Hate your job? Here's why you should stay.

If you’ve read any of my posts, you know I’m pretty big on making your current job work for you if you can. I’m not one of those career coaches that encourages you to quit your job and find your passion – not because that’s not the best solution for some people – I just don’t think it works for everyone.

There are so many ways to shift your current role into one that works for you:

  • If you know the type of work that’s draining you, you could talk to your boss about your responsibilities and see if you can get it off your plate.
  • If you’re overworked, you could start delegating to others or – again – talk to your boss about how to lessen the workload.
  • If you hate your team, you can see what other options are available at your company with different teams and within your skillset (or one you can learn).
  • If there’s one individual that’s causing your pain, you can have a frank conversation with them, learn to keep it just business, or find a way to minimize your time with them.

Truly, the options are endless. But what all of them take is a bit of strategy. In order to understand what’s making work not work for you, you need to have a few things:

  1. An understanding of your contribution to the problem – maybe your interactions with that toxic co-worker are exacerbating the issues or maybe you don’t know how to say no to work when it comes up. In any event, you need to get real and engage in some self-reflection to see how you’re contributing to the problem.
  2. A clear picture of what you want out of your career so you can spot the gap – knowing what you don’t want is a great start, but knowing what you want is so much more important to focus your efforts.
  3. Confidence in your work and your abilities so you have the courage to ask for what you need and stand strong if you don’t hear the answer you were hoping for.
  4. A commitment to getting ahead of your career and taking some control, rather than just putting your head down, doing what you’re told and taking whatever is put in front of you.

None of this comes easily. It takes real commitment to the cause, unabashed honesty with yourself, and – often – support to make a positive change. But most people find it’s more than worth it.

A client of mine – let’s call her Joanne –  just had a HUGE shift at work as a result of her commitment. One thing I always say about coaching is that you get what you give. If you commit to your work in between sessions, show up to your sessions without distractions and with an open mind, and are open to changing how you operate, you will get massive rewards. Joanne proves my case:

From day one, I loved working with Joanne. Not only did she come to each session with a completely open mind, but she dove into the homework in between sessions and kept me updated with email reports in between on what was going on in her career. As a side note – I love it when my clients keep me updated – it makes me feel like less of a creeper for thinking about them so much!

With Joanne, there were struggles – like, “I need an emergency call because I’m thinking about quitting today” struggles. I warned you – not easy.

When we started working together, she wanted  to find more purpose in her work. She had chosen to work for a company whose mission she supported, but wasn’t feeling the connection to the mission in her day to day work and was ready to find something else. There were also some people and cultural challenges that she didn’t know how to address.

Through our work together, Joanne was able to see how some of her beliefs about work were affecting her behavior and she committed to changing them. In addition, she got crystal clear about what was important to her in life and work, why she was there in the first place, and what she wanted to get out of work. And – more importantly – she took action to (a) carve out what wasn’t important to her and (b) get more of what she wanted out of work.

I’m thrilled to say that last week – just shy of four months working with me – Joanne started our session by saying “I’ve had such a great week!” I could hear the smile on her face, and, consequently, my face hurt from smiling after she told me about all of the wins she was having at work.

And to be clear – these weren’t just “I’m so much happier at work” wins (though those were there too and are immensely important!). These were “My CFO called me out multiple times for the great job I’ve been doing” wins. BIG. PROFESSIONAL. WINS.

I’m not sure there’s much of a point to this post other than to prove to you – it’s possible! You CAN be happier at work without changing your job!

If Joanne hadn’t had the courage and commitment to taking a strategic approach with her career, she would have wasted a lot of time and energy looking for a new job and taking all that baggage she had with her. Like I said – there were some major struggles and some scary moments (because changing yourself is really, really scary). But in the end, I’m pretty sure Joanne would agree that it was worth it.

There are absolutely circumstances when you need to change your job. But often people decide to do that because they’re afraid of the changes they’d have to make to change themselves more than just getting another job.

At the end of the day, your personal and professional issues will follow you if you don’t address them. Why not work on them at a job you already think isn’t working for you when you have nothing to lose – and so much to gain?

Ready get started? Download this free guide to help structure your career so you can start being more strategic with your career today!

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