We’ve had many clients ask us about the big question of whether or not to stay in a job that doesn’t feel right. It can be a challenging decision because sometimes it’s the job and sometimes it’s you. And sometimes it doesn’t matter whether it’s the job or it’s you – if you aren’t willing or able to change the circumstances and/or your relationship to them, it’s just not going to work.
Let’s start with some clues that a change is in order. Do any of these apply to your relationship with your work?
- You’re bringing negative energy from your work life into the rest of your life. Your work life is spilling over into – and degrading – your non-work life.
- You feel guilty or conflicted about aspects of the work you do, or how the company operates.
- You’re trying to isolate your career from the rest of your life (or from your own consciousness). For instance, you tell yourself, “It’s only my job” or “Well, it pays the bills.”
- You’re unenthusiastic, bored, or tuning out at work.
- You feel unable to fit into, and/or unaccepted by, the company culture.
- You dread going to work.
- You’re “phoning it in” or “half-assing it.” Or you start doing things to sabotage your work.
- You start making careless mistakes.
- Your work environment feels “toxic” – for instance, your coworkers or boss is verbally abusive or hostile in other ways, or aspects of the environment are causing harm.
The more of the above questions you answered yes to, the greater the likelihood that there’s a problem. Perhaps it’s time to find a new job. However, it’s possible that you just need a new perspective.
You might benefit from making a list of your “career needs” – that is, the things you simply won’t compromise on when it comes to your work. Be sure to distinguish needs from wants. For instance, while you may want an office with a lovely view, in actuality, if everything else were in place (for example: positive culture, opportunities to be creative, alignment with your values and purpose, feeling appreciated by your coworkers, good benefits, feeling safe and accepted, etc.), maybe the view wouldn’t really matter.
The valuable part about getting clear about your needs is that it makes the path forward easier. If you discover that one of your needs isn’t being met in this job, you really have just two options: (1) see if it’s possible for something to be changed so that this need can be met (2) find another job. When there’s an unmet need in your career (and, again, I want to emphasize that needs are absolutely non-negotiable), you’ll feel it nagging at you – even if you haven’t pinpointed it yet. If you don’t address it directly, you’ll likely employ a variety of indirect (perhaps even unconscious) ways to cause change – like avoidance, sabotage, half-assing it, blaming the job for your unhappiness, etc.
If, on the other hand, you determine that the job really does meet your needs, then the problem is something else. Maybe the issue is your own buttons or limiting beliefs. If so, the good news is you don’t need to start job hunting. You may need to do some personal work that could be at least as challenging as changing jobs, but this will serve you much more than switching workplaces.
However you decide to manage it, I’d like to suggest Sacred Expansion – a stand-alone portion of the Dragontree Life Coach training – as a powerful and effective way to know yourself, release baggage, and get super clear on what you want (and need). And hey, if you actually do want to change jobs, you might consider becoming a life coach. The world needs more people helping others to live to their potential, and our program is great.
I invite you to speak to one of our Life Coaches to help guide you to find work that inspires you, how to create peace in the job you currently have.
Next time I’ll talk about some ways to change how you’re showing up. I definitely don’t want you to stay in a workplace that’s harmful to you, but if it’s merely not everything you want it to be, there’s an opportunity to engage your power of choice and make it something different.
Dr. Peter Borten