I know someone who is really unhappy with her job. It’s not that she’s having a bad week or a hard day, it’s been months of dissatisfaction, feeling unfulfilled, medicating with food on the way to work, and wanting something more.
With her daily commute, office hours and the work that lingers after work, she spends at least 10 hours a day devoted to her job. And that doesn’t count all of the time and energy she spends thinking about how much she hates her job. She agonizes over the fact that she is doing something that makes her miserable and something she doesn’t care about.
She is compromising her health, happiness and relationships for a paycheck. She is overwhelmed and stuck in fear, resistance and uncertainty. This is a true story and if you aren’t in this situation, it might sound dramatic, but it’s real. It’s real for my friend, for so many of you (I read your email) and it was my reality too.
My friend is stuck and I thought the advice I shared with her might be helpful if you hate your job too.
1. You are not what you do.
If you measure your worth by what you earn, how you contribute financially or what your title is, you may lack clarity on what you really have to offer. You are worth so much more than what you do, or what you earn just because of who you are. Your value as a person is not tied to your job.
2. Interest trumps skill.
Just because you are good at what you do doesn’t mean you are supposed to be doing it. When you become passionately interested in something, you can learn how to do it well.
3. Your next job might not be your dream job
If you are waiting to quit your job until your dream job comes along, consider that there might be something in between. When you are overwhelmed and feel stuck, it can be a challenge to know what you want to do next. All of your energy is spent on survival mode, so a stop over between the job you hate and the job you’ll love can be a beautiful respite. If you want to take things to the next level, keep in mind that the next level isn’t always up.
4. When you put yourself first, you can better serve everyone around you.
You tell yourself that you are staying at your job to support your family, but aside from dollars in the bank, are you supporting your family? How are you taking care of your body, brain, heart and soul so that you can offer your best self to support the people you love? Your work-style and lifestyle are connected. They support each other, or they don’t.
5. Familiarity is not certainty.
Your job and all of the benefits that come with it aren’t any more certain than what’s on the other side of giving your notice.
6. When your desire for purpose, peace, love, and happiness becomes greater than your fear of uncertainty, you’ll quit.
Hating your job isn’t enough. You need to love something more than you hate your job. Instead of waiting for the enough is enough stomp your feet and scream “I quit” moment, look for a quiet awareness of what matters most in your life, of the temporary nature of things, and the belief that you deserve so much more.
7. Until you have clarity on that, ask for help.
Find a friend or two that will support you as you go through this process. Not a co-worker who hates her job too, but someone who can see the bigger picture.