There are literally thousands of articles out there about how to find a job that you love doing, how to achieve a better work life balance and how to do what you do with more passion and enjoyment in order to reach higher levels of fulfillment and so on. How about the opposite: are you unhappy with job? Do you dread the day when ‘Should I quit my job if it makes me unhappy?’ will be the sole question popping up in your mind over and over again? Quitting job isn’t precisely something you’ll want to be doing in your mid-career only to start over again in a more suitable field. That’s why, in order to avoid this type of mid-career crisis, we’ve put together this post detailing the behaviors that will surely bring you to a point where you can’t stand your job anymore. This is what NOT to do when choosing a field of work.
1. Just following your skills
If you’re good at something simply because your college major developed the skills for it, but your heart was never truly in it, that doesn’t mean you should continue doing it just because you don’t really know how to do anything else. You could try rediscovering your passion for your current field (if there ever was any), or you could simply try thinking more seriously about what you’d rather be doing instead. Even of you don’t have the skills for it, it’s not too late to acquire them bit by bit, so you’re ready to move on into your desired field of activity before you actually get to quitting job for it.
2. Working only for money
Money is obviously important and employers who invoke your passion for the field as being motivation enough for your efforts are obviously lacking character. All hard work must be compensated financially; but this doesn’t mean that money ever was or will be enough to make you happy with your job. In fact, some of the most unhappy jobs in the country have very high levels of salary compensation, which perfectly illustrates our point: even if something is highly paid, it doesn’t mean that it can’t make you miserable still.
3. Being too afraid to change anything
In this economy, it’s easy to understand why everyone is reasonably afraid of taking risks. But this doesn’t mean you can wallow in a lack of action forever. Don’t take risks foolishly, like quitting your job without any money put aside and without a backup plan to fall back onto, but don’t abandon all hopes of a career change either.
Just be reasonably cautious and devise an exit plan that takes into account the following aspects: a) how you’re going to support yourself while developing the required skills for what you want to do or while you look for a more appropriate job; b) what to do if your plan doesn’t work that well, that fast – aka finding a middle ground between the two careers, perhaps involving part times; c) how to return to your current career should you want to – aka leaving a door open.
4. Pessimism about any other options
Everyone tends to be pessimistic, especially when unhappy with their current situation. If you feel that what you currently do for a living doesn’t satisfy you and it never will, then you need to start making small steps about changing it. You can’t just resort to a fatalistic view about all other options, just thinking ‘well, the rest of the jobs are probably just as horrible’ and going along with it. If it were so, everyone would be in a constant state of depression over their work environment, and thankfully, we’re still far from it.
5. Hoping things will somehow magically improve in the future
The other extreme is just as dangerous: instead of pessimism, some people just resort to seemingly endless (and misguided) optimism in order to calm themselves and ‘wait it out’. These people end up wasting all of their time hoping for future improvement. A future improvement which always fails to arrive. If your hopes aren’t based on something palpable, like a promotion you talked about with your supervisors and which will materialize soon, then you should start to realize that you will probably feel just as unhappy with your job in the future.
Things aren’t going to improve unless you make them improve, and the only way to do that, in some cases, is to start considering your alternatives. Take a little time every day to research how you could change your field of activity into something you’ve always wanted to do. Sign up for evening or online classes for skills required in the field you’d prefer working in. If you take such little steps to change, you’ll be ready to leave sooner than you think!