I’m really picky about which Guest Posts I decide to actually publish on my blog.
Mostly because I never want you guys to read something and be like, oh man, that’s freaking terrible.
But when Sacha pitched this article to me a couple weeks ago, I knew it’d be perfect, because it’s so true!!
Sometimes our dream jobs do turn out to be our worst nightmares, so we ought to know what to do if that turns out to be the case.
Anyway, hope you enjoy! Let us know what you think!
I never related Taylor Swift’s lyric “Darling I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream” to any specific person, but I have related it to a job I once had.
I’m not going to go into specifics, but I will tell you that by the end of my time there, getting struck by lightening sounded better than going to work.
I have a nasty habit of diving into things without much thought.
Don’t be me.
When I was first hired, I couldn’t have been more excited. Getting a job doing something I was good at was my personal equivalent of stumbling upon Atlantis. There were a few red flags when I started, but like any over-eager, go-getter, I ignored them.
I felt like I was stuck, because, after all, this was my dream job. It had been my dream job since I was a child, but the truth is, I was miserable.
After kicking myself and throwing a pity party, I finally started another job search, coming to terms with the fact that this wasn’t my dream job. In fact, it was my idea of a nightmare.
So let’s learn from my mistakes!
Deciding if your career is right for you
The hard reality of getting to your dream career, is realizing that maybe it’s not for you. While you enjoy the work, the work environment itself can be the problem. In my case, I loved the work, but the environment I was in clashed with my ideals.
While this is easy to ignore at first, it’s definitely a red flag. Your environment can directly influence your work and your attitude. If you’re not happy because of the people, the office demeanor, or even with the building you’re in, the negative impact can and will eventually effect your work attitude.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself when deciding if what you’re doing is right for you:
- Do I feel fulfilled?
- Am I bored easily here? (not just during down time)
- Can I grow in this field?
- Do I really see myself here in five years? Ten years?
They seem basic, but if you have to search really hard for answers to these, it may be time to rethink. It really comes down to your best judgement, and if you’re not happy, there’s no harm in taking a break and pursuing other options.
Also, try and take advantage of open door policies. They sometimes give you a way to voice your opinions. If you work in a smaller company, or if you’re close with your manager or supervisor, you can always ask them for help making career decisions.
I know, it sounds terrifying, but in my experience, this is never a bad move. They can help you figure out if it’s right for you, and while they won’t be thrilled you’re thinking of leaving, they may respect you for being brave enough to be honest.
If they don’t respect you, that ‘s a huge, glaring, red flag.
Exploring your options
If you ultimately decide you aren’t happy where you are, start exploring other options.
Going straight for a job in a field you love without really thinking about it can be bad advice, but it’s a good place to start. Laying out what’s available and what you know you’re capable of doing will definitely help.
From there, you can consider jobs that are “out of your reach”. Since now you have experience in the field you’re in, you can probably get away with learning harder tasks on a whim, or taking on a larger work load.
If you want to go into a completely different field, you might want to consider taking classes or going back to school. I thought about this option for awhile, figuring the extra education wouldn’t hurt. Trade schools or community colleges usually offer career counseling services, but they’re cheaper than going back to university.
But I asked myself the questions above and did a little research, promptly scrapping that idea.
Deciding to make the switch
Again, there’s no harm in this…life and time are fluid. Especially in your twenties. In fact, ninety-one percent of millennials stay in one job for less than three years. The first step is to figure out where you want to go.
Whether you get career counseling, use a chart, or simply spend a lot of time thinking about what you want out of your new job, it’s always best to have a plan b. I stayed at my job until I found another that suited me, one that I knew I’d be happy doing. But you may not be able to stand your workplace another second and you might just give your two weeks. Both are fine and both have their downfalls.
Staying at one job while looking for another can limit your time. Not all employers are fond of having to honor a two weeks notice, and I recommend figuring out your states At-Will policy. However, if you give your two weeks before having other employment lined up, you also have the ‘oh no, I only have two weeks to find a new job’ time crunch.
Once you have a job, or it’s your last day, don’t burn bridges. You never know when you’ll need to call in for a reference or work favor. You don’t have to go out of your way and make everyone gift baskets or deliver an Oscar winning performance, but you should be courteous and polite.
The basis of this all comes down to planning, recognizing your own needs and goals, and having to make the hard decision of what’s best for you. Because if you don’t, you could end up hating your job, and even worse- hating yourself for staying.
And you shouldn’t have to feel that way.
Sacha Marie is a twenty something aspiring writer currently located in Boise, ID. She is finally going back to school for Social Work, and if she’s not blogging, she’s sketching, listening to music or learning to braid her hair. You can see what she’s up to on her Twitter page.
Books on blogging to help you take your blog to the next level:
- Building A Framework
- Blog, Inc.
- Creative, Inc.
- How To Blog For Profit Without Selling Your Soul
- 365 Blog Topic Ideas: For The Lifestyle Blogger Who Has Nothing To Write About
- Leave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job, Kill It In Your Career, Rock Social Media
- Crush It
- Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook
Books to help you deal with your twenties:
- 101 Secrets For Your Twenties
- Life After College
- The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter & How To Make The Most of Them
- Adulting: How To Become A Grown Up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps
- All Groan Up: Searching For Self, Faith, and A Freaking Job!
Other stuff you might like:
- June Blog Income Report
- You Can Make Money Blogging Without Tons of Page Views
- Generation Y Redefines Success
- How To Be Rich in Your Twenties
- The 5 Most Valuable Lessons Grad School Taught Me
- Pursue a Lifestyle, Not a Job
- Why It’s Okay to Be Excited About the Awesome Stuff You’re Doing
- Why We Need to Get Over Our Fear of Rejection
- Don’t Wait, Be Happy Now
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