Tech & Work

Hate your job? Ask yourself why

According to a recent survey, fewer than half of American workers are satisfied with their jobs. Why is this and what can be done?

The late, great George Carlin once said, "Do you hate your job? Sorry to hear that. There's a support group for that. It's called EVERYBODY, and they meet at the bar!"

Now, of course, suggesting going to a bar as the solution to work woes is a little shortsighted. (Although if you're going, let me know what time and where and I'll bring the peanuts.)

According to a recent survey published by Time Magazine, fewer than half of American workers - 45 percent - are satisfied with their jobs. This is the lowest percentage since 1987. I could speculate forever on why this is the case - with increased layoffs, remaining workers are being asked to do more, people gravitate to jobs that pay more without really considering whether they like what they do, etc. But the question is how do you get out of a bad job and into something you're really going to like?

Melissa Evans, founder of the Broshegroup, had some suggestions for getting in tune with potential careers and job choices that plug in to your passions as a person. She advises that people ask themselves the following questions:

  • What do you want? - In an economy that is dicey at best, it seems like it's a luxury to consider only the jobs you really want, even if they are in a field in which you may have to start over from the bottom. However, consider the alternative: bouncing from bad job to bad job, hoping the next one will be better than the last, when the real problem may be that you just aren't doing anything you're passionate about.
  • How do you want to feel? - There is a vast difference between getting up in the morning excited about the day and waking up in the morning with a knot in the pit of your belly, anxious about having to go back to a workplace you can't stand anymore.
  • Why should you change course? - If what you've been doing hasn't worked so far, logic dictates you change what you're doing. My best advice is to find something that drives your spirit and your intellect and pursue that, before it becomes too late for you to fulfill your dreams.

I know sometimes dreams are a little impractical when you have a mortgage payment and children to put through school. When you're that far into life, it may be a little difficult to pursue your dream of making a living crocheting doilies. But it's never too late to take a good look at yourself and make little changes that will make going into work more enjoyable.


Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

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