Hate Your Job? The Proactive Employee’s Approach to Improving Your Situation

Have you ever heard people talk about how there is nothing they love more than waking up each Monday morning to go to work?  Have you heard people rave about how their job doesn’t even feel like work because they love it so much?  Have you ever thought these people were certifiably insane, or at the bare minimum, severely delusional?

For the majority of the population, equating Monday morning at the office to a day at the beach is an incongruous comparison; however, there is a difference between being very aware that work is work and not always fun, and actually hating your job.  It’s normal to have occasional feelings where you have something you’d rather be doing or a place you’d rather be than work, but if you loathe the very thought of going to work each morning, something is likely wrong.  So instead of wallowing in self-pity and creating a miserable work environment for both yourself and likely the coworkers that have to deal with the resulting negativity every day, DO SOMETHING about your situation.

If you truly hate everything about your job and the damage is beyond repair, it may be time to start looking for a new place of employment.  However, before throwing in the towel, it is important to assess the situation and see if you might be quitting your job prematurely.  Have you give proper attention and effort into bettering your situation?  Often times, it might not be JUST the place of employment that is not a perfect match with the employee.  Use this opportunity to really see where the disconnect is; then you can assess if you can make a few tweaks and enjoy work at your current place of employment, if it is time to go to a new company, or if it is even time to explore new lines of work more harmonious with your personality and interests.

Before putting in your two-weeks notice and saying “Sionara,” below are some tips from an article on USNews.com on accurately assessing your work woes.

Consider some practical steps to help deal with these common scenarios:

You’re overwhelmed. Maybe the work is too hard, or there’s just too much of it. Possible fixes: Hire a tutor or take a short, pragmatic course to help improve your knowledge. Ask for help—it sounds obvious, but many people don’t do it. Trade some of your most onerous duties with a coworker who finds them easier. Avoid needless perfectionism and put aside the things that can wait (possibly forever).

You’re not up to the job. Tempting as it is to blame others, sometimes employees just don’t have the skills, smarts, or drive required to thrive at their jobs. But that doesn’t mean solutions are out of reach. If tasks continually seem too difficult, for example, start or join an online professional group like those on Yahoo!, where people help each other solve thorny problems. Find a smart retiree who might tutor you. Tweak your job to make it more interesting; you’ll be more likely to succeed. Ask trusted friends and coworkers to list your weaknesses—and insist that they be honest. Then gulp hard, and carefully consider their advice.

You have a nightmare boss. It often takes gumption—and humility—to work with someone like that, but it might be better than the alternatives. Instead of confronting a cranky boss, ask what you could do better; if nothing else, you’ll earn a bit of respect for soliciting feedback. To deal with a hothead, have a tepid response ready so you don’t react impulsively: “You make some good points. Can we meet later to discuss them?” If you feel you have to go over your boss’s head, develop a face-saving premise for doing so: You’d like to approach a senior executive, say, because he’s an expert in a subject you’re working on.

If none of that works, and you’ve concluded that you have no choice but to quit, here’s how to do it:
Negotiate a layoff. It’s better than just quitting. You might be able to negotiate a severance package, including a one-time payment of a portion of your annual salary and an extension of your health insurance. Plus, a layoff might make you eligible for unemployment benefits. In exchange, you’ll probably have to agree not to claim wrongful termination.

Network for a new job—before you leave. Hit up your best contacts—sometimes, that can help land a new job quickly. Make the time to research jobs and careers that might best fit your skills or personality, to make your networking more effective. But if you’re tempted to shirk at a job you know you’ll be leaving, don’t. It’s unfair to your coworkers and could lower the quality of your references.

Prepare for a long job hunt. It might take a few months, so even though it’s not ideal, you’ll probably have to quit before you’ve lined up your next gig. Many people find that it’s easier to stay upbeat by joining a job-seeker group.

Secure good references. If possible, get reference letters before you leave, so you can hand them out on the spot if necessary. Before asking your boss for a recommendation, set the stage by first finding something nice to say about him or her or the company. Reminisce about projects that worked well.

Hold your tongue. Don’t bash your boss or your company in chats with coworkers, and try to stay positive in a resignation letter or exit interview—you never know when you’ll need to ask for a favor. Don’t bad-mouth your employer in job interviews either; it could get back to your former colleagues and ruin your reference. Besides, it’s unseemly. If you can’t resist dispensing a lecture on how to improve that asinine organization you used to work for, at least wait until you’re firmly installed in your new job.

http://money.usnews.com/money/careers/articles/2007/09/21/what-to-do-when-you-hate-your-job?PageNr=2

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