Everybody makes mistakes. Most of them are useful, as they teach you valuable lessons about life. However, many are so influential that they might leave you scared and confused. I mean mistakes such as choosing the wrong career path and realizing it only after spending tons of money and time in college.
I am not going to judge for all here. However, in this article I will attempt to delineate the key steps you need to take when handling this highly complex and extremely frustrating situation.
Step 1: Consider the Reasons
There may be some deep-seated underlying reasons for your sudden and unfortunate revelation. However, before jumping to action, you need to ruminate upon the reasons of this change philosophically. Do not rush. It’s much more helpful to take a pen and a sheet of paper and write down the reasons for your frustration.
Very often it is not the career per se that you hate, but the job you are currently in, which is quite different. Maybe, you just happen to have a micromanaging boss whose supervising style annoys you. Maybe, it is the backstabbing colleagues who make you feel like under constant surveillance. Perhaps, the job is too easy or too hard. There can be multiple reasons for hating the job, rather than your career.
Step 2: Think up the Improvements
Perhaps those reasons are not as bad as they seem. You should not give way to emotions, but rather evaluate the status quo with a cold mind. Think about what you can improve to make your position if not perfect, but, at least, more or less tolerable. This approach helps you focus on the concrete problems, rather than ephemeral feelings.
For instance, you determined that it is the 9 to 5 schedule which frustrates you. Maybe, you can talk to your boss about it. If, for instance, your job does not require your constant presence, but rather fruitful results, perhaps, you could work something out and adapt your schedule to meet your personal needs. If you are a valuable employee, a compromise should be possible.
Step 3: Try to Change the Attitude
Some people are really nitpicking when it comes to… well anything. It is important to realize that everything cannot be perfect. There are no ideal jobs or careers, and very often it is your attitude which determines whether you like or hate your occupation.
For instance, let’s say you feel like your job is too hard. It is a common predicament for recent college graduates, who excelled in the classroom and now find themselves lost and confused as they grapple with the new routines. It can also happen to more experienced employees who just got promoted and assigned to new responsibilities.
It is true that taking a long time to complete a work assignment may be frustrating. However, at the same time you are, probably, learning new skills which are bound to make you a better, more employable specialist in the future. It may even earn you a raise! So, maybe, it is worth struggling for some time to become a better person in the end.
Step 4: Talk About It
Complaining may not do anything, but, at least, it will help you feel understood. Remember, no matter how tough your life seems, most likely you have friends who would be able to support you. You are never alone with your struggle. Just call somebody and invite them for a cup of coffee. It will not only make your day brighter, but will also help you look at the situation from a different perspective.
However, avoid using social media to vent out your frustration. I believe it is obvious that employers who might encounter your angry tweet are not going to just let it go.
Step 5: Find Another Job
It is usually the young graduates who are most vulnerable to the disappointment with their career choice. However, it may step from the fact that they got themselves into a wrong job, rather than a professional vocation overall. Thus, all it takes is finding another occupation which would better suit their goals and dreams.
Nonetheless, it is crucial to realize the reasons for your dissatisfaction before embarking on a job hunt. Otherwise, you might be stuck in this loop all your life.
Step 6: Be Discreet
I’ve already mentioned the necessity of avoiding social media when talking about your hated job. It is, however, just as important to conceal the fact of job hunting both from your employer as well as your colleagues. You do not want to be passed off for promotion just because you were trying to find a better occupation for a short period of time.
It will be especially tragic if you end up keeping your old job. Even though it may seem like everything is fine, but your employers will not forget that at some point you wanted to leave. It can put you in an unfavorable position when promotions and other benefits are discussed.
Step 7: Have Back-up Money
Ideally you would want to keep the job until you find a new one. However, if your body and soul are close to a nervous breakdown, quitting on spot becomes a matter of money and health. Thus, at least, make sure that while you are still working, you are saving up as much as you can, so that when you quit you can at least pay the bills and not starve to death.
Maybe, you will need to sign up for a new course to upgrade your skills or buy a new suit for an interview. In any case, it is always good to have some back-up money, but in your situation it is a must.
Step 8: Look for Hobbies
Remember, your life is not all about your job. Sometimes, finding a fun hobby can dissipate your negative feelings and make you a much happier and fulfilled person.
Moreover, a new hobby can pave a way for a new career. For instance, if you’ve always been interested in computers, try updating your programming skills. It can help you land a better job in the future, at the same time, saving tons of money which you could have spent on a second degree.
Step 9: Be Serious
There are many people who complain a lot, but do almost nothing to amend their situation. They want to get a new job, but they do not even take pains to update their resume. So, no wonder they land no interviews.
Do not be like them. If you’ve determined that you cannot tolerate your job any longer, take the job hunt very seriously. Work on your resume, get some references and network. Most importantly, do a better research this time. It does not look good when a person changes occupations every couple months.
Step 10: Leave on a High Note
File in your two weeks. Be nice and polite to your boss and colleagues. Do not disparage them in front of new employers. Those are the key rules you should follow if you want to come off as a professional and ensure positive references in the future.
Remember, no matter how resentful you feel now – it will pass as the years go by. However, if you part with a scandal, it can affect your career tremendously. If your boss is an influential figure in the field, he may let others know how ungrateful and inconsiderate you are. This will not contribute to your good reputation.