If you know about what I do as a Career Change Coach, then you’ll know at some point I may support my clients to quit the job they hate! However, I want to discuss why you shouldn’t quit the job you hate - today.
The internet is filled with quick fix solutions, quick loans and quick successes, however genuine coaching and the type of coaching I deliver involves a journey to create lasting change and definitely doesn’t give the false promise of ‘overnight success’. Do you know anyone who has had overnight success, in real life? People tend to be in a job they hate because of financial obligations and let’s face it, they are somewhat real. I would never encourage anyone to quit their job without a plan.
The steps below outline what you can do when you hate your job, but you’re not in a financial position to quit today.
Step 1: Get objective
Ever heard of a downwards spiral? Sometimes when you are stuck in a situation and are feeling all the emotions it is difficult to be objective. Experiencing these emotions can stop us from seeing the other options available to us. Have a conversation with yourself (either in your head, out loud or on paper) as if you are your own best friend giving yourself advice. Ask yourself important questions to get clear, such as why you want to quit your job; why you are still in your job and why you are not doing anything about it. With your objective mindset, ask yourself any other questions you need clarity on.
Step 2: Make the most of a bad situation
Some people might say you have to tolerate or quit a job you hate. Well I say you can make it more bearable - for now. I suggest writing down a list of the things you like or love about your job, whether it’s your lunch break or engaging with clients and apply more of your attention and appreciation there.
Write a list down of the things you dislike or hate. With your objective mind, question what you could do to make it more bearable in the short-term. These are a few examples:
Hate your commute? Talk to your manager about changing your hours to avoid peak times and working from home one day a week. Can your commute time be more enjoyable by listening to your favourite podcast or inspirational book?
Don’t get on with your manager? Talk to HR about reporting to someone else.
Always working late? Set yourself boundaries and stick to your contracted working hours. A recent study of 65,000 U.S. employees found out exactly how unproductive overtime work is, proving that the more people work, the less productive they become. In other words, staying after work hours is practically useless!
Is there an office bully? Take control of the situation, ask to move away from them, inform your manager and HR. Start to document incidents and only use email to communicate where possible.
Are you really bored? Apply mindfulness in your work, so you are focussing on the task at hand rather than focussing on the boredom. Use your current work to get clear on what you don’t like and focus on how you spend your time outside of work, you could sign up for evening classes or events.
Lastly, buy a desk plant! Always a winner to cheering up a workspace in my opinion.
Step 3: Work on your mindset
The next step will be shifting your mindset to one geared up for success! For example, if you are constantly thinking how awful your dead end job is, maybe you can shift this thinking to: my job provides me financial stability whilst I look for another job, or my job pays for my passion project until I make a living from it. Shifting your mindset is a great way to lift your energy and attract more opportunities your way. Examine your thoughts, what are you telling yourself?
Step 4: Take your next best step
Imagine you are feeling more objective, have made your work life much more bearable and have a positive mindset; now you are ready to start taking steps towards your dream career.
Want to do something different? Start your research, enrol on to a course or start applying for new roles.
Got a business idea? Start researching the problem you want to solve for others and the ways you can serve.
Struggling with your next best step?
A great way to figure this out is by defining your personal career values. Take a look at my Career Change Workbook on my resources page to help you on your way.