Sunday, September 30, 2007

Dead-End Job? Warning Signs You're in the Wrong Job... And What To Do About It

There's nothing worse that hating your job. You dread Monday mornings. You drag into the office late. You avoid socializing with your co-workers. But what if you actually like certain aspects of your job? What if things aren't so cut and dry? How can you tell if you're putting energy into a job (and a career) that won't satisfy you for the rest of your life? How can you tell if there's something better out there for you? Well, here are a few warning signs that, even if you're enjoying certain parts of your workday, you'll ultimately be better off going in another direction:

1. You rationalize your misery. Most people "make the best" of their jobs for practical reasons: They need the extra money. They think they have to pay their dues before they can move on to a fulfilling career. They believe disliking their job is just part of life. But making excuses for leading a so-so life (even if it's not that bad) will always leave a void in your heart.

2. You aren't challenged for fulfilled. Sure, you may be interested or even fascinated with certain parts of your job. But if you don't feel like you're growing in new ways, or contributing anything worthwhile to the world, you may find yourself wondering what the point is of all your hard work. Everyone has a purpose in life, and if you feel like your current position isn't going to allow you to fulfill that purpose, you'll probably end up tolerating a job that doesn't fit you.

3. You complain about your job to anyone who will listen. We all know that misery loves company, so if you hate certain aspects of your job, there will probably be plenty of people there to join you in the pity-party. In the beginning of my career as a paralegal, I spent every Friday night with most of my co-workers, complaining about certain parts of our job. Even though I generally liked my job, and loved the people I worked with, somehow all we ever focused on was the negative parts of our job. It became a way to connect with and relate to each other. This was my first clue that I was in the wrong field (at least over the long term).

4. You daydream about what you'd really like to do with your life. Do you have a passion that you just can't bury? Do you secretly wish you could do surf tours in Costa Rica? Or open a Bed & Breakfast in Vermont? Most people have a vision for what their life would look like, if it weren't for all of those pesky adult responsibilities. If you find yourself thinking that there's something better out there, there just might be.

There are a zillion different jobs out there. There is NO reason to suffer for a lifetime in a job or a career that isn't right for you. If you decide that you ARE in fact in the wrong job, it's time to start taking steps to move into a field that you LOVE. So how can you do that?

First you have to figure out what's stopping you from leaving your current position. Is it just that you can't figure out what you'd rather do? If that's the problem, then start doing some research. Begin talking to people who have careers in something you suspect you'd really like to do (mystery shopping? CIA agent? CEO of a major corporation?). People love to talk about themselves, so offer to buy them lunch and in return see if you can ask them some questions about their job. I've never had a problem getting someone to open up to me about their life. If you went to college, visit your alma mater's career center. Most campuses allow alumni to utilize their services forever. They can give you personality tests, offer research tools, and provide counseling if you just need someone to bounce ideas off of.

Is the problem that you know what you'd rather do, but it seems unrealistic or impossible? Then the first thing you need to do is banish those doubts. Talk to a career counselor or to a trusted friend. Start by admitting that you have a dream for your life. Then begin uncovering the reasons why you're blocking yourself from realizing your dream. Are you afraid of failure? Do you think you need to be "responsible"? Do your parents/friends/spouse put down your ideas for a different life? Do you think you're too old to start all over? Figure out what your obstacles are, and then begin brainstorming ways to overcome them. This is when a coach or a counselor can really come in handy. Real change takes a lot of dedication and persistence, and having someone on your side, committed to your success is the best way to realize your dreams.

It's never too late to make yourself happy. You only get one life - make it as amazing as possible!

About the author

Sarah M. Schultz, MA, CPC is a certified Personal Development Coach in Park City, UT. Sarah coaches teens and college graduates in identifying their personal values, developing an authentic identity and building a passionate life. Register for your free copy of her article "Self-Reliance: 7 Tips for Finding Your Strength Within" on her website at:

Source: GoArticles

1 comment:

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