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5 Things You Should Do Now If You Don’t Like Your Job

5 Things You Should Do Now If You Don’t Like Your Job

If you cannot stand going to the office anymore and loathe Monday mornings, then it is time to start thinking about what the alternatives are. Ideally, you want to be in a job which gives you satisfaction, minimum levels of stress and one in which you can develop your career. So, if you don’t like your job, read on to find out 5 things you should do now.

1. Think about what exactly is wrong.

This is the most important step in the whole process. It is recommended by Dr. Katharine Brooks in her book You Majored in What? Mapping Your Path from Chaos to Career.

Set aside a time when you are not in the workplace and when you are feeling fairly relaxed. Make a list of all the things that are driving you mad, holding you back and are causing you stress. Your list will probably include some or all of these points:

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  •  Relationship with the boss is difficult. List the reasons.
  • Certain colleagues are not collaborating, are unpleasant or are simply incompetent.
  • Job satisfaction is practically zero because your skills are underused or because you are overworked.
  • Working hours are inflexible.
  • You were passed over for a promotion.
  • You seem to be getting a lot of the boring tasks.

Assess when the rot set in. Try to pinpoint one event which really started the downward spiral.

2. Reflect on the pros.

In spite of all the negative points, there will be one or two advantages in your present job. Try to list these. You may have a reasonable salary and the work environment may be pleasant enough.

Leaving your present job could be a bad move because the next job may also be a mismatch for your skills or the new environment may be even more toxic. In addition, too many job moves are not going to look good on your resume. It is calculated that the average employee will have 5 job switches before retirement, although this number is increasing all the time and could even reach 25 in the future!

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3. Talk to HR or your manager.

Before deciding to leave or making any rash decisions, try to talk to your line manager and tell them why you are unhappy with your present job and responsibilities. Your conversation might cover:

  • Working hours. Any chance of flexible hours or working from home?
  • Reallocation of duties. You may feel that you are overloaded.
  • Recognition of the work you have done on a project. You may feel that you have not been rewarded sufficiently.
  • Talents/skills are underused and you do not feel sufficiently challenged. Mention a project you would like to be involved in. Ask for more responsibility which may be a better match for your skills.

4. Look for ways to improve your present job.

If there is no willingness on the part of management to meet you halfway, you can still try to improve your own work environment. You can also start to think of acquiring new skills and getting involved in projects which you have dismissed up until now.

  • Seek out new mentors or colleagues who can be allies.
  • Express an interest in a new project and say you are willing and able.
  • Avoid toxic colleagues as much as possible.
  • Try to beat a deadline and finish before time. This can earn you praise and appreciation from colleagues and management.
  • Offer to help a colleague you like with a difficult task.
  • Break the dreaded routine by doing something pleasant both before and after you finish work. In this way your working hours are preceded and followed by activities that you can really look forward to.

If work stress is affecting your family/personal relationships, get professional help.

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“There are countless studies on the negative spillover of job pressures on family life, but few on how job satisfaction enhances the quality of family life.” –Albert Bandura

5. Time to move on?

If all the above measures fail to improve your situation and you still find the job unbearable, it may be time to start a job search and try to move on. Look for jobs which suit your talents better. If you feel that you are lacking in any skills, aim to train up. You will need them on your resume.

Think of this as a long term project and that every day is moving you closer to escaping from the present inferno.

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Make sure you know that you are a strong candidate for that dream job. Have you all the qualifications and experience? Are your people skills suitable? If you are in any doubt, try the quiz here.

Finally, make no rash decisions which could affect your stress levels, family finances or overall mental health. Take things one step at a time.

How have you managed to stay in a job you hated? Did you succeed in escaping and finding a better job? Let us know in the comments below. 

Featured photo credit: Peter Owen happy at work/ Jacob Botter via flickr.com

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on July 23, 2019

How to Make a Career Change at 40 and Stop Feeling Stagnant at Work

How to Make a Career Change at 40 and Stop Feeling Stagnant at Work

There are plenty of people who successfully made a career change at the age of 40 or above:

The Duncan Hines cake products you see in the grocery store are a good example. Hines did not write his first food guide until age 55 and he did not license his name for cake mixes until age 73.

Samuel L. Jackson made a career change and starred alongside John Travolta in Pulp Fiction at the age of 46.

Ray Kroc was age 59 when he bought his first McDonald’s.

And Sam Walton opened his first Wal-Mart at the age of 44.

I could keep going, but I think you get the point. If you have a sound mind and oxygen in your lungs, you have the ability to successfully make a career change.

In this article, I’ll look into why making a career change at 40 seems so difficult for you, and how to make the change and get unstuck from your stagnant job.

What’s Holding You Back from Making a Career Change?

There are a flood of amazing reasons to make a career change at 40. Heck, you could argue the benefits of making a career change at any age. However, there is something a little different about making a career change at 40.

When you are 40, you probably have lots of “responsibilities” that come into the decision-making process. What do I mean by responsibilities, you ask?

Responsibilities tend to be our fears and self-doubt wrapped in a bow of logic and reason. You may say to yourself:

  • I have bills to pay and a family to support. Can I afford the risk associated with a career change?
  • What about the friends I have made over the years? I cannot just abandon them.
  • What if I do not like my career change as much as I thought I would? I could end up miserable and stuck in a worse situation.
  • My new career is so different than what I have been doing, I need additional training and certifications. Can I afford this additional expense and do I have the time recoup my investment?
  • The economy is not the best and there is so much uncertainty surrounding a new career. Maybe it would be better to wait until I retire from this company in 15 years, and then I can start something new.

If you have experienced any of these thoughts, they will only pacify you for a short period of time. Whether that time is a few weeks, a few months, or even a few years.

Since you know that you prefer to do something else for a living, you start to feel stagnant in your current position.

