Think about a task that you have to do, one that you don’t enjoy but feel is necessary. For me cleaning the house and exercising both come to mind.
Consider for a moment the amount of energy you put into doing this task, the satisfaction you get from completing it, and the quality of the results.
Now contrast this with something you enjoy. For me this could be making a presentation for a group. Again consider your energy, satisfaction, and results.
Last reflection item. Think about the tasks that make up most of what you get paid to do. How much do you enjoy them? Of course every job has some bad parts, but when you think about what you spend most of your time doing; can you say that you genuinely like it? Let’s hope so.
But what if you don’t? Many of us have probably at one point in our lives found ourselves in this situation.
With it comes what appears to be the hard, cold facts. You need a job; this one pays pretty well, and you’re not sure you can make a comparable living doing something that you actually like. They might be facts or they might be fears and insecurities finding a voice in you.
If you are currently stuck in this place, it’s time to start exploring your options. The way I see it, you have three of them. You’ll need to figure out which one makes the most sense for you.
Hang in there and collect the checks
This is generally considered the safest option. After all, it pays the bills, and you know how to do the job. The trouble is that you aren’t happy, and what’s happiness worth to you? Also, what effect is your lack of enthusiasm having on the results, your coworkers, your family, your health?
Figure out how to reconfigure your job to better match your interests
This option isn’t easy. It takes some creativity. It requires a flexible employer. It takes some courage to explore the options.
After all, by asking for what you want, aren’t you also implying that you are currently unhappy in your job? Most would see this as a dangerous thing to admit. But with a little finesse, it’s an option that should be on the table.
Look for a new job
The saddest story I hear is from people who have been working in one place for 20+ years and don’t like the organization or the job.
When I ask them why they stayed, they almost always look at me like I’m crazy. Apparently the reason is obvious. They didn’t have a choice.
Oh really? I don’t buy it.
There are plenty of ways to make a living, and I’ve got to believe that there’s something for everyone. Your job is to figure out what that is and then take some initiative to make it happen.
Which option works for you?
I can’t say which option is best for you. After all, it’s your job and your life. Only you can know what’s right.
My only bit of advice is that you give serious consideration to all the options. Once you’ve figure it out, develop your plan and take some action.
Each of us is loaded with potential, we just need to find the right environment to unleash it.