If you had to do it all over again, would you still chose the job you are now doing?
It is a simple question with far reaching consequences. Especially since the lions share of your waking hours are spent at the office.
I am not talking about the occasional off day, when one wistfully contemplates their what could have been childhood dream of becoming an astronaut, professional athlete or someone famous.
What I am talking about is your reaching a point of total disillusionment. A point where the chasm between original career expectations and the reality of unfulfilled job satisfaction widens with each passing day.
“In a poll of 15,000 job seekers, 87.2% indicated that they wanted to leave their present employer within the next 12 months.”
In my last post I had made reference to a Gallup Poll which found that 87.2% of respondents had indicated that they wanted to leave their present employer within the year.
While 52.6% said their reason for wanting to make the change was due to the fact they did not trust their current boss, one thing is clear . . . dissatisfaction is not limited to a select few. Just as an aside, if you are one of the 52.6% who have a trust issue with your boss, check out my previous post for tips on what you can do to turn things around.
What Are You Prepared To Do?
If you are unhappy with your present job, the obvious question is why do you stay? Why not make a change?
I am certain that you have many good reasons for maintaining your present state of inertia. You undoubtedly have bills to pay, or kids on the verge of entering college or – if you are a Millennial – see your present position as a means of striking out on your own in an exciting, new world of total independence. In short, you find yourself stuck between the irresistible force of personal dreams and unrealized aspirations, and the immovable object of having to earn a living.
As a result, you get caught up in what I call career paralysis, and the resulting hopelessness of believing you are trapped.
But you do have a choice.
You can continue to sit idly by and watch your days of discontentment turn into weeks, months and then years – which really isn’t an option.
Alternatively, YOU can decide to take action, starting with identifying the reason or reasons why you don’t like your present job, and what you can do to make things instantly better.
The following are three of the most common reasons why people hate their jobs. There are without a doubt other reasons, but the manner in which you will learn to deal with these will provide you with a proven guideline for dealing with the others.
1. Perceived Low Pay
According to a Psychology Today article, what you make versus what you believe you should be making, is the number one reason for employee dissatisfaction.
Ironically, and based upon the universal tendency to accept the first offer from a potential employer, you may have unintentionally created your own problem. Like the mighty oak that grows from a tiny acorn, the longer you go without addressing your concerns regarding your pay, the more monumental the task to correct it becomes.
Before going through the job interview process, do your homework with regard to industry pay scales. Knowing the position you want, find out what it pays at both the low and high end. This way when you receive an offer you can either accept it if it falls within the industry’s range or, make a counter offer citing your research.
One word of caution . . . resist the temptation to just say yes out of fear of losing the job. Good employers will almost always respect your candor and the fact that you took the time to do your homework, as this demonstrates your work ethic and commitment to details.
What if you have been with your present company for some time?
It is never too late to write a new ending!
If you believe that you should be paid more, then do your homework as if you are looking for a position within the industry today. Either you will discover that your pay is in line with the going rate or, you will be able to demonstrate that it is indeed time for a raise.
Besides checking your emotions at the door, what is a key point to remember when you approach your boss about a raise? It will likely cost your organization more to replace your experience, than it would to pay you a fair and reasonable increase.
2. Lack Of A Challenge
How do you feel about the actual work that you currently do?
For example, if you are you new to the workforce, do you feel that your skills are being fully utilized by your employer? Do you believe that you are making a positive and meaningful contribution to you organization’s goals?
Conversely, are you a long-time employee who is in a secure but mind-numbing rut? Are you simply going through the motions of what were once new and exciting tasks?
Either way, creating satisfaction in terms of your role and responsibilities is actually up to you.
” If you can’t do great things, do small thingsin a great way.” – Napoleon Hill
If you are just starting your career, recognize that it is in the basic, even mundane tasks that you build creditability relative to earning the opportunity to take on greater responsibilities and challenges.
If you are a seasoned veteran, you need go outside of your comfort zone to actively seek out new opportunities. Is there someone you could mentor? How about volunteering for a tough assignment. Chances are, your company will be more inclined to assign the more difficult tasks to someone with whom they are familiar and in whom they have confidence.
The key is to not wait for opportunity to knock on your door, but to aggressively seek out the unexplored needs within your organization and fill them.
3. Employee Turnover
Unlike bygone days when people stayed with the same company throughout their entire careers, the current workforce is increasingly mobile. In fact, it is not uncommon for employees to change jobs every 2 to 3 years.
For many, this revolving door scenario can lead to feelings of detachment and a why bother to get to know someone attitude.
Unlike the issues relating to pay or a lack of being challenged – both of which originate with you and can therefore be addressed by you, there is little if anything you can do regarding employee turnover. In fact the only thing you can do, is learn to live and thrive within the scope of this new reality.
This means that while making lasting connections with coworkers can be difficult, you can still build meaningful relationships by adopting an entrepreneurial mindset.
As an entrepreneur you have a higher degree of independence and accountability to self. This will enable you to maximize the value of the time you spend with co-workers, without becoming completely dependent on them beyond immediate projects.
I am not suggesting that you turn into a lone wolf, operating on an cool,arms-length basis with everyone at the office. What I am saying is that you have to adjust your way of thinking to become self-reliant and self-sufficient.
Interestingly enough, by taking this approach your relationship with co-workers might actually be more productive, as your combined efforts will be tasked-focused. This means that you will collectively increase your productivity and levels of success. Success as you know is is not only a great way to build better teams, it is also a positive force in boosting overall employee morale.
In The End It Is Up To YOU!
Hate in and of itself may be too strong a word. However, the fact that you have to really care about something before you can hate it, demonstrates that there is still a pulse in terms of your having a persevering interest in your job.
This believe it or not, is a positive.
However, once you get to the point of apathy, it is usually too late to turn it around with your present employer. It is not that you can’t take action, it is just unlikely that you will. In this instance, looking for a new and and exciting challenge with a different company might be a good idea.
This is the reason why your future career path and job satisfaction is in your hands.
So I ask you the question once again . . . what are you prepared to do?!