Admit it. You are tired. You are frustrated. You are overworked, lacking free time, feeling underappreciated, your boss is less than a stellar leader, and a multitude of other common afflictions of the American workplace. I remember a colleague who refused to leave an absolutely horrendous job simply because he didn’t want to give up his 6 weeks accumulated vacation. To this day, I believe it’s more important to love the job you spend 40+ hours a week at than any amount of benefits. You spend more time at work than any other single pastime, even your family!
I’ve been that employee. Unhappy, uncertain about my future, knowing that I should move on, but uncertain or unwilling to make a change. That is, until I wised up. I reached a point where I wanted to love my work, to look forward to getting up and going to work every day. I’ve become accustomed to taking risks that I believed would bring me to a happier worklife, which in no small way, greatly enhanced my personal life. Here’s how:
That’s right. Like everything in life, settling is not the answer. You DESERVE to be happy at work, to be in a place where you thrive and are appreciated. Settling is undervaluing yourself. As Sheryl Sandberg says “Knowing that things could be worse should not stop us from trying to make them better”. Take stock of your value, know your worth, understand your passion and GO FOR IT!
STOP BEING WHO YOU THINK OTHERS THINK YOU SHOULD BE
Another quote that I love comes from Brené Brown, “Let go of who you think you’re supposed to be and embrace who you are”. Too many of us follow a path that our parents encouraged, or were taught to be loyal, to stick with it. Well, that just doesn’t hold true anymore. Your only obligation in life is to be true to yourself. You are a unique being. Nobody else has the unique combination of skills, traits and knowledge that you have. Follow YOUR heart, not anybody else’s.
DON’T BE AFRAID
I remember feeling stuck in a job that I knew wasn’t a good fit for me. The longer I stayed, the less confident I felt. The less confident I felt, the more I believed nobody would want to hire me. That just led me to stay in this job, continuing to feel less and less valuable, to believe in myself less and less until the day came that it became a self-fulfilling prophecy. I’d reached a point where I either needed to leave, or I’d likely be asked to do so. The fear of being fired was stronger than my fear of failure on the job. I learned a valuable lesson here. Yes, it was painful, but I realized that pursuing the wrong job, or the wrong career, will only take me to a place where I not only won’t be happy, but I won’t be successful. Leaving that job, moving to another that was more suited for me was one of the best moves of my career.
YES, IT WILL TAKE TIME AND EFFORT
I won’t mince words here. I hate this excuse! Yes, it will take time before and after work, and probably on weekends. Yes, you’ll need to find ways to ‘sneak’ out of the office for clandestine interviews. But let’s face it, if you just stay where you are, you’re not going to end up where you want to be. And these days, jobs don’t come and jump in your lap. An average job application takes 2 hours per job. I used to get up an hour early every day to spend an hour on my job search. And it was worth it! I ended up with an extraordinary job that I loved!
I WON’T BE ABLE TO MAKE AS MUCH MONEY
Another excuse I have trouble accepting. Honestly? You’d rather live day in and day out in a miserable job, unhappy, drained, and frustrated than find a job that may pay a little less, but make you happy? I’ve lived this one too. I took a $15k drop in salary once. Sure, I had to tighten my purse strings and cut back some on my expenses. But you know what? I was HAPPY! And beyond that, because it was a better working environment, I learned and grew. I was given opportunities to take classes and go to conferences. All things my previous ‘well paying’ employer would not allow. Stop looking a just the salary. And really? Do you NEED the fancy car, the huge wardrobe, all those dinners out? Being happy is so much more valuable. And maybe, just maybe, you're wrong and there ARE jobs out there that will pay the same or more. Most people these days find the fastest way to improve their salary is to get a new job.
I’m sure you’ve heard a dozen more reasons people stay in bad jobs. What’s your least favorite?
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Andrea's passion is to see you achieve your professional dreams. Whether you are a corporate leader seeking leadership development for your employees or an individual seeking guidance in building your career or preparing for retirement, she will coach you to success.