Let's face it a lot of us don't particularly enjoy where we work. I'm pretty sure this has nothing to do with the actual place but instead has everything to do with your role.
When you first signed up for the job were you thrilled, excited and full of passion? Were you thinking finally I'm in a position where I can stretch out and really make a difference? Did that all change the minute your boss started micromanaging? Or when you found out the guy you share an office with chats way too much? Or was it when the thing that initially got you excited lost its flare? Maybe it was the first job you were offered and thought well I better take it I don't know if anything else will come along.
Whatever the reason, it's no fun heading in every day to a job you hate. It affects your mood, your productivity at work and you can't help but bring those feelings home at the end of the day. This can put immense pressure on your relationships within your family and even with your friends.
So what are you going to do about it?
Well, there is the obvious piece of advice that many of you immediately thought of: quit! But this isn't a realistic option for a lot of people. Maybe the economy is doing really poorly and you simply feel lucky to at least have a job. Maybe your skill set is a bit outdated or there are those little things called the golden handcuffs.
What to do when leaving is not an option
This isn't the same as quitting or leaving all together. Take advantage of the natural churn in a company. Try your hand at something totally different. Look for something that interests you and that you think you could pick up fairly quickly. If you're in marketing and sales try your hand at research and development or human resources. You'll likely have to start with training, and maybe even job shadowing or taking some night courses but it just might be worth it to break away from the position you're in now.
If you can't leave, or switch departments, get as involved as you possibly can. Sign up for every training course, extracurricular activity and committee that you can possibly get into. Choose courses or workshops to further your career and keep future job prospects in mind. Having a diverse skill set will ultimately make you more employable. You'll be in a much better position to pursue opportunities as they come up when you've already completed thetraining required.
Involving yourself socially within a company exposes to more networking opportunities than would otherwise be available. In a social setting people tend to be more relaxed and some are even more likely to disclose new opportunities, plans or projects. Interacting with the people you work with gets you familiar with them but it also gets them familiar with you. Take every opportunity to sell yourself, let people know what you have to offer, what your ambitions are and that you're keen to try new things. People aren't mind readers, so dropping subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) hints can be well worth your while.
3. Create a new position
This will take a lot of time, research, planning and dedication but it really can work. I know because I've done it. If you're in a position that you don't care for or maybe you're just temporarily filling a position but still love the company, now is your chance. Here are a few things to consider:
- Look at the existing state of your department, the company, the relationships with customers etc ...
- What is missing?
- What could make things easier?
- What could you do to potentially save the company a lot of money?
- What information is currently being gathered and ignored because there's no one to analyze it?
- How could you potentially streamline a process?
- How could you improve quality control?
- How could you better serve the customers?
I would suspect a vast majority of companies have a number of areas that could be improved upon. Look critically at every aspect of the business and begin to dig deeper. Listen to what people are saying, what are they complaining about? What do they wish they could do, have access to or eliminate? Those are the things people really want. Start thinking of how you can make these things happen.
oStart a proposal
When you start to dig deeper keep track of what you find. You'll need facts, evidence and raw numbers to back up your claims.
- What is the specific problem you will be addressing?
- Specifically how will you be addressing the problem?
- Why are you the best person for the job?
- What will your job description be?
- What are the direct benefits to the company by having you in this new role?
oFind a champion
When you have a really good idea about what you want to accomplish, you should consider finding someone who will champion your cause. This may be your boss, director or even the CEO of the company. Choose someone whom you trust, someone who would be willing to discuss your proposal with you and critique it without dismissing it immediately. Ask them to be brutally honest with you and ask for their help in making it rock solid. After that all that's left is to go for it. Meet with human resources, directors and supervisors. People who have the authority to create this new position.
Granted creating your own position is a lot tougher than sitting back and simply putting in your time - but it's a lot more constructive. It will require a huge amount of effort, commitment and guts, but it may just be the most rewarding and inspiring thing you've ever done.
However you choose to handle the ho-hum of work life realize that you have choices. You are in control of what you do each day, where you choose to work and what you choose to put up with. Leave, change departments, get involved or create a new position the choice is yours.