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I Hate my Job: What Should I Do?

By Eric Dean JD, MBA, MA, MA, LPC, CADC

“I hate my job.”

So often have I heard this statement from folks. Usually, this awareness did not happen last week, but has been lingering for some time, maybe years. Please do not lose hope: there may be ways to improve your satisfaction with your current job. If that does not work, you have options: switch jobs, find a new career, work for a new company, move to a new industry, and/or go to school, among many others. 

Of course, we do not accept a job offer thinking that we will hate it. And there is no way to accurately predict how we will feel about a job one or two years down the road. However, I believe the way in which we make job decisions is causing rapidly increasing job dissatisfaction rates. Many folks choose a job based on how it will be perceived by others on social media, rather than their own values, preferences, and goals. Job title, status, authority, and prestige take priority over fulfillment and passion. They end up creating a career path good for telling others about, but not one they truly value.

Here is a hypothetical example:

John’s parents instilled in him the importance of productivity and career success. He was expected to go to college and perform well, and highly encouraged to attend graduate school for business. During college and graduate school, John’s professors built up the importance of getting a job at a large and prestigious company. John met his parents’ and professors’ expectations by becoming an investment banker after finishing his MBA. John chose investment banking based on the compensation and prestige of the job, and seriously considered how his social media connections, friends, family, and new acquaintances would perceive of his career path. Nine months into the job John found himself terribly unhappy with the grueling hours, combined with not liking to work with quantitative data or give presentations.

In a way John was performing his life to meet the expectations of others. His decisions and actions were inconsistent with his values and desires. To avoid a situation like John’s ask yourself one question: 

Which job would I choose if I could not tell anyone about it?

If John could not tell anyone about what he does for a living, he would choose to be a veterinarian. He enjoys animals and is also interested in biology.  

Now to be clear, I am not saying that social media is all bad. There are so many benefits to being able to connect with people all over the world in a matter of seconds and share our views. However, just like most things, it can be helpful or harmful depending on how we use it. I observe issues with it when folks are performing their lives based on how they will appear to others on Facebook, rather than living authentically and being driven by their interests and values. 

Wrapping Up

The first step is to gain awareness of how and how much the expectations and perceptions of others factor into your career decisions. Then, instead of concentrating exclusively on building a perfect online image, you can focus on building a career path that you want to be a part of. 

Career counseling from a Symmetry therapist can help you identify the drivers of your decisions and make appropriate adjustments. If you hate your current job, you have options. When choosing a new job, pay less attention to image and you will begin to discover more about yourself. 

So, let’s get started – contact Symmetry Counseling in Chicago today at 312-578-9990.

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