According to Deloitte’s Shift Index survey, 80% of people are dissatisfied with their jobs.
If you’ve studied Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, you will find that people first work to fulfill their physiological needs, i.e. to have food, shelter, etc. They eventually work up the hierarchy to try and fulfill their psychological needs, of feeling a sense of belonging, being recognized, and achieving self-actualization.
Whatever your need might be, a failure to fulfill it at your job might be de-motivating you. Many other factors might be making you unhappy about work such as unsuitable corporate culture, poor salaries, no growth, etc. As fresh graduates, it is likely that most of us will be starting small, doing jobs we don’t really want to do. I learned this the hard way. After graduating, no one came up to me and told me I was the new Marketing Director at GE
Someone once told me that we don’t need to be happy. We just need to be content. That’s true because you can’t have everything in life. You could be staying at a job you’re not content with for several reasons. Experience, lack of better opportunities, you need the job, whatever the reason, kudos to you for sticking it out. You will still learn a lot and it will still add to your experience. However, if you hate your job or don’t have a job, there are still things you can do to make this mid-midlife crisis a little easier to bear.
1) Learn a new skill
Work on developing a new skill that would look good on your CV and would be required at the kind of job you are aiming for. If you are into IT software programming, for instance, learn to program on different platforms or learn a new programming language. Learning a new human language will also be of use to anyone! Never hurts to add to your communication skills!
2) Do some freelance projects
You could either do some freelance work for another company, or do some projects yourself. You might not be getting paid (or you might be getting paid in rabbit food) but you’ll be getting some experience and you will have something impressive to show on your CV and at interviews!
Get out there and get to know people. Even friends of friends OF friends can get you a good job. And even if you don’t get a job, you will have made a friend and you will definitely learn something valuable from him/her.
4) Enhance your knowledge
In other words, study :p Take up a course, or do some reading on your own. Read/study about your own field, as well as other fields. It’s always nice to know what’s happening on the other side. That way, when you meet people from different fields, you will be able to have some good discussions.
5) Make note of what you like/don’t like about your current job
If you know what you like and don’t like about certain jobs, you can job hunt accordingly. Maybe your current job has a corporate culture that you don’t like. Perhaps there is no room for growth in your company. But maybe you like the fact that you still get to learn a lot at your job. Keep all of this in mind when you apply to jobs in the future and ask your interviewer questions about such things.
6) Pursue an interest
Now this is just to keep us sane. Pursue an interest, so that you will have something to look forward to. You will be happy with how you spend your time and it will make the days go by easier. Do something creative so that your mind is occupied and you will feel a sense of accomplishment. You could also have a win-win situation if you pursue a hobby that could add to your professional skills. For instance, a writer or journalist could benefit from working on his/her photography skills which could be used in his/her articles.
7) Last, but not least…
Quit. If you are REALLY unhappy, dissatisfied, and discontent, cannot handle it anymore, and cannot find a reason to stay, move on. Look for better opportunities elsewhere. (This of course, applies more to those who have their visas sorted and don’t really have dependents.)
You never know when opportunity might come knocking at your door. But until then, you have to stick it out and be strong. I realized that it is really important to be content with your job. So if you can’t find much satisfaction IN your office, try to find some outside of it to make yourself feel better. Take each day as it comes and do some of the things listed above to prepare you for new opportunities and to make yourself a more eligible candidate for your ideal job!