Find a Job That’s a Better Fit

“I hate my life! I work long hours for hardly any money, I get micromanaged and criticized while I’m there, and I’m too tired to do anything else when I finally get home,”  a friend complained the other day. “I dread waking up the next morning knowing I have to go to work and do it all over again.”

Have you ever felt stuck in a job you hate? While there are times when a simple attitude adjustment can make a job more bearable, the pain of performing work for which you are not a great fit can be life-sapping. So is the solution to just up and quit? One entrepreneur, James Altucher, would say yes–that’s what he did. He once walked out of a meeting and never came back, moving on to pursue what made him feel happy and alive. I’m not sure how he made ends meet, paid his bills, and put food on the table in the meantime, but I’m happy he found something that worked for him.

However, for those of you who are unhappy and just want to find a job that’s a better fit, there’s a less risky approach, suggestsLiz Ryan, CEO of Human Workplace. First of all, Ryan lists a few ways to tell if you’re trapped in a job that is dimming the flame of your brilliance–such as when no one asks for your ideas or that there’s no possibility of your job allowing for any more creativity or fun than you’re already having now. If you identify, read on.

Second, she encourages you to dream big and invent your ideal job. “Then, come back to the real world and look for a job that matches your ideal position as closely as possible. Whether you find a job that meets every one of your requirements or not, you’re still better off setting your sights high than just grabbing the first job that comes long!”

Rebranding yourself is the next step. It’s a process that takes time, but once you’ve laid the groundwork, says Ryan, you can reach out to potential employers to generate interest in the new persona you’ve invented. (Read Ryan’s full article here.)

The reality is, you may need to use the job you hate now to pay the bills until you can launch out into a new job that’s a better fit. But while you may feel stuck in a job that’s a poor fit, there is hope for writing a new chapter in your life. Just approach making the change strategically: Dream big, reinvent and rebrand yourself, and then dangle the new you out there to find a job that’s a better fit. Second chances are just around the corner for those who make a plan and persist!

Click here for more advice on how to find a career you love.

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