How do you survive a miserable job? In this post we pause to inventory the misery factors in your current position and then unveil the components of a best-next strategy.
What Makes Your Job Miserable?
– the boss is never satisfied, is always changing the focus, and seems unappreciative of your herculean efforts to meet her demands
– your coworkers punish achievement, are a constant source of gossip, or are so competitive that they’re dangerous
– you have awoken to find yourself stuck in a cave with introverted techies or number-crunchers and it tortures your extraverted soul.
– you are serious, focused, and thrive when you can kill your task list in uninterrupted solitude but your team seems to think that every hour is happy hour
– you are required to do repetitive tasks that either bore or exhaust you. You fear if you do them well, you’ll be rewarded by never being given a chance to advance to something else and if you do them poorly, it will be worse
Add you misery factors in the comments section below.
So My Job is Miserable, Now What? You already knew your job was miserable and you wondering what the point of the reading the rest of this post might be! Paths for moving forward are just ahead so read on: 3 strategies and 3 cautions to prepare you for a better next.
The Quick Exit this is the most attractive approach to a miserable job because it brings instant relief. Occasionally it is the right choice – when you are forced to execute unethical or illegal practices for instances. Usually, a quick exit from a miserable job is more about relief than reason. It will be bad for your personal growth and may damage your career.
Desire without knowledge is not good—how much more will hasty feet miss the way! (Proverbs 19:2)
The Slow Exit is one wise course of action. This is where you take your time over a period of 12-24 months to find a new job and gracefully transition out. First you identity a list of target careers, firms, or jobs. Second, you network in that direction. Third, you accept a good offer and leave with grace.
The Grow Exit is another wise course of action. You grow out of the toxic situation in your current job through transforming that role (by bringing solutions to your boss) or by making an internal transfer to another position in the firm.
Consider Seth Goden’s book called The Dip. It’s a helpful reminder that sometimes we find our most joy after we stay in a situation, push through the challenges, and grow to a level of resilience that brings results and joy. A helpful summary of Seth’s book can be found here:
Before you Leave…To have a clean conscious and to be ready for a new challenge, seek the strength to execute on the following practices.
- Bring your best to your current work. The principle that we work for the Lord not for people, that he is our true boss (Colossians 3:23) liberates us at work. Freed from being defined by the environment, we bring our reason for work with us to the job instead of attempting to derive meaning from our boss or coworkers. Here’s a hard question: if we cannot be faithful in our current work, why should we expect a better job? (Luke 16:10)
- Do your “miserable job” with a good attitude. If our reason for work is not bound to our jobs, then we can have joy in God’s love, grace, and provision for us (Philippians 4:1).
- Look before you leap. Jesus counseled his followers to consider the cost of following him, to wisely assess both the upside and challenge of following him. Wisdom demands we take time to ponder carefully the consequences of making a change. Meeting with network connections who are in the type of role and/or at the company we are courting can strip away rose-colored glasses and deliver us from self-destructive fantasies about the perfect job.
How About You?
1. What is the next best step for you in dealing with your miserable job?
2. What questions does this post raise for you?