Most people, at some point of their career wake up one morning and realize they dread the thought of having to go to work. Not because they didn’t get enough sleep or they don’t feel well, but because they hate their job! Often, however, it’s not the ‘job’ they really hate, it’s the company, boss, peers, or circumstances. When you’re immersed in it every day though, it’s sometimes hard to distinguish the difference.
Many people have made poor career change decisions because they did not figure out what it was they really hated. Do you hate your job, or do you hate where you do your job? It’s an important distinction.
I’ve been blessed in my career to have found something I love to do. For the past 23 years I have been a technology recruiter. I have worked for consulting firms and search firms, and am currently self-employed. I thoroughly enjoy working with client companies in helping them define open positions and then find the right candidate to fill the role. I enjoy finding the right candidate, meeting and interviewing new people, finding ways to be of help in their job search whether I can place them or not. I’ve had the privilege of managing large organizations and training and developing others.
However, for several months at one point in my career I was convinced I had to find something else to do with my life. I hated my job! I hated the thought each day of having to go back to something that seemed to make me miserable. I thought the industry must have changed and I didn’t like it anymore. Even though I had had great success in the past, I wasn’t experiencing success then and couldn’t see how I would ever become successful again. Oh, and by the way, I was working for a poor boss, in poor office space, and everyone around me seemed to be miserable too.
I began to explore other possible careers, but wasn’t finding anything that I felt enthusiastic about or seemed to fit my greatest skills and abilities. I began to think I was in a hopeless situation. I hated what I was doing and couldn’t seem to find anything else I wanted to do.
Fortunately, I decided to break down what it was I really liked and disliked, what I did well and what I did not do well, and what made me successful and what did not. I soon discovered that it wasn’t the process of recruiting that was making me miserable, it was where, and with whom I was doing it. The environment and culture of the organization was also keeping me from being successful. Since all of it was integrated in my day, it was very difficult to see what it was that was pulling me down.
Soon I was out seeking another position, doing the same thing, but with a good mental checklist of what I was seeking in a new organization. Once I found it, my life was much improved. I was excited about going to work again.
So, are you in a job you hate, or did you quit or get laid-off from one recently? Before you decide you have to change careers, take some time to break down what it is you actually dislike. You may find that you’re in the right career, just in the wrong place.