You smiled to all your co-workers.
You kept your desk clean.
You tried your best to find again the excitement you had for your job, but something has changed.
Maybe you changed. You’re not learning as much anymore and the magic of beginnings has faded away.
But you don’t want to give up on your job just yet.
So you keep smiling and being friendly to your co-workers to see if things can improve.
But isn’t this strategy distracting yourself from a more important and difficult thing to do, like maybe… quitting?
1) Anger and frustration are powerful, they’re a fuel for change
Maybe you don’t really like your job, or maybe you’re at the point where you totally hate it.
If you can’t stand your job anymore to the point that you work on automatic mode, keep this in mind:
- First, you’re not alone, Gallup survey 2017 says that 67% of people are not engaged at work, while 18% are actively disengaged at work, globally. This is bad.
- Second, even though you can technically go through life like this, you should consider other work alternatives. Just like everyone on this planet, you have a unique gift to give to the world and wasting your precious time in your current situation is not ideal.
So instead of trying to stay positive at all cost and avoiding the core of the problem, a smarter move could be to use this energy of frustration to find a career that suits you better.
You don’t have to wait until you feel terrible about your job to direct your dissatisfaction towards taking action to create a new life.
Even a few hours a week to move your project forward will turn your negative energy into a productive and constructive activity.
To make the most of this energy, you will need an objective to aim at. Come up with an inspiring long term goal that will become your career compass.
Maybe you already have a clear picture of what you want, or maybe not. Keep it fairly general, but make it inspiring.
Something simple such as “I want a meaningful job that I can do remotely” or “I want to feel happy at work” can be enough.
The frustration that you feel in your current job is powerful. Guided by an inspiring goal, you will be able to direct this energy towards exploring a new career or a new job search.
2) Patience and grit will get you anywhere
If one person could embody patience and grit, it’s Nelson Mandela. He became an icon of inspiration for humanity by working through obstacles until he reached his dream.
Being incarcerated in a small cell isn’t as bad as your office – although it can feel similar at times. But let Mandela’s story inspires you: if you feel stuck and disengaged at work, know that some people were in a worst position than you and got out of it brilliantly nonetheless.
You may get hit by a storm of uncertainty and frustration, thinking about Monster, LinkedIn, the applications to fill… At that moment, going for that dream job doesn’t sound like a good idea anymore.
Fortunately, times of uncertainty are only temporary.
Moreover, if you ever decide to go through this storm, you will need energy, a solid motivation and one more thing: Your imagination.
Your own brain can work wonders during these difficult times of transition. Just imagine exciting details around the future situation you would love to be in.
If it’s drinking piña coladas in a pool, visualize it.
If it’s traveling and working for a humanitarian association, picture it in your mind with vivid details.
Feeling the excitement of your ideal lifestyle will ease your difficult moments at work and reinforce your patience.
3) You are not stuck
Jobs play a major part in our lives, so the thought of changing this center element brings a lot of resistance.
We are creatures of habits, and changes disrupting our daily lives are often seen like a threat and make us uncomfortable. We can get angry to defend our stability simply because of the attachment we have to it.
Sure, certainty is one of our basic human needs, but guess what? Uncertainty is too… we love to do new things we like.
As starting a journey to find a new career or job has an unknown outcome, so it gets us polarized:
Our need for certainty sees this as a scary move.
Our need for uncertainty sees this as an exciting opportunity.
The good news is that the more progress you will make towards your new career or job, the more exciting it will become and the less resistance you will feel.
The hard part is to get started!
4) It may be time to overcome your fears
Avoiding your feelings is not a long term solution. You spend too many hours at your job to make yourself miserable.
Things change. You change. Your company, your boss changes. It’s ok to consider something else.
Are you worried about losing your position or your experience? How much your experience is worth if you don’t plan to continue working in the same field anyway?
Are you worried about losing your job security?
In many cases job security is an illusion. Jobs used to be safe back then when employees spent their whole lives in the same company.
Times have changed, automation is infiltrating every area and companies have no problems firing entire departments when they need to stay competitive.
If you would like to check if the type of job you do is at risk of being automated, this website is a great resource. Just enter your job title and you’ll get an instant estimation.
As being faithful to a company doesn’t make as much sense as it used to be, invest time to find something that fits you better. You will be more equipped to handle unexpected changes if they happen.
This brings us to the final point…
5 ) You too can discover your ideal career
To identify a meaningful career that you would enjoy in the long term, you need to gather several elements:
- Let’s state the obvious first: Your specific skills need to fill a need in the market.
- Then, do you want to work remotely?
- Do you want a lifestyle that gives you the flexibility you’re longing for?
- Is there a type of atmosphere you love?
- What industries interest you?
- What audience do you feel comfortable serving?
- What type of impact in the world would fulfill you?
- What meaning would you like to get from your work?
Meaning at work is underrated. This video is a short illustration of a podcast from Brendon Buchard that explains the importance of figuring out what gives meaning to our lives.
Gathering these various elements into building a career is no small task, but it will lead to a unique combination that will fit you in many ways.
Also, you’re never too old to go for your dreams. Midlife actually comes as an advantage to identify what you would love to do. As you age, you accumulate years of experience and consequently know more about yourself, what you like and dislike.
This knowledge will allow you to be more precise and confident when setting up your next career choice.
If you’re tired of punching clocks, know that there is a way to get out.
Keep your frustration to motivate you to find a career that suits you better.
Adding spices or sugar to something you don’t feel like eating can’t be a long term solution. You get bored at best, and become emotionally numb over time.
To start, direct your energy towards an inspiring long term goal, even a general one. Follow it as your career compass. You will narrow it down later.
Keep in mind that there are always people who started in a worst position than you are and who got out of it. It might take some time but you can do it too. Never doubt that a new life is possible.
Imagine exciting details of your ideal future lifestyle to stimulate your daily life.
You might feel stuck but you are not. Resistance to change is normal. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Get started and know that the more progress you make towards your new career, the more exciting it becomes and the easier it gets.
You have fears and it’s normal. But most fears don’t even make sense, they are not serving you.
Stop caring and do it anyway.
Finding a career that really suits you can seem out of reach, but it’s possible. Thanks to internet, if the job you would love to have doesn’t exist, you can most probably create it.
Using these directions, you will be able to open up a new world of possibilities in your professional life. Possibilities that you can choose.
Break out of your routine and turn your daily life into a positive and exciting environment, starting today.