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  • Help Me… I Hate My Job!

    Frustrated female office worker in a cubicle pulls her hair

    Frustrated female office worker in a cubicle pulls her hair

    Help me!

    I hate my job!

    When is the last time those words flew out of your mouth?

    You’re certainly not the only one.

    A staggering 71% of American employees are “not engaged “or “actively disengaged” at work, according to a Gallup poll referenced in the Forbes article 70 Percent of Your Employees Hate Their Jobs.

    That’s a lot of people hating a lot of jobs!

    Why is everyone so unhappy?

    Everyone has his or her own reason.

    Maybe it’s not the job so much as it is your tyrant boss. Or that annoying co-worker. Maybe the work’s not so bad, but the pay stinks. Maybe just a little exta flexibility is all you need.

    Or, maybe, just maybe, you are just in the wrong line of work altogether.

    How many of us chose a career path before we really had any experience in the workplace?

    We’re asked to declare a major in college when we’re just 18 or 19 years old. What the heck do we know at 18 about choosing a career? But we’re told we need to choose, so we can get on the right track and graduate on time. (Mom and Dad have made it clear that the gravy train ends in four years. Better pick a major now and go with it!)

    Then, we graduate and get a job in our chosen field. Or in whatever field happens to be hiring college graduates at the time.

    And then it starts.

    We take that first job. It’s not perfect, but hey- it’s work. Everybody says you just gotta put your time in and suck it up at that first job. You need experience! You can be a little choosier with your next job.

    The next job is a little more money, a little more responsibility. Maybe you got on the esteemed “management” track and have some underlings reporting to you. You find that you can’t believe how whiny and high-maintenance they are. You are eager to move up to the next level so that you can manage some non-entry level people who aren’t such morons. (And then you do, and they still are…)

    And so it goes.

    You move up. You make more money. You get a few more vacation days tossed at you every year. It’s not the greatest job in the world, but… it pays the bills. You’ve got the nice house now. Some nice cars. From the outside, you have achieved success.

    And then it hits you.

    This sucks.

    Is this success?

    Is this what my life is supposed to be all about?

    Oh, crud.

    What do you do?

    You may ponder quitting. Just get me out of here — I’ll go anywhere. Get me away from this company / boss / co-worker / misery!

    But if you’re not careful, you’ll just flop yourself into a similar situation at a similar company. After the honeymoon phase wears off, did this job change really make a difference? Are you happy now?

    You were meant to be happy in your work.

    We joke about “work being work” and the drudgery of it all, but… the truth is… it doesn’t have to be.

    Work should be an extension of who you are at your core.

    What are you naturally good at? What are you naturally interested in? What kind of person are you when you’re not trying to be who you think everybody else (boss, family, coworkers, etc.) thinks you should be?

    If you’re going to spend such a large chunk of your life working, shouldn’t you enjoy it? Shouldn’t it matter to you? Shouldn’t it represent more than a paycheck at the end of the day?

    You naturally want to answer Yes to these questions, but, deep down, you don’t think that this kind of work really exists.

    But it does. There is work out there that is perfect for you.

    You just have to take the time to define it. And then go after it.

    You need to spend the time doing some honest soul-searching and nail down just what it is what that you REALLY want to do.

    Hire a career coach. Take a career assessment. Read some books. Talk it out with family and friends who know you well.

    The right work is out there for you.

    It may not be available for you tomorrow. You may need to save more, learn more, study more, network more, do more to get you to your dream job.

    But commit to going after it. Map out a path or plan to get you from here to there. It’s a journey well worth taking.

    It will take some courage to do it. But you can do it.

    Let’s close with a few great quotes that may be able to help you muster some:

    “If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.” – Thomas Edison (Astound yourself. See what you can do.)

    “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” – Martin Luther King Jr. (Take a step. Get on the right path.)

    “The tragedy of a man’s life is what dies inside him while he lives.” – Henry David Thoreau (Are you dying inside? It’s time to live!)

    “Don’t ignore a subtle sense of unrest. It may be the key to finding the work you love.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson (It’s not so subtle anymore, is it? Go find the work you love!)

    LEGEND Talent Management works with mid-career professionals ready to make a change. Our Pathway Planner career assessment tool can help determine the best natural career fit for you. Contact us at for more information.