When the Great Resignation isn’t so great.
In this Great Resignation era, there are options if you’re not loving your job. Of course, you can always jump on the bandwagon and resign. But, just because the current job market is a worker’s market, doesn’t mean that quitting your job is a risk-free endeavor.
If you don’t have any other work lined up, you could be looking at a lull where you don’t have any money coming in. And let’s be honest: not everyone is in a position to cut off income cold turkey. So, realistically, there will be times when you need to keep at a job that you don’t love. I’m pretty sure we’ve all been there. There is no shame in paying your bills.
So if you find yourself in that kind of a scenario, here are five things you can do to love your job (even when you don’t).
1. Take on a new project.
Okay, I am on your team, you know this; but I will say, a pet peeve of mine is when employees think it’s their company’s job to make them feel happy and fulfilled. Yes, it is absolutely a company’s responsibility to take care of their employees and make sure everyone is safe and treated fairly. But, to be honest, companies don’t have an obligation to make sure you’re feeling inspired. That’s your job. You are the only person who can make sure you’re meeting your professional goals, so you’re going to have to take the reins, and that means playing an active role in creating opportunities that spark your interest. For example, if you’re feeling like your current job isn’t giving you enough leadership experience, start an internal mentorship program. If you’re working in HR but really want to be working in partnerships, research some new potential clients and pitch them to your boss— and be sure to mention that you want to be one to lead the partnership.
2. DIY an internal meet and greet.
You may know everything there is to know about your department within your company, but how well do you know the rest of the organization? Do some research and find someone in management or leadership who leads a project that you find super cool, and then reach out! It’s as simple as that. In general, cold outreach will work more often than you think it will. But again, the outreach won’t be completely cold, because you have a big force in common: your workplace.
3. Ask for more money.
If you’re not happy at your job, money won’t buy you that happiness… but it sure helps. For tips on asking your boss for a raise, check out Episode 56 of my podcast Money Rehab, “How To Get The Raise You Deserve, Without Costing You Your Job.”
4. Go fishing.
If you’re feeling stuck at work, it can be really valuable just to look at what else is out there. And I mean seriously, just look, you don’t even need to have any intention of applying elsewhere. Either you’ll see that there is no other job that you’re interested in and you’ll appreciate where you are— or, you’ll see that there are other options and you don’t need to stay somewhere that doesn’t make you happy. There are plenty of fish in the sea, but that doesn’t mean that you need to cast a line. Sometimes just knowing that there are other options out there can make all the difference in how you feel about where you are.
5. Have a check-in with your boss.
That’s right, your work qualms don’t have to be a secret. Sure, you don’t want to signal to your boss that you’re thinking of quitting because they will stop looking at you as a long-term investment and likely give you less opportunities. But instead, you could say something like this, “I’m feeling like I could be doing more in the company. Where do you feel like our team has the most opportunity to improve or grow? I want to take on more responsibility where help is most needed.” I’m telling you— bosses love to hear shit like this. There is a very good chance a conversation like this would lead to either an awesome new project you’re stoked on, or, just brownie points from your boss— and either one is sure to make you feel more warm and fuzzy at work.
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