Once you realize you are not happy in your current position, get real and find out what you really want.
The emotion can hit you hard: I. am. in. the. wrong. job.
Independently of how long you are working in you profession, the overwhelming desire of getting a change can sweep you off your feet. Especially after a longer break over christmas and the first few days back in the job, you feel problematic areas even stronger. Back in the holidays you were at peace, but in your work environment you are being confronted with all this negative emotion.
Feeling this inner turmoil, it’s very easy to attribute all the worst reasons to your environment, colleagues, clients and tasks. Finding external factors for your misery is the easiest way. Truth is that these intense emotions are a good moment to get to know yourself a lot better.
- Why exactly are you feeling the way you feel?
- What are your expectations towards yourself, your job and the people around you?
While you benefit from getting to know yourself a lot better [thanks, dear turmoil times in life!], you still need to find some sort of solution for your issue with the working environment. Let’s explore the options.
The first question arising is: What can be changed? Where is your influence? What is in your hands?
You can change yourself and you can change the situation but you absolutely cannot change other people. Only they can do that. Joanna Trollope
The writer Joanna Trollope puts it quite well. You need to accept that you cannot change the people around you. You might change yourself – meaning your attitude, expectations, perspective. And you can also change the situation, e.g. not attending a certain meeting, change your seating or regroup your team members. But other people’s behaviour and attitude – including your boss, colleagues, clients – is out of your hand.
Take a moment of analyzing your status quo. What can be changed about the situation? What can be changed in your attitude?
If you are sensing that a lot of your ‘problems’ lay in the behaviour of other people, you might need to check the next paragraphs for a solution.
Sometimes a broader view and a different angle of the perspective works miracles. Maybe you don’t really like all aspects of your daily tasks – but you only have a 10 minute drive to work. Or you feel overwhelmed by a lot of responsibility, yet the potential freedom in structuring your time during the day is unique to your position.
When feeling unhappy about a certain aspect in your work life, there is the risk of focussing too much on this particular thing – increasing the problem even further. At the end you only see the negative.
Take some time to write down all the positive aspects of your job. Actively refocus and check areas you haven’t considered yet: location, travel time needed, freedom of selecting tasks or allocating time, payment, tasks, additional benefits of your employer like canteen, sports or health support. Make sure that your brain doesn’t play a trick on you by only focussing on one negative thing that becomes the center of your universe.
Aside from taking a broader view also think of the people around you. Generally spoken, everyone tries to do the ‘best’ in life. So while your colleague or boss might annoy you, keep in mind that they are also just acting based on their perception of what is ‘the best thing to do’. Even if you consider their behavior as ‘stupid’, other people might classify of your actions ‘unreasonable’.
While thinking about all aspects of your status quo, you might already get a different attitude. Are you able to love certain flaws and downsides of your current job – including colleagues – when considering the whole package?
If not, maybe the last option is for you.
Sometimes the feeling of not belonging to a certain place is a good wake up call to leave a job or position. But leaving includes a risk: Why are you sure not running into the same problems in your next job?
If you leave only to avoid certain problems, chances are high that you will end up in exactly the same problems – only with different people. This is why the first two paragraphs are so important to you – or even more important when you consider leaving over staying.
Ideally, you know yourself and the environment you need to thrive. Then you can start searching for that spot in the working market. Rather be ‘drawn to’ a new opportunity, than ‘running away’ from your status quo. With all respect, be aware: if you choose based on wrong motives, you might even end up worse than your current state.
I. am. in. the. wrong. job.
If that’s your feeling right now, use the momentum to explore your status quo. Where is this emotion rooted? What actually needs to change? What do you want in your work life?
Stop complaining and get real.