Hate your job? Take this structured approach to get clarity and take action.
Step 1: Take some time (perhaps over the weekend) and write down in detail what you dislike about your job. You really must be specific, it is not just that you dislike your boss, but the way he never gives you feedback or flies off the handle without reason, or never shares business information with you and your colleagues or perhaps you are just bored.
Step 2: Next, write down what you like about your job. There must be something that you like, perhaps not your boss, but your colleagues, your free healthcare or the salary.
Step 3: Identify what you can resolve. For each of the things you dislike and have listed in Step 1, can you identify ways that these could be addressed? Of course, you can’t deal with everything but if, for example, you are unhappy that your boss never gives you feedback, could you schedule a meeting with him or her to review progress? Can you be proactive in some areas? Can you approach the person you are having problems with? Perhaps it’s a colleague who doesn’t do their fair share of work so everything gets loaded onto you.
Be careful though. Don’t charge right in. Wait and think things through from their perspective.
Step 4: Address the areas you may need some help with. Has the volume of work increased so much that you have to work late each night, or are you taking work home? Do you need to discuss this with your manager if it is becoming far too much?
A technique I discuss with my clients when they are getting overloaded with work is to tell their boss that they can happily do X, but then ask what they should leave or pass on to someone else. It’s being assertive and it usually works.
Step 5: Should you look for more responsibility? Are you bored by what you do? Let your boss know that you could handle more and get involved in some projects? If you get turned down, then persevere. Perhaps you need to convince him or her more. Are they aware of your out of work achievements? A review meeting will allow you to discuss and emphasise strengths that your manager may be unaware of.
Step 6: Do you need more variety? Look to do more of what you like and less of what you don’t. Think about how you can position this to your manager to make it a win-win for both of you. If you get on well with your boss, she or he is likely to want to keep a valued member of staff and so be more willing to help. Think about other people who could take on some of your tasks, such as an eager junior member of staff who may love to develop themselves too.
Step 7: You can take a wider view and see what else you can do to make your time there more tolerable – sign up for an evening class and do some study on your lunch break? You might even get some support from the company.
Step 8: It’s not just about the job! Also think about what you can do outside of life, in your personal time. A job doesn’t seem so bad if you have something to look forward to such as regular trips to the cinema, joining a sports team, going to Salsa classes.
So, a few suggestions to help you make the most of a job you don’t like. You are likely to learn something about yourself, and the way you handle work situations and people relationships. Plus you may not hate your job quite so much!