You may desperately want to leave your job because you are unhappy, but you are stuck there. Maybe you have a great pension plan you cannot leave. Perhaps you live in a small town where the work options in your field are few, and you cannot relocate until your children are finished with school. Perhaps you are only a year or two away from retirement, and you do not want to leave until then.
Normally, career coaches and human resources professionals encourage people who are unhappy at a job to talk about what they may really want to do, and think about moving on to a different company, or even a different profession. But even such coaches realize that sometimes, the miserable person simply cannot move on at the time.
So what can you do if you are stuck at your job, cannot leave, but want to find a way to cope? Seth Kaufman, psy.d,, a certified career coach in Philadelphia, says that “career coaching doesn’t have to be ‘get a different job,’” but instead can offer some other solutions to help make you happier at your job. Here are his tips:
If it’s your boss that drives you nuts, try a different way
For example, if your supervisor is a super-critical micromanager, and that is the reason you cannot stand your job, Kaufman suggests that you should “focus” not just on your reaction to your boss, but “observe what makes that person tick – what they’re really about.”
He suggests that you try to find “a way to get on that person’s good side.” Try to figure out a way to connect with your boss on a more social way, perhaps by asking him or her questions about their family or what they do on the weekends. At the very least, by trying to understand them, you may feel empathy or a rapport you may not have had before.
Think about what you can control
The career coach in Philadelphia says that if your issue is that your company ”is not organized well,” with systemic problems or chain of command issues, “ask yourself the other side of the equation – what does work here, what am I responsible for.” Instead of being wrapped up in negativity over the job, think about what you can do to do your best job. As Kaufman says, “You’re there: what’s the point of fighting it?” He says you should think about how you can “remain engaged and positive as opposed to disengaged and negative.”
Make sure your life outside of work is full
Do you do fun activities outside of work such as anc intermural softball club or taking painting classes? You should. If you have things to do after work, if gives you something to look forward to. “The more you can balance the better,” Kaufman says.
Keep your eyes on the prize
Remember why you are still at the job. If you are making a sacrifice so that your children do not have to switch schools, or that you and your spouse can get that pension plan one day, remind yourself of that. Whatever your reason is, keep in mind that something good is coming out of such a sacrifice.
Find somebody to vent to
You may already talk to friends or family about your job situation, but why not seek out another voice? By talking to a career coach in Philadelphia, New York, or elsewhere, you may get more tactics to handle your own situation. Visit CreativeVisionCoaching to learn more.