Do you hate your job? You’re not the only one.
A Nielsen study found that fewer than half of American workers said they were satisfied with their jobs. Only 15% of workers said they were “very satisfied” with their job.
So what do you do when you’re one of the unhappy ones? How can you find a way to get something positive out of your job when you are counting the minutes until the end o the day? Here are five ways to make lemonade out of a lemon—a job lemon!
1. Build Connections. Even when you don’t like your work, there are likely some opportunities to build your network. Treat everyone you meet like a potential contact—you never know who can help you down the road. Several of my clients have found new jobs though someone they’d met at a previous employer!
2. Learn New Skills. Many corporations will pay for you to attend conferences, webinars, or certification courses. Taking advantage of these educational opportunities will not only stimulate your brain, but can give you credentials that may help you in another job or stage of life. Don’t be afraid to propose educational options you are interested in. Often, there is a way to make an authentic case for why attending that blogging conference you’ve been longing to go to will help you do your job.
3. Find a Mentor. Is there someone at your company that does work that you’d like to do? Or someone you find creative, innovative, or super-smart? Take the time to get to know them a little – offer to take them to lunch or out for a coffee, and find out how they got to their present role and what their day-to-day is like. Knowing how they did it can help motivate you to achieve your dreams, too.
4. Polish That Resume. I’m sure you’ve heard it before: it’s easier to look for a job when you are already employed. Not only do you look more attractive to prospective employers, there is less stress involved in finding a new job when you are already getting a paycheck. This gives you time to create thoughtful cover letters and applications, build connections, and put out your feelers to really hunt for the perfect position that feels like a true career step.
5. Use your Skills with a New Project. Is there something you wish you could do at your job, but it isn’t in your job description? Here’s a story: a colleague’s friend is an administrative assistant, just a few years out of college. She had some ideas on how to better promote her organization’s community events—but as an admin, marketing wasn’t in her job description. When she finally told her boss her ideas, he told her to “run with it.” She now spends part of her week marketing their events and really enjoys it. So my question to you is: What project can you take on that might add excitement and stimulation to your day?
An undesirable job doesn’t have to be a dead end—instead, think of it as a means to an end.
This job is part of your path to finding the career or job of your dreams. By persevering, staying positive, and getting support, you can find ways to take steps—even baby steps—toward your desired outcomes and ideal life.
Photo credit: Felix Schmidt Photography All rights reserved by the author