Do you truly hate going to work each day?  Are you counting the days to retirement even though it is still years away?

If you’ve worked for very long at all, you’ve undoubtedly had a difficult job.  Challenging times occur in all careers and life in general.  But what happens when they continue for the long-term?  When you are in that situation, what do you do about it?

First off, try taking a step back and identify what is really bothering you.  Set your emotions aside and make a list of those things that drive you nuts.  Knowledge of your current situation is a powerful thing.  Once you have identified your frustrations, you can take the next step, including:

  • Fix what you can: Many times we think we’re powerless to make a change in our workplace.  That is rarely true.  You can directly impact your co-workers, how your work is prioritized, and your relationship with your boss.
  • Get good advice: Not sure how to fix something?  Try asking other successful people for advice.  Try talking to your boss, a coach, HR, or a mentor.  Who to avoid?  The person who is usually negative and will discourage you from making a difference.
  • Ignore the rest: If you find yourself obsessing about the work performed by another area over which you have no control, get over it.  You’ll drive yourself, and them, to distraction.  Focus on the areas that you impact and do the best work you can.
  • Change your mindset: It’s true that we are in control of our own happiness.  You can choose to spend your time worrying about the things you cannot change, or focusing on those that you can.  There’s power in accentuating the positive.

If you’ve decided that you’ve done what you can and things aren’t better, then your best choice is to make a change.  Don’t continue to stay.  If you do, you’ll simply make yourself and the rest of your team miserable.  Before you go, make certain that you:

  • Know what you want: While this sounds really simple, it can be trans-formative.  People do their best work when they are able to utilize their strengths.  Make a list of what you love to do – work related or not – and when you’re done, see what kind of job you just described.  If you don’t know what you want, you’ll be likely to find yourself in a new job doing the same work that you didn’t like in your previous role.
  • Look Before your Leap: There are a lot of ways to check out a potential employer prior to making a leap.  Talk to others in your professional community about their experiences.  Utilize internet resources like Glassdoor or LinkedIn to learn more.  If it isn’t offered, ask for the opportunity to interview with your prospective co-workers or tour the facility.  The more you learn about the organization, the more informed a decision you will make.  Not every organization has a culture that will be a fit for you.

Every job has its challenges, but you can put yourself in a position to minimize those challenges if you know what you want and proactively work to address your frustrations.

Life is too short to spend the majority of your waking hours in a job that you hate.

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