Monday, 19 January 2015

Lifestyle: Why do you stay in a job you hate?

Picture this. It’s Monday morning – I’d assume around 7am, or similar. Your alarm clock has gone off, and for the millionth week in a row, you feel like screaming and you’d rather be chained to your bed than go to work again. Just where did your weekend go?! 

I see a lot of people moaning about their job, but when they really, really hate it, I don’t understand why they don’t just look for something else. Perhaps I’m being simplistic. It’s still quite a tough environment for job seekers, especially young ones, and of course, jobs don’t grow on trees. A lot of people think it’s better to stay somewhere they’re a bit miserable, at the risk of making themselves even more miserable if they don’t. Nobody wants to be unemployed and out of money - it’s a catch 22. 

It’s January now though, and for many of us, it’s the perfect time to look for a new job. Although technically, it’s impossible to say when the right time for a job search actually is, now really is as good a time as any. Equally, though, if you’re reading this in May, or September, or any other month, it’s never too late. 

There are a few ways you can think about what you really want, but it’s important to sit down and take the time to focus on you…

Make a list of the pros and cons of your current workplace. It’s unlikely that every single little detail will be perfect, but it’s not a lot to ask to feel happy and not dread when you think about heading in! If the ‘bad’ column is long and unlikely to change, put yourself first. (Unless the ‘good’ column has something amazing, like a private jet or something, ha!).

If you think something can be changed about where you work – that’s great! Broach the issue professionally and with respect. Take note of how much respect you’re granted in return when being influenced for a decision. 

Start looking for a new job way in advance of when you want to leave. I wouldn’t personally recommend putting in your notice until you at least have some sort of plan! Obviously, some notice periods are longer than others, so take this into consideration, too.

Don’t just look on job sites. Look on Twitter, LinkedIn, ask friends and family – you never know who knows who. That old saying comes into play here: “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know!”

Focus on your continued professional development so that job hunting will be a breeze. Take advantage of training courses, take a night class, or even volunteer to boost your CV. It might also be worth getting a hobby that isn’t just “getting drunk on the weekends”. Sure, that’s a lot of fun, but an employer wants to see some personality and substance about you! The good news? If you blog, this can actually look fab on your CV, providing you sell it right. Commitment, organization, communication skills? Tick, tick, tick – and perfect for most career choices.

Always remember, there are some things more important than money – your health and happiness! If you feel trapped now, it will get better. Hopefully, at the start of 2016, you’ll look back and see this year as the one you finally changed your life. Good luck!

This is a guest post

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