'I Hate My Job -- Now What?!'
Dawn Papandrea, ClassesUSAPrint Email
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Digg Whether it's a nightmare boss, a stagnant position in a dead-end company, or an unfulfilled career dream, it may be time for you to stop complaining and do something. Follow these steps, courtesy of Tony Lee, editor-in-chief of CareerJournal.com, and find a job you love.
Step 1: Assess your situation, review your strengths, and dig in your heels.
"To even think you won't have roadblocks is unrealistic, so number one -- accept them," says Andrea Kay, career consultant, speaker, and author of several books including "Greener Pastures: How to Find a Job in Another Place."
Once you've done that, take time out to reflect, she adds. "Don't rush to develop a new resume. That's the mistake almost everyone makes. Instead, reflect on what isn't working, what's not right about where you are, what your greatest strengths are, and what you love to do," says Kay.
Step 2: Explore your options, set goals, and make plans to develop yourself to fit your new career path.
Kay emphasizes the power of communication during this stage. "The best way to find a new job is to hold meaningful conversations with people," she advises. "Talk about your career with people who can guide you and refer you."
Networking with some old friends is how Cameron Herald eventually became the vice president of operations for 1800GotJunk, a junk removal company in Vancouver that serves North America. Prior to that, he literally broke down from job-induced stress. His health literally depended on a change in his work lifestyle.
His advice? "Take a look and find the companies that are well-respected in the industry. See which ones are ranked as good employers." Of course, he says, there may be some bumps in the road. "Maybe you'll have to get a part time job on weekends at Starbucks to pay the rent. Or maybe you'll have to use an executive recruiter to help me find a new position." Nonetheless, he adds, "every single obstacle can be beaten."
Step 3: Acquire new skills by returning to school and/or volunteering.
For freelance writer Stephanie Jo Klein, it was volunteer work with the Newswomen's Club of New York -- she was the club's membership vice president in 2003 -- that sparked an entrepreneurial endeavor. When gift bags she created for the club's annual Front Page Awards gala were so well received by the journalists in attendance, she decided to start Klein Creative Communications, a promotional gift bag creation business based in New York City. "If you're trying to figure out where you want to go, volunteering is a good thing to do," she affirms.
Stephanie further developed her skills via New York University's School of Continuing and Professional Studies, in its meeting, conference, and event management certificate program. "I got the course guide and I couldn't decide what I wanted to take next," she says. "Just meeting the people and the speakers was a great networking experience."
Step 4: Do something you enjoy.
Ultimately, it's up to you to find a job in which you can be happy. "When you notice yourself not feeling challenges, not feeling energized, and watching the clock, start taking note," says Kay. Once your motivation to move on outweighs your fear, she says, you're ready to make the leap.
Fifty-nine percent of college-educated professionals in New York City say they expect to have three or more different careers over their lifetimes, according to New York University's School of Continuing and Professional Studies.