Podcast

How to Enjoy a Job You Don’t Like

June 22, 2022

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When you have one foot out the door of your current job because you don’t like it, you are interviewing, or you just know it isn’t your future, it can be difficult to stay engaged.

In this episode, I’m breaking down 10 ways you can enjoy your job, even when you don’t like it.



What You’ll Learn

10 Ways to Enjoy a Job You Don’t Like

How to maintain engagement while looking for another job

What to do if you don’t like your job


Featured in This Episode

Register for the new training: Decide Your Next Career Move

Learn more about Career Path Navigator (opening July 17th)

Email Melissa what you love about the podcast: melissa@melissamlawrence.com


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Transcript

Transcript

Welcome to Navigating Your Career, the only podcast that blends personal development, professional skills and psychology to help you get happy at work and live the life you want. If you want to stop feeling stuck and start feeling better, this is the place for you. I’m your host, Melissa Lawrence. Let’s get started.

Hello and welcome to this week’s episode of the podcast. Now we are in the thick of June, and I am just trying to enjoy every moment of this summer because I know it’s going to go so fast. I know last year it went by so fast. Every year it seems to go by even faster. So, knowing this, I have a couple of announcements I want to share with you before we dig into this week’s episode.

Are you ready? So I have a brand new training that I am going to be offering next month in July. Yes. I have loved teaching you all this year. I’ve been doing more of these free classes and I’ve gotten such great feedback from you all that you have found them so helpful.

So my next training is going to be a two part video training and it is going to begin on July 16. It’s called Are You Ready? Decide Your Next Career Move. And it’s going to do just what the title says. It’s going to help you decide your next move.

So if you’re thinking of changing jobs, if you’re interviewing right now, if you want to think about what you want to do, maybe later this year, you’re definitely going to want to register. So you might be thinking, why is this going to be a video training and not live like the ones I’ve done earlier this year? And honestly, I love teaching you live and answering your questions in real time. I just love the energy of hosting these webinars that I do for you. But I also know with summer approaching and vacation, it’s going to be a little bit more difficult to get us all together.

So I’m going to be teaching this material in a new way and to help you learn the material in the most effective way and apply it to your career so you can actually make a decision by the end of this training. It makes sense to me to break it up. So there’s going to be two videos. You’ll get one each day. Each one is about 20 minutes.

And there are specific takeaways each day that all lead up to you being able to make a clear decision about what you want. And there’s a workbook for this training as well, so you can apply each step as you go along and have the process for later reference. So this is going to be really special. And so you might be wondering, how much is this class? Is this also going to be free?

And here’s the thing. It is. It’s $0. It is my gift to you all. You have to do is register.

And you will automatically get the videos and the workbook sent to your email beginning July 16. So to register, all you have to do is go to my website, www.melissamlawrence.com/training.  I will put a link in the show notes for you, as I usually do. And I cannot wait for you to get this training.

I recorded it this week, and it’s just so good. And it’s going to help you look at your career in a new way. And most importantly, it’s going to help you take the action you need to to get into a career that you love. OK, so that is the first announcement. Now, I’ve also gotten some questions about Career Path Navigator and when it is going to be open for enrollment again.

So if you’re not familiar, Career Path Navigator is my group coaching program for pharmaceutical biotech professionals to discover their best career move and make it happen while earning more and working less hours. And I’m happy to share with you that it is going to be open next month, July 17 to the 25th. So the current members are getting such great results. And I can’t wait to invite you in. You can see all of the details about Career Path Navigator also at my website.

If you want to bookmark, save those dates in your calendar so you can look out for that application period. It’s going to be July 17 to the 25th, and you can see all of those details at www.melissamlawrence.com/navigator. I will link that up for you as well. All right, now let’s dig into this topic.

Now, this is actually a topic that I was coaching on recently in Career Path Navigator. As you can imagine, when you’re doing the work to determine what your next best career move is, maybe you’re interviewing. And that process can be very tedious. Sometimes it can take months, or maybe you’re in grad school and what you’re doing right now for work isn’t what you’re going to be doing long term. And so a member of Career Path Navigator asked, how can I stay motivated in my current job when I am learning more about what I want to do?

And this isn’t it. So this member was finding herself disengaged and having a hard time being happy in her current role because she was essentially no longer invested in it. And this is a really great topic because you spend so many of your waking hours at work. And even if you’re happy in every other part of your life, even if you’re figuring out what you want next, there are still several hours every day that you are spending doing something you don’t like as much or really at all. But when you’re in school or maybe in the Career Path Navigator program or interviewing and you aren’t going to quit your current job just yet, how can you stay engaged and not get down on yourself or have your performance suffer because you’re kind of in this limbo state in between where you are now and where you want to be.

So I’m going to share ten ways that you can enjoy your job, even if you don’t like it. And you can try one or you can try them all. And I suggest trying multiple because just one is likely not going to be enough. But this will depend on your unique situation. Okay, let’s get into them.

So there are ten ways. Here is the first one. Focus on what you do like when you think about why you took the job you have now. What was the reason? What was exciting about it?

