I hate my job…but now what…?
Three ways to step back, tone down the drama and rekindle the love for your industry
Hands up if you have ever had moments where you feel as if you hate your job? Instances where you have questioned what you are doing and why you’re doing it? And perhaps even a moment, whether brought on by an especially challenging project, an incredibly late night in the office, or a client determined to test your patience and professionalism, of asking yourself whether you’re in the right career for you.
Yes? Don’t worry if you have, chances are you are not the only one.
Anyone who has worked in Marketing, Advertising, Media or PR will be familiar with the ‘marmite’ nature of these industries. Some days you are in awe of the amazing campaign you are working on, and on others you may question the value of what you do. However assessing that balance is important; if you find yourself getting more overwhelmed and annoyed about your job, take the time to analyse your position by looking at the big picture – incorporating the past, present and future.
1. Past Picture
Start by casting your mind back a bit. Presumably there was a time where you really enjoyed what you do. You went through the process of entering your competitive industry, and if you have reached the stage where you regularly dislike your work – it would be valuable to look back at another time when you were more enamoured with your role. Why did you enter this industry? Did you always want to go into communications of some variety?
When that frustration about your job bubbles up and the “I hate this” thought pops into your head, take a bigger picture approach and answer these four questions:
- Why did I originally enter this industry (and if it was by chance, why have I stayed in it?)
- What have I seen in the industry that I really respect/admire within the last 6 months?
- What talents have I always had that make me good at my job?
- Are my frustrations with the functions of my job or with the company I work for? (this will be even easier to answer if you can compare how you feel know versus your thoughts about a previous role)
Once you’ve considered the above – move your analysis into the present.
2. Present Picture
Whatever circumstances and opportunities led you to your current role, you are here now… experiencing the awesome, the good, the bad and the ugly of your job. Yes, there are frustrating times (as there will be in every job, in every industry) so bear that in mind as you start to unpack what is especially irritating you at the moment. That said, it is also essential that you don’t ignore how you are currently feeling. If you let the situation go from bad to worse, you could minimise your future options and go running and screaming out into a new role, without the necessary reflection that’s needed for solid career development.
So… look at the present. What do you really love about what you do? Do you get a buzz from being in a role where no two days the same? Do you love the opportunity to see your acorn of an idea turned into a fully-fledged campaign? Ask yourself the following…
- What do I love about my job / industry?
- What is the last piece of work I feel really proud of, and why?
- What challenges am I struggling with at the moment?
- When did I start disliking my job?
- What would make my current role better?
3. Future Picture
Now that you’ve considered the above, the final piece of this puzzle is to look to the future by assessing how long you see yourself in your current role, and what you would like to do when the time is right to move on.
- What have I done in the last year that I would love to do more of in the future?
- If I had 50% more confidence, what would I be doing that would be different?
- Would working towards / gaining a promotion help reduce current frustration?
- Would I be proud to work for my current employer in 2-3 years and if not, what are the kinds of organisations – I’d like to be working for / opportunities I’d like to be pursuing instead?
Given some space to look at what does and doesn’t motivate you in your current role, you are now in an excellent position to get out of that ‘I hate my job’ funk and take some actions to reconnect with your job and industry.
Regardless of whether you have come to the conclusion to look for other opportunities or stay put, remember to always do all you can to enjoy your job, and kick a** in the moment!
Not only does that help you make the most of today but sets you up well for the future.
Gina Visram is a career coach, speaker, mentor, communications professional and author who works with ambitious, multi-tasking people who aren’t content to stand still and let life happen to them – and are ready to work hard at being successful in their careers and personal lives – on their own terms. Find out more at www.limitlesscoaching.com
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