Written by Evi Idoghor, Creator of Letstalknationblog.com
If there is one thing most working-class people have in common is utter detest for the jobs that put food on their table, year in, year out. For many years I watched my close friend complain bitterly about his job—was he passionate about his industry? Absolutely! But there was just something dealing with his boss, coworkers, and clientele, from different parts of the world, which made him want to yank his hair of its roots.
Time and time again, I asked—why don’t you just quit? Why remain in a situation that makes you so unhappy?
It is no surprise to the general public that many people are found in this predicament. According to a global poll conducted by Gallup, 15% out of 1 billion of the world’s population showed satisfaction about their jobs, leaving a whopping 85% of the population polled, out of the party. Many have to remain in jobs they hate for a plethora of reasons. Since that is the case, there are things you can do to help keep your head above water, before you discover the opportunity that is best for you.
Prepare an Exit Strategy: if you hate your job and can’t quit immediately for reasons best known to you, it is crucial that you plan your exit strategy, even if it will take months or sometimes years to execute. What does an exit strategy entail? Funds saved up that can last you for about six months to one year after you quit. A business plan or idea you might want to explore, and also steps to recce other career opportunities. Except you have someone who is willing to fund your unemployment until you find your next gig, you need a clear-cut plan on how you will make things work for you after the fact.
Realize you are not alone: The world is full of about seven billion people; surely there is someone else on this planet that feels the same way as you do. From the above statistics, you can deduce that 85% of 1 billion people are not satisfied with their jobs. That is perfectly okay. As human beings we grow and evolve, what was exciting to us five years ago might be the very thing we detest today. Put your chin up, and decide if it is beneficial for you to be situated any longer where you are.
Draw up a list of pros and cons: yes we know that your boss is a pain in the behind, and your coworker, Tom, doesn’t know when to stop talking during extremely long and exhaustive meetings, we get it. But that isn’t good enough reason for you to kiss your daily bread goodbye, just yet. A list of pros and cons will help in your decision-making process. If the pros outweigh the cons, maybe you can do a little adjustment to enable you to better cope with the situation on ground. But if the cons significantly outweigh the pros, then it might be time to say your goodbyes. I recently quit my job, and this was as a result of this step. It just might prove helpful to you.
Be wise with your words: Just because you are sick and tired of a place, doesn’t give you the carte blanche to bad mouth the situation, especially to your coworkers. The truth about the workplace is that you don’t know who is for you or against you. Little Janet, with who you share all your working woes, might just be snitching to management; try as much as possible to keep your grievances to yourself, and/or share with friends outside of work and family members. Also, you don’t want to plant bad seeds in the hearts of those who are happy with their place of work. So keep mute, you just might need a recommendation from your boss in your next place of employment, thus you don’t want to leave on a bad note.
Don’t check out of your current job just yet: This was a struggle for me because, towards the end, I was fed up. It became a constant tug of war to perform, or just throw my hands up in the air. I had to keep telling myself that I had an obligation to fulfill, even if I felt my time at the organization has run its course. Not checking out shows your employers that you are a team player, no matter what; even after you have sent in your two weeks' notice. Remember, you don’t want to leave on bad terms.
Find joy outside of work: this is an important step, what do you enjoy doing? Watching sports? Hosting a weekly game night event? Or building relationships with people at your small group in church? Outside of your 9-5, you must find ways to enjoy your life. It is difficult to be present and have fun with friends and family when you are constantly freaking out about a project that needs to be concluded. Work then seeps into your personal life, and then you no longer place value on the things that matter the most. You need joy; for your mental health to be stable. You need joy to drive you to even become a high performing staff at work. When joy is absent from your life, everything about you becomes depressing, and you don’t want that, no one wants to be around a little grouch.
Begin your job search: for those who desire a change in career opportunity, you have to start looking. Be sure to do this on your personal time. Searching for another job during working hours is unethical. Also, ensure that you take some time to go over your job contract, to see that there are no fine lines you are crossing, such as a non-compete clause. Then, find people in the field or organization you are interested in, see the skills they possess, and start working on getting those skills yourself so you can be best prepared when that unique opportunity presents itself.
Because you hate your current job, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t keep working hard at it. In the transition period, that is when the clock begins ticking at your current place of employment; learn all that you can, build up the necessary skills, and leave on a good note.