“I hate my job” will only get you to the point where you know, for sure, that you hate your job. Then what?!
Here are TWO WAYS you can milk “I hate my job” to begin formulate an escape route.
(1) Rather than thinking “I hate my job” and stopping there, get very specific about what it is that you hate about your job. Take a tip from career expert Marcus Buckingham.
When he appeared on Oprah to work with a group of one dozen or so women with career dilemmas, the first task he assigned was for each woman to cart around red note cards and green note cards for one full week.
- Whenever the women performed a task that made them feel DEPLETED, they would write it down on a red card. Example: I hate writing emails that go to the entire company because I have to do it each week.
- Whenever the women performed a task that ENERGIZED them, they wrote it down on a green card. Example: I love team meetings where I am the leader because I keep the team to a schedule, get great feedback and enjoy being in charge.
HELPFUL HINT: “Task” does not mean something that someone does or says to you. Example: I hate when Sarah makes sarcastic comments about married people. What Sarah or anyone else does is not in your control, which means that the fastest way to improve on your current job situation, or identify your vision of your perfect job, is to begin working on yourself and learning your preferences.
If you try this out for a week, I promise you will learn loads about yourself and your preferences and the kind of job you would prefer having.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Sometimes people struggle identifying a TASK the enjoy/dislike versus another person’s BEHAVIOR that they enjoy/dislike – example illuminating this, below – so please do not hesitate to contact me here and let’s work together to discern which tasks you enjoy and when it’s really just the person you are working with if you are finding it difficult to make headway.
EXAMPLE GREEN CARDS:
- I liked redecorating the bathroom because I enjoy putting together some colors and creating a fresh, organized space.
- I liked cleaning out the fridge because I like the ease of knowing all is fresh and ready to eat and easy to see quickly when I open the door.
- I liked going to Pilates class this week because I see myself getting more fit and I feel so centered during and upon leaving.
- I hated enduring an open-ended meeting with the suppliers because I don’t know how to schedule the rest of my day when there is no set end time.
- I loathed having a very strict deadline for three creative projects because I do better creative work with enough notice to make sure I can have a large chunk of time all at once to get into the project.
- I hated it when it was my turn to do the grocery shopping because I find grocery shopping to take up more time than it’s worth.
WHAT YOU’VE LEARNED: You like order and having a schedule. You enjoy Pilates, and perhaps other centering forms of exercise like Yoga or martial arts, and because it centers you, you should definitely build it into your schedule, daily if possible. You should barter going to the grocery store with your partner for organizing and cleaning out the home so that the groceries are bought but you don’t have to do it. Part of your schedule should permit open, unscheduled time for when you need to be creative. You could perhaps build scheduling and organizing as part of your job duties and find ways to minimize activities for which it is difficult to quantify duration.
VOILA!!!! You have begun to build up the infrastructure of your ideal life and job qualifications.
(2) Write down your top 5 favorite interests and be very specific. If one of your interests is “Movies” then name the category or specific movie that you especially love. If one is “Fitness” then name your favorite form of fitness, such as group classes, training alone for triathalons, walking with one buddy, or lifting weights with your trainer.
Now, go do these favorite things as much as possible.
Notice what my advice did NOT say: I definitely did not say, if you like movies, go be a movie critic!!! Nope, that is not how these things go down. Just because you have an interest, that does not mean you should jump into the most obvious (to you) job you know of position that permits that enjoying that interest. There are many reasons for this which I am not going to get into right now but I will say that the most overlooked factor when identifying your ideal job is factoring in the lifestyle that you want to lead and whether the job you are interested in permits this.
HINT: The secret is that doing what you love may not be the job that you will love, but it will lead you to a job that you will love.
While “I hate my job” is not a business plan, it’s a start.
Rather than wasting one more minute despairing about hating your job, let’s get started mining the vital information from this situation and work together to build the last framework you’ll ever need to find the right position for you, now and forever.