You cannot go through life accepting that 5 out of every 7 days are going to be spent doing something undesirable. If you are reading this right now in an environment that is not stimulating you, why are you even there to begin with? Because it’s easy? Because it’s comfortable? Because it pays well? If your answer is YES, then you aren’t just doing a disservice to the company you’re working for (simply along for the ride), but you are doing a disservice to yourself. Strong words, but they are true and needed to be said. When it comes to justifying how you spend 35 to 50 hours of your week, or more, you must face the truth—and the sooner, the better.
6 Signs You Absolutely Must Make a Change
Before you can turn this situation around, you have to dig a little (or a lot) to understand why you hate Mondays. Here are some possible reasons. Circle any that apply to you. Circle more than one selection if it fits.
- Your work is not challenging or stimulating enough.
- Your current job does not pay enough to cover much beyond the basic necessities.
- You work with people you do not respect or who do not appreciate your contributions.
- You do not receive credit for the work you do.
- You are expected to work far too many hours per week and need to spend more time with loved ones.
- You feel you have no control over your work environment.
Everything on that list sounds unbearably depressing, doesn’t it? Some of these very descriptions applied to me at one time. Fortunately, I was able to pursue my passion for graphic/web design and develop a new skill set (new for me): Virtual Assistant. I was able to combine the two kinds of work as a cohesive package of service offerings and I sensed that I could build my own instead of working for companies that would funnel work to me. My income would have been quite limited had I chosen that path. Luckily, I had already started a freelance graphic design business on the side, so I didn’t have to launch a new business from scratch.
Is that something you could consider doing, laying your foundation by creating a side gig?
I am not a career counsellor or a life coach. Early during the transition to working for myself, I consulted a career/life coach, and that made a huge difference. It is hard to be objective about your own situation. It can take an outsider to see the answers in front of you. It can take a coach to encourage you and help you believe in yourself. Talking with a professional can bring insight and clarity.
We are going to take another look at that list, but first, start here:
Find a career/life coach. If you cannot afford the expense, set aside a few dollars a week until you can. Get recommendations from friends or your network. This will be money well spent, and you’ll save yourself time and agony by taking this key step. If you are concerned about finding the “right” coach, select a few from the recommendations and conduct a brief phone interview with each. You can say, “Before I make the appointment, I need to ask you a couple of questions to see if you’re the right fit for me.” If the coach is not willing to answer a brief question or two over the phone, move on.
Find your passion. You need to be working toward doing something you are passionate about. That alone is a huge incentive to keep you going. It’s also the topic of an entire blog entry by itself, and I have written about it before.
Now, back to the list of signs you need to make a change …
- The only item on the list that appears completely hopeless is #3, working with people you do not respect or who do not appreciate your contributions. You probably need to move now. Do not try to figure out your path yet. Change jobs any way you can and then begin the process of getting to where you really want to be.
- As for everything else on the list, I recommend you talk openly with your manager if they are at all receptive. Even if your path will soon lead you away from your current job, you do not want to spend another week being this miserable. Do not assume you know what your manager is going to say (even if you are right). Give them the opportunity to surprise you.
- Creatively find ways to improve your current situation while you plan your exit.
- If you enjoy any aspects of your position, focus on those.
- If you are bored, search out additional and more stimulating responsibilities.
- Recall aspects of other jobs you have enjoyed and try to incorporate some into your current work.
- Determine realistically what it will take for you to be able pursue your dreams. You are not going to accomplish it all at once. But you won’t get there if you don’t start. Map out a big-picture plan listing what you need to acquire such as additional education or training. Isolate the first step you can take, and take it.
- If your current job is a stepping stone to your ultimate career goal, keeping that in perspective may help you cope with an undesirable situation. See your current position as the means to an end.
I can’t tell everyone to become an entrepreneur. While that was the answer for me, it is not right for everyone. You have to be incredibly organized, disciplined, determined and persistent to make it work. You have to find your passion, make it your life’s work and make it work for you.
Know this … You are stronger than you think you are.
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