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Your reasons for inaction that used to work are no longer doing the trick. What used to be a small fissure in your dissatisfaction in your current position is now a chasm.

Ideally, you never stay in a situation until that point, but if you did, there is still hope.

4 Tips To Change Your Career at 40

You do not have to feel stagnant in your current role any longer. You can take steps to conquer your fears and self-doubt so you can accomplish your goal of changing your career.

The challenge of changing your career is not knowing where to begin. That feeling of overwhelm and the fear of uncertainty is what keeps most people from moving forward.

To help you successfully change your career at the age of 40, follow these four tips.

1. Value Your Time Above Money

There is nothing more valuable than your time. You are likely receiving a pay-check or two every month that is replenishing your income. Money is something you can always receive more of.

When it comes to your time, when it is gone, it is gone. That is why waiting for the perfect situation to make a career change is the wrong mindset to have.

Realistically, you will never find the perfect situation. There will always be something that could be better or a project you want to finish before you leave.

By placing your time above money, you will maximize your opportunity to succeed and avoid stagnation.

If you feel disconnected when you are at work, understand that you are not alone. According to a Gallup Poll, only 32% of U.S. employees said they were actively engaged at work.[1]

Whether you think your talents are not being properly utilized, the politics of promotion stress you out, or you feel called to do something else with your life; the time to act is now.

Do not wait until you retire in another 10 to 20 years to make a career change. Put a plan in place to make a career change now. You will thank yourself later.

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2. Build a Network

Making a career change is not going to be easy, but that does not mean it is impossible.

One benefit to being further along in your career is the people you associate with are further along in their career as well.

Even if most of the people in your immediate network are not in your target industry, you never know the needs of the people with whom they associate.

A friend of mine recently made a career change and entered the real estate industry. The first thing he did was tell everyone he knew that he was a licensed real estate agent.

It was not as though he thought everyone he knew was getting ready to sell their home. He wanted to make sure he was in the front of our mind if we spoke to anyone purchasing or selling their home.

You may have had a similar experience with a financial adviser canvasing the neighborhood. They wanted to let you know they were a local and licensed financial adviser. Whether you or someone you knew was shopping for an adviser, they wanted to make sure you thought of them first.

The power of your network being further along in their career is they may be the hiring manager or decision-maker.

You want to let people know you are considering a career move early in the process, so they are thinking of you when the need arises.

Let me put it to you in the form of a question: When is the best time to let people know you have a snow shoveling business?

In the summer when there is not a drop of snow on the ground.

Let them know about your business in the summer. Then ask them if it is okay to keep in touch with them until the need arises. Then you want to spend the entire fall season cultivating and nurturing the relationship. As a result, when the winter comes around, they already know who is going to shovel their snow.

If you want to set yourself apart from your competition, start throwing out those feelers before the need arises. Then you will be ahead of your competition who waited until the snow fell to start canvasing the neighborhood.

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Learn about networking here: How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life

3. Believe It Is Possible

One of the greatest mistakes people make when they want to try something new, is they never talk to people living the life they want.

If you only talk to friends who have not changed their career in 30 years, what kind of advice do you think they will give you? They are going to give you the advice that they live by. If they have spent 30 years in the same career, they most likely feel stability of career is essential to their life.

In life, your actions often mirror your beliefs. Someone who wants to start a business should not ask for advice from someone who never started one.

A person who never took the risk of starting a business is most likely risk adverse. Consequently, they are going to speak on the fact that most businesses fail within the first five years.

Instead, if you talk to someone who is running a business, they will advice you on the difficulties of starting a business. However, they will also share with you how they overcame those difficulties, as well as the benefits of being a business owner.

If you want to overcome your fears and self-doubt associated with changing your career at 40, you are going to need to talk to people who have successfully managed a career change.

They are going to provide you a realistic perspective on the difficulties surrounding the endeavor, but they are also going to help you believe it is possible.

Studies show the sources of your beliefs include,[2]

“environment, events, knowledge, past experiences, visualization etc. One of the biggest misconceptions people often harbor is that belief is a static, intellectual concept. Nothing can be farther from truth! Beliefs are a choice. We have the power to choose our beliefs.”

By choosing to absorb the successes of others, you are choosing to believe you can change your career at 40. On the other hand, if you absorb the fears and doubts of others, you have chosen to succumb to your own fears and self-doubt.

4. Put Yourself Out There

You are most likely going to have to leave your comfort zone to make a career change at 40.

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Reason-being, your comfort zone is built on the experiences you have lived thus far. So that means your current career is in your comfort zone.

Even though you may be feeling stagnant and unproductive in your career, it is still your comfort zone. This helps explain why so many people are unwilling to pursue a career change.

If you want to improve your prospects of launching your new career, you are going to need to attend industry events.

Whether these events are local or a large conference that everyone attends, you want to make it a priority to go. Ideally you want to start with local events because they may be a more intimate setting.

Many of these events have a professional development component where you can see what skill-sets, certification, and education people are looking for. Here you can find 17 best careers worth going back to school for at 40.

You can almost survey the group and build your plan of action according to the responses you receive.

The bonus of exposure to your new industry is you may find yourself getting lucky (when opportunity meets preparation) and creating a valuable relationship or landing an interview.

Final Thoughts

Whatever the reason, if you want to change your career, you owe it to yourself to do so. You have valuable in-sight from your current career that can help you position yourself above others.

Start sharing your story and desire to change your career today. Attend industry events and build a mindset of belief. You have everything you need to accomplish your goal, you only need to take action.

More Resources About Career Change

Featured photo credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/HY-Nr7GQs3k via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] News Gallup: Employee Engagement In US, Stagnant In 2015
[2] Indian J Psychiatry: The Biochemistry Of Belief

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