I know the feeling.
The dread that descends on Sunday afternoon, as soon as you realize the weekend is over and you have to start prepping for the week ahead. The lack of excitement as you put together your weekly To-Do list, a laundry list of same-old, same-old.
You want to do something else, but you can’t decide what you really want to do instead.
The only thing you’re sure of is that something has to change. You can’t continue day after day, doing “that job” anymore.
3 Reasons You Dread Going to Work
Before you can figure out what you want to do next, it’s important to understand the kind of problem you’re having.
And the kind of problem you’re having in all probability, falls within one of the following three buckets:
Reason You Dread Going to Work #1: It’s a situational problem.
This is the case when you generally like what you do, but you’re in the wrong company, or you’re working for the wrong boss, or you’re working on the wrong projects.
The problem you’re having is particular to a situation. It is the easiest kind of problem to address because if you change your current situation, what you’re currently feeling will likely go away.
Reason You Dread Going to Work #2: It’s an application problem.
This is the case when you generally like your field, but don’t really enjoy how you’re working within that field. You don’t like the manner in which you are required to apply yourself and your talents.
For example, say you have a law degree. You like the law in general, but you don’t care much for the practice of law. You’d prefer to teach it instead. That’s an application problem.
Another example: Say you’re in IT. You enjoy coding and developing interesting stuff. But right now, your job is managing IT projects and the people who are doing all the exciting development work. You’ve gotten yourself away from what you actually love to do. You have an application problem.
Of the three, this is the trickiest one to diagnose. I personally know people who attempted to solve their problem by changing jobs (i.e., solution to #1 above), when in fact, doing the same work for a different company simply wouldn’t be enough to do the trick.
Reason You Dread Going to Work #3: It’s a space problem.
This is the case when you no longer like what you do. You no longer get much out of the field (or space) you’re in. If it were up to you, you wouldn’t spend a dime reading about or studying anything related to your field of work. You tend to think in terms of what you may want to become rather than how you might grow in your current work.
Of the three, this is the one that’s most scary to admit because it implies that a career change may be required.
A common challenge in pinpointing exactly the type of problem you’re having, is the presence of external factors (e.g., your boss, your family, your friends) that may be inadvertently influencing how you view your situation. It is often worth it to discuss your situation with disinterested people, or someone who does not have a vested interested in your decisions.
Take the time to look at clues using your current situation, peel the layers, and get to the bottom of it.
As bad as it is to get stuck in a job you dread doing, it is worse going after a solution to a problem you don’t even have.
About the author: Lou Blaser is the founder of Second Breaks, and the author of 6 Keys To Your Best Career. She’s on a mission to help as many people as she can, out of soul-sucking, energy-draining, cul-de-sac jobs.
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