First of all, you’re not alone. That sinking feeling you get on Sunday nights when you know you’re only eight hours away from staff meeting hell is shared by many. But, you can’t just keep whining forever without making a real change. Here are a few tips on what to do next.
Elene Cafasso of Enerpace, Inc. Executive Coaching, says that though it may be tempting to throw in the towel and tell off those who have made your life miserable while you’re at it, only consider leaving without another job lined up if you’re in one of the following situations.
Do you have six to 12 months living expenses saved? Do you have an employed significant other and can live on one paycheck for at least six to 12 months? Are you rushing to leave because you’re in a physically/emotionally abusive environment?
If not, consider refreshing your perspective on your current situation to make the best of your position while you look for another job. Cafasso offers help with this as well.
“Focus on what you can control,” she says. “ Maybe it’s the marketing plan you’re in charge of that will be a crucial addition to your portfolio in order to get yourself that new job.”
If your coworkers or work schedule is what you dislike the most, Robyn McLeod, Principle at Chatsworth Consulting, reminds us that your frustration may be coming from necessary conversations you’re avoiding.
“The old adage, ‘you won’t get it if you don’t ask’ is true. Often we complain about our work life, but do nothing to change it. The best way to change your situation is to be brave enough to have conversations with the people who can help you get what you want.” McLeod said.
“One client of mine was on the verge of quitting his job because he was working very long hours, was frustrated with problems on his team, and unhappy,” McLeod continued.
“He was afraid to talk to his boss about the situation, but I convinced him that, at that point, he really had nothing to lose. He met with his boss and had a productive conversation. It turns out his boss was not aware of the problems my client was facing and thought very highly of him. He was able to get additional resources for his team and a flexible work schedule that gave him the time with his family that he needed.”
But, what if your responsibilities are what you hate about your job, not the team, client or managers? How do you figure out what career change you should be pursuing if any? Cafaso says:
“Write down every job you’ve ever had–even going back to your childhood lemonade stand. Make two columns and jot down what you loved in one column and hated in the other. What patterns or commonalities do you see? What does that tell you to look for in your next job? What types of jobs are rich in the things you love?”
This will make your strengths and interests clearer, and help you target the job that’s perfect for you.
Kimberly Ramsawak, founder of Tourism Exposed, an online community that helps students and career changers find their dream jobs in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry, suggests that your best bet in terms of next steps is to develop a targeted list of five to 10 companies that you are interested in based on your desired career niche, job function or job title.
“Then, use social media like LinkedIn and Twitter to research and find current and former employees at those companies, and to see how you’re connected to them and get their email addresses as your first point of contact. Reach out to them too via email to request informal informational interviews (or coffee meetings) in order to learn more about their companies, their jobs, to get the inside scoop on the industry overall and job opportunities that exist before they are made public,” Ramsawak says.
This kind of networking is more effective than just talking to anyone and everyone about how you’re looking for a job or submitting your resume to online job boards and then hoping and praying you’ll get a call for an interview.
Now, you’ve got a guide to determining what you hate about your job, if it’s fixable, and what to do about it if it’s not. Wow, look at how quickly you’ve got it all figured out. Good luck (as if you need it)!
—Megan Broussard is a Ragin’ Cajun-turned New Yorker whose gregarious take on the modern work-lifestyle made her company ProfessionGal Inc. a standout contributor to outlets like Forbes, ABC News, HuffPost Live, and BBC.
This article originally appeared in Levo and is reprinted with permission.