set your course and heading on the job you’d like to step into.
4. If your goal is to get out of here and leave this boss, this job, and this company far behind you, then it’s time to gather your courage and polish up your resume. The job market may seem bleak from where you’re sitting, but the only way to find and land a better job is to take action and start looking for one.
5. If your honest assessment of the problem is leading you away from this entire career, not just this job, your next move will require even more courage and initiative. But the obstacles in your path are not insurmountable, and the sooner you start moving, the sooner you’ll get where you need to be. Start investigating other career paths that tap into your interests and make use of your existing, hard earned skill sets. If you need help, make an appointment with a professional career counselor. And remember, it’s never too late to make a change. None of the options in front of you are impossible if you set realistic goals and approach the future one task, one challenge and one milestone at a time.
LiveCareer (www.livecareer.com), home to America’s #1 Resume Builder, connects job seekers of all experience levels and career categories to all the tools, resources and insider tips needed to win the job. Find LiveCareer on Facebook and visit LiveCareer’s Google+ page for even more tips and advice on all things career and resume-related.
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