What were you hoping to learn? I’m sure there were at least one or two things that you enjoyed when you started the role and that you currently enjoy. Now. Maybe those things are different, but I’m sure there is something that you can connect to that you do like about your current role, even if it’s something really small. So figure out what that is and work more of that into your day wherever you can.

Number two, build and leverage relationships. A lot of people stay at jobs they don’t like just for the people or because they have a boss they really like working with. I’m sure you have some people that you enjoy working with too, so leverage those relationships. Can you schedule more coffee, chat, or get lunch? Even a Zoom Tea time can help break up your day and give you a positive boost.

Look at volunteer groups your work may have and how you might get involved with something that you enjoy. Do you want to be a mentor? Or maybe you can find a mentor. Who can you meet with and talk to that can leverage in the workplace that you can leverage that relationship or maybe something that you can give back to that can not only help you now, but maybe can be an important relationship for your future. The industry is large, but it’s a very tight knit, so relationships are really important.

So this is really just about thinking about how you can build strategic relationships and also create more connections in your day with people you enjoy, while also connecting more with the people that you already know you like to spend time with. That kind of make the time go a little bit faster and make your work more enjoyable. I know just in my experience, working on projects where you really enjoy the people on the team, it makes the project a lot more fun. So even if you can’t control who is on your project team, look outside of your immediate work area and look at ways that you can maybe get involved in some volunteer teams or through mentoring or something that we can kind of spend more time with people that you like. Let’s see, we are number three.

Number three is to find something that you can learn every day. So there is always something to learn. Think about how you can approach your current role differently. Or maybe you can shadow someone and learn more about their role and how it impacts the overall big picture of your work. Is there something you can do as part of your work that you like that you think you will always do in some capacity?

Maybe you could get better at it. Is there a way that you could improve? How can you use your current employer to help you learn and grow more? Are there classes you can take or maybe a training that is available? A big reason people aren’t happy in their career is they don’t feel that they’re growing or progressing.

So if you can find a way to do this where you are, it will make you more fulfilled while you’re there. Number four, stop telling yourself that you hate your job. So find a thought that is a little bit more neutral. Okay, so this one is a little bit of a mindset shift. When you tell yourself that you don’t like your job, guess what you’re going to find all of the ways you don’t like your job.

It’s going to be reinforced for you over and over again. It’s going to be even more miserable for you. It’s like if you were to think of the Bird cardinals and you had that on your mind, you would start seeing cardinals everywhere because your brain would be scanning for cardinals, right? And so that’s like a really random example, but it just came to mind. Must be my wife coming in.

She like loves birds and cardinals. But anyway, the point is that if you have something on your mind, you’re going to see it more readily. So if when you wake up in the morning, you think, oh, I don’t want to go, that is the energy you’re going to have for the rest of the day, and it’s going to make you dread work. If you can instead flip to something more neutral, like, I can learn something today, or I’m making progress or I’m working toward my dream job, it can help you feel a bit more positive or even just neutral and just completely change your experience with work. Because 100%, if you’re going into your day thinking, I don’t like this job or I hate this job, your experience at work is going to be more negative.

Now, number five, volunteer. And think about it this way. Other people want your job. So I believe that for every person who wants a new job and doesn’t like their current one, that there is someone else that would love to have your job. So you’ve outgrown your job, but to someone else, this could be their dream job.

So how can you maybe volunteer with your alumni or a professional association or even within the groups at your work if you have early talent groups. If you have other professional groups or employee resource groups, you could give back through mentorship or volunteering at work so that you can help someone else get into the job that you’re leaving. It’s a way of kind of giving back to the industry. This could be really rewarding and it could feed your need for not only growth, but giving back. You’d be making a difference.

You would be reinforcing your skill set by teaching others, and you would be helping someone else realize their dream role while you’re pursuing yours. And it will also help your brain focus on the positive side of your work by kind of seeing how someone else looks at it through a different lens. Maybe it’ll connect you back to why you wanted this role to begin with. Now, number six, map out your big picture. Sometimes when we’re unhappy at work, it’s because we’ve lost sight of the big picture.

We don’t think that our work matters. We see ourselves as a cog in a process and just that we are there to deliver a result that no one cares about us and we’re just not important right when we’re having really bad days. You might think that way. I know I certainly had those days at one time or another in my career. So it can sound dramatic, but it can really feel like that when you’re not happy in your role.

So one thing you can do is map out a big picture. How is your role important? What impact does it make to the overall supply chain or process? Why was this job important to your career to begin with? What did it help you with?

How was it helping you move into your next role? Right? What’s the experience that you gained from being in this position? Take a step back and almost do a mind map of where your role fits into the big picture of your company, but also how it fits into your overall career. Now number seven.

Make a list of the positive experiences that you’ve had at your job. Now, this one feeds into the last one, but when you’re unhappy and of course you have a human brain like we all do, human brains have a negativity bias. So you’re going to see the negative aspects really clearly, and it will be harder to see the positive. So take 15 minutes and brainstorm all of the positive experiences that you’ve had at your job. Not just big things like promotions or raises, but the little things, the milestones on projects, friends you’ve made, things you’ve learned, everything you can think of.

