Starting Over: When Your Job Isn’t Right for You
Posted by Anni M.
In these difficult economic times, fewer people are striking out on their own. It’s understandable—if you have job security, you may feel like you need to stay put. For many people it’s not a matter of debate. They may desperately need their health insurance or 401K. They may have children to support, college to pay for, and a mortgage that just won’t quit. I’m certainly not naïve about these situations. I don’t claim to have the answers for anyone. I know how desperate many of us are to stay afloat—to simply continue to get by day-to-day. At the same time though, I worry about our workforce. It seems to me, we’re in danger of becoming a nation of unhappy, unfulfilled people. It’s miserable to be stuck in a job that you hate, especially when you feel like there is no way out. I think, for many of us, this economic climate is breeding resentment, pain, boredom, despair, and illness.
Nothing drives a person to unhappiness faster than feeling trapped. When I used to work in a corporate marketing job, I felt trapped every day. I was under utilized, underestimated, and underwhelmed. Day after day I spent my time doing menial tasks that required exactly zero of my creativity and talent. I sat in a fluorescently lit room listening to my co-workers blather on about sports scores and television shows. I prepared dry reports that bored me to tears. And yet, I didn’t quit because I was terrified of the job market. I didn’t want to end up unemployed. I didn’t want to lose my apartment or to put excessive strain on my marriage. So I stayed—miserable, unhappy, and getting sicker by the minute. I was anxious all the time because I was wasting my life.
Then one day I decided it was time to put a stop to it all. Ultimately, I thought, you only live once! Did I want to spend my only life doing nothing, grinding away at an endless series of mindless tasks? No! So I started looking, quietly, on the weekends. And I started to think creatively about what I might do instead. I realized that I had talents and that these talents were marketable and valuable. Sure enough, in a matter of weeks I had my first freelance writing client. A year later, I was running my own writing business!
My point is, if you have skills and talents, use them. It may be frightening, but the alternative is worse. There is a wide world of opportunity out there, even in these difficult times. If I can make it work, you can too.
As a Creative Communications Strategist, Victoria is known for her electrifying Keynote Performances™ and the transformational workshops and coaching sessions she creates for elite executives, high performing teams, thought leaders and entrepreneurs..