Well, perhaps it isn’t always THAT bad, but I had to use a little exaggeration to get my point across. Those who have found that “perfect” job and are happy day in and day out are among the luckiest people in the world. I mean, seriously, like the top 1% of lucky people in the world. Up there with the lottery winners, sit those select few who wake up in the morning feeling refreshed and energized, knowing they have a full day of rewarding and exciting work ahead of them.
Enough about these people, and all their glory, let’s talk about the rest of us. What is it like waking up every morning and going to a job you aren’t 100% in love with? Well, it’s a lot like waking up every morning next to a man/woman you’re dating/married to, whom you aren’t 100% in love with. There may be some connection there; some positive that can be pulled out of the situation. Ultimately though, you are unhappy. You aren’t getting out what you put in, and you aren’t moving in the direction you’d hoped to be moving in. So, what can you do?
You can always dump your job, and by that I mean quit. This can be a leap of faith of course; banking on the fact that you will find something else, but it can be a rewarding experience to shed the shackles of a job you hate and enjoy the sweet taste of freedom. My advice, however, is to apply and interview while still employed, so as to make the transition between jobs seamless. Money may not buy happiness, but you’ll need it to pay for rent and electricity.
Start by dusting off the ole’ resume, checking it for errors and updating it to match your current status. Even if everything is correct and up to date, consider changing it around anyway. A new look to a resume often provides a sense of revitalization, even if all the information is the same as before. Second, write a few versions of a cover letter, before you even begin looking at what job opportunities are out there. When you’re finished, you can take a look at these cover letters to see what type of job you subconsciously are leaning towards. See what words you tend to use, and what skills of yours you often highlight. Lastly, taking this discovered direction; search for jobs within that area that you feel would be not only exciting, but also rewarding. If you already have a job, then why not venture outside of your comfort zone a little. The worse thing that could happen is that you don’t get the job you apply for. You’ll still have your old job to fall back on though.
The final thing I’ll say on the subject is that happiness is whatever you make of it. Working shouldn’t define you as a person. It should be what you do, because you want to do it. If you aren’t happy with your life, change it. Go back to school, change careers, do a complete 180. If you go into debt a little, well that’s just the way it goes. If you have to borrow a few bucks from your parents to get started, well that’s OK too. If you wind up in a role that you are happy in, the money will come.
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