It will show you the positive side of your current situation, and it will help you stay engaged while you look for your next move. Number eight. Thank goodness. Number eight. This is an exhaustive list.

But you know what? This is really going to help you. It’s going to help you stay engaged where you are and make your day so much better. Because I want you to remember that regardless of where you are in your journey and where you are on your career path and how close you are to your goals or that next role, right now you are living your life. You have one life.

And when we’re so focused on not being happy or fulfilled until we get to that next milestone, we’re really dismissing our current life experience and the future is not guaranteed to us. So why would we wait to feel happy when we could feel happy right now? So that is why I’m giving you all of these different examples because you can take a handful of them and use them one week. You could take another handful and use them another week to really help you be present and see the positive or the growth opportunity within your current role while you’re working towards your bigger goals. Okay, so number eight, ask for a stretch project.

If you’re struggling with feeling challenged, then ask for a stretch assignment. Is there a group you want to learn more about? Is there something you want to learn? Do you have an expertise that could be leveraged to another group? Talk to your boss, your mentor, even human resources, and see what opportunities exist for you to take on a new project for even say, 10% of your time.

You’ll have to negotiate how much time that you’ll have available for this. So it’s a bonus if you know what you want to do next and you can integrate that into your stretch project to get some added experience ahead of time. So if you know the direction that you’re going and let’s say you want to build up your expertise in that area, that would be a great focus area for a stretch assignment because you’re essentially getting on the job training while you’re in the role you don’t want to be in to prepare you for the one that you do want to be in. Okay, number nine, find the meaning of your work. So you may have discovered the answer to this if you chose to map out the big picture, one of the earlier suggestions, but in general, you want to know the meaning of your work.

This is a basic human need that people need in order to feel engaged at work. So if you don’t see the meaning, if you think you’re spending hours of every day doing something without purpose, you’re most likely going to feel really drained and unmotivated. So find the meaning in what you’re doing, not just in the role of your company, but the meaning of you even being in this role to begin with and it’s purpose and benefit to your career. Now number ten, the last one, create a goal to move into what you do. Like now, if you don’t enjoy your job, make a goal to move into one that you do and this is a game changer because you can not only be really confident in your career and make clear decisions about what you want, but you can know 100% what that thing is that energizes you and allows you to have the impact that you want to that combines all of your skills and experience and goals for the future.

And when you know this and you’re able to make confident decisions, your career is going to skyrocket. And if you want some help deciding what move to make, you don’t want to miss the training that I mentioned at the beginning of this episode, the decide your next career move. So register for it now so you can get the videos sent to your inbox on July 16. It is going to help you so much because I really break down in that training information about what is making it a challenge to make the decision and what mistakes to avoid. And then also I’m telling you the exact steps to follow, what exactly to do, to know what you want and to make a clear decision that you feel good about.

So you definitely don’t want to miss that. All right, now those are the ten ways that you can enjoy a job that you don’t like. So before we go, can you believe that we are on episode 91 of the podcasts already? And I think that that justifies a celebration. I want to hear how the podcast has helped you.

If you are listening, whether this is your first episode or you have listened to all 90 before, I want to know what your takeaways have been, how this has helped you. Because I hear pretty consistently that this podcast alone helps people get into higher level roles, get promoted, figure out exactly what they want, know what to consider as they’re looking for job changes, build confidence, all the things. So this show is all about helping you get to your next level personally and professionally. So I want to do a little bit of a giveaway. So if you email me your feedback on how the podcast has helped you, then I will one, do something super fun and give you a shout out by first name only on the show’s 100th episode.

And I will also send you a special gift. It’s going to be a podcast study guide that’s going to help you take the tangible tips like the ten ways that I gave you today and apply them more quickly and effectively. And I’m going to send that to you as a gift for free, just for sharing your feedback to me, just for emailing me and telling me what you love about the podcast. But that’s not all. If you take that extra step and you also leave the podcast a review on Apple podcast, sharing what you love about it, and send me a screenshot to prove that you did submit that review, then you could win a development book bundle that I will personally send to you.

So all you have to do is email me your feedback or submit your review on Apple and email that to me as well by August 3 to qualify. But this really only takes two minutes. You could do this right now, and why wait, right? So I can’t wait to hear what you have learned and what you love most about the podcast. I can continue to bring you these great episodes, but also, I just want to celebrate this journey that we’re on, like you have been here with me.

Right? So I just want to celebrate you, celebrate the show and just celebrate the 100th episode when it comes up later this summer. So all you have to do is email me. It’s melissa@melissamlawrence.com.  I will also put that in the show notes.

All right, have a great week.

Thank you so much for listening to today’s episode. I truly hope you enjoyed it. If this episode resonated with you or helped you in any way, please share it on your social media and tag me. I love seeing what you’re up to. Also, please make sure to subscribe and leave a review.

And until next time, have fun navigating your career, knowing the life you want is totally possible for you.

It's totally normal to feel unsure. This is a big step. You likely haven't ever invested in yourself before. Most of my clients, it's the first time they do. I get it. Let's talk about your goals and see if we are a good fit. I can answer any questions you have. If it isn't, well at least you know, right?

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