In every job I have held so far, I have always heard many of the same gripes and complaints. “This place is the worst.” I hate my job.” I feel so stuck here.” “Things are never going to change.” etc, etc. While I have definitely been guilty of thinking and saying these things from time to time, I think overall it is important to acknowledge that you are in control of most of your surroundings. We spend a lot of times at our jobs, so if you don’t like something, change it!
First of all, it is important to realize that no matter how bad you feel your job situation is, there is probably someone out there who has it worse. Try to focus on the positive aspects… maybe it is a dead-end, boring job and you feel stuck – try instead to acknowledge the fact that you don’t feel super stressed and pressured on deadlines all the time. Feel like you are worked to the bone? Realize that you are gaining important knowledge on a daily basis of how to multi-task and deal with boatloads of people. While these two suggestions are certainly not a long-term fix, they can help you get through a day, week, or month.
Second, try to identify what it is you would like to do. Many people seem to land somewhere and stick with it because it is what they know, and then complain about it because they think that is all there is! Well, it is your responsibility to see what is out there and make it happen. If there are no immediate job openings in the area you want to work in, take other steps towards making it a reality like taking classes or volunteering in that area. Talk to people… never stop talking to everyone you know about what you want to do, because you never knows who knows who that works where!
Finally, take risks. Don’t be afraid to go on interviews, even for jobs that you don’t know 100% that would be ideal. Every single interview = more experience, and if it doesn’t work out, there is always next time. Don’t be afraid to look ahead and take the plunge, because some of the best things are stumbled upon by mistake.
Less-than-ideal work situations can be the absolute pits. It can completely drain you and make you miserable, even outside of your office or cubicle walls. Try to remember that this is your life you are living, so fill up the time outside of work with doing the things you love most – walking your dogs, hiking with your spouse, enjoying a glass of wine, or taking a yoga class – whatever your “thing” may be. Always strive to be your best self possible, and believe that you deserve the best both in and out of work. Go out there and make this the life you want to live!