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“I hate my job”: How badly do you need a career change?

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So, you hate your job. Going to work every day has become something you dread. You find yourself daydreaming about dramatically slamming your resignation on your boss’s table or secretly planning your escape. Maybe it is time for a career change.

Before you take that huge leap or make any big changes in your work-life, which in itself can be very stressful, you must be absolutely certain of your reasons and know in what direction you are headed. If you do not have a clear understanding of the reasons for wanting to change your job, you may end up in the same unhappy situation only a few short months later.

If so many of us hate our jobs, why don’t we make a career change?

Over the years, I have encountered many people who go to work every day and spend most of the time complaining about their job. Whether it is the pay, the boss, the hours or the workload, there is always something to be disgruntled about. However, if you ask them why they don’t change their job, they will usually answer with some vague excuse about the current economy, the job market or relay their last unsuccessful attempt at finding another job.

The career change conundrum: Complaining but not taking action

Interestingly, whenever I have dug deeper into their psyche, I have found most of them were not entirely unhappy. They are what I like to call ‘serial complainers’ and if they aren’t complaining about work, they’ll find something else to complain about such as their home, family, society, the government, etc. You will also notice that these people seem to have a constant source of bad things happening to them, which provide more fodder for their endless state of negativity.

What they won’t admit, to you or themselves, is that they are not as unsatisfied as they seem. In fact, they are quite content with their status quo and want to continue with their daily grind.

Despite the long hours, the work overload or the annoying manager, they would prefer to stay where they are rather than step outside of their ‘comfort zone’ and try to change anything. If you recognise yourself in the above description, don’t worry! There may be a good reason why you constantly feel unhappy or find it hard to make changes. In the later books of the series, we will explore this kind of behaviour and learn how to change them. For now, simply try to become more aware of why you feel the need to change your job before you jump into deep water.

Specify the reason for a career change

On the other hand, perhaps you are now certain that you really need to change your job because of your specific circumstances. For instance, you may have realised that your skills are unused or you need a better-paid job. Perhaps you just don’t like the kind of people you have to work with. Or, you have recognised that your current job is not aligned with your true life purpose and you are fed up doing work that you don’t really enjoy.

It could also be that you have been away from the working world for a long time, perhaps caring for family members or not employed.

Or maybe, life has recently handed you some difficult circumstances such as unexpected family changes, a major upheaval or you were made redundant.

These kinds of situations can leave you feeling unsure about yourself, worrying about the future and wondering if you or your skills are going to be good enough. Let’s start with the first exercise. It will help you clarify doubts and understand your particular reasons for being hungry to change your job.

Am I Happy with my Job?

Read more from Nazish S. Qazi on how to get the ideal job and how to get your life path on track in the eBooks “Am I happy with my job?”

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