When I saw the headline “What To Do If You Hate Your Job”, I knew I had to find out how two notable career authorities would answer the question. (Not the first time I heard it.)
Dr. Janet Civitelli, a career coach who maintains a practice in Seattle, and Ken Mattsson respond to a truly miserable accountant who really wants to work as an artistic crafter. After providing specific advice for her, Mattsson writes:
When choosing a career, most people do what I call “The Foxhole Method of Career Development,” where people fall into a position (foxhole) and they feel relieved at first that they don’t have to look anymore. But, sooner or later, the foxhole feels cold, dark, and damp, so they jump into a new foxhole without assessing the goodness of fit and after awhile, that position feels awful, too.What I recommend instead is a three part career development process where you ask these questions:
– Where am I?
– Where do I want to go?
– How do I get from where I am to where I want to go?
Dr. Civitelli and I believe that people often give up on changing careers when the reality is that small steps can add up to big changes. We live in a time now when someone can become an expert in something just because they started a blog about it, independent of formal education. People earn a living selling all sorts of things online. Many customers/clients have more money than time and will happily pay others to organize, teach, facilitate, and manage. If you love “bringing someone’s vision to reality,” there should be ways to build a career around that.
Read the whole article.
Doesn’t that make a lot of sense?
One option that can work or some unsatisfied workers is to find a way to make your less than perfect line of work acceptable. In this vein, career blogger Penelope Trunk writes:
We don’t need a perfect job in order to be happy. We just need to be growing.
So many of us have an unguarded obsession with wanting things to fit perfectly. I look atthis page of photos of random things fitting perfectly and I want the page to go on forever—it’s inherently satisfying just to know it’s a good fit.
Yet wanting a perfect fit gets us into so much trouble.
The quarterlife crisis is a new coming-of-age event that describes the emotional turmoil resulting from the gap between baby boomer parents telling kids their job should be a perfect fit for their passions and talents, and Gen Y kids realizing that the work world does not offer that type of job.
Looking for a perfect fit in a relationship also gets us into trouble.
We do not get perfect harmony in a relationship.
Psychology Today describes the best romantic relationship as not necessarily with the partner who has the best traits, but rather the partner who allows you to grow into your best self. Daniel Jones edits the Modern Love column in the New York Times. He says that after reading 50,000 submissions over the course of a decade, he realizes that the best way to be fulfilled in a relationship is to settle for imperfection and focus on being your best self.
The connection between a job and happiness is overrated. And the connection between our romantic life and happiness is overrated. A full 70% of our happiness is determined genetically.
But personal growth is something we have total control over. So get yourself into a job that allows you to do that – but recognize that it rarely requires a change in industry. Usually a change in your job but within your industry will get you where you need to go.