Don’t Know What Career You Want: A Guide for Researching Your Options
Researching your options may sound like obvious advice but also a daunting task. Our guide can help if you don’t know what career you want.
If you hate your job,you’re not alone. According to recent research carried out by Personal Group, only 41% of the UK’s workforce are happy most of the time at work.
Though it’s normal for any professional to experience both highs and lows in a position, truly hating your job and dreading going to work every morning can take a serious toll on your performance, health and wellbeing.
There’s an endless list of potential reasons that can cause people to hate their jobs and in these situations, quitting may seem like an obvious solution. However, in reality, it’s not always an easy decision to make. Many unhappy professionals find themselves stuck in jobs they hate - unable to quit and perhaps even unsure of why.
If you hate your job but feel like you can’t quit, here are some of the potential factors keeping you in a position where you are not happy.
One of the most common factors that play a role in why people feel tied to a job they hate, is finances. Walking away from a stable paycheck or salary that supports a certain lifestyle is sometimes not an option, especially for anyone who has responsibilities such as a mortgage or children. Without securing another position first, you may be forced to stay in your current role in order to meet your financial obligations.
Besides your salary,there are potentially other perks and benefits you don’t want to lose that are affecting your decision to quit. Perhaps your company contributes to your pension or medical aid. Perhaps they offer flexible working hours and work-from-home days. Even when you hate the work, you may still value the perks and be hesitant to let them go.
There are many concerns, worries and fears that might be holding you back from quitting the job you hate. It’s natural for people to fear change or uncertainty. Quitting your job means letting go of the familiar and entering into the unknown.
If you view your current position as an important step up the career ladder, you might fear risking that or feel unsure of whether you’re making the right decision for your career progression. If you’ve been at your organisation for some time and have progressed through the ranks, gained trust, earned a good reputation and certain level of status, then you have most likely invested a lot of time, effort and dedication into this role! In this case, it is understandable that you are fearful of losing this investment and losing the ground you have gained in your company.
Often, we tie our identity to our titles. From the time we are children, asked what we want to be when we grow up, we have been subconsciously taught to define ourselves by our careers. It’s possible that you may fear to lose your identity if you quit your job.
Imposter Syndrome can be described as a psychological phenomenon where people struggle to acknowledge and internalise what they have achieved. Most common in women, professionals who deal with imposter syndrome may feel that they are no good at their job and have somehow made it to where they are by chance or by being a fraud. Another scenario where imposter syndrome may be holding you back, is if you are not being your authentic self at work. If your job is not aligned with your true self, you may be wearing a mask in your professional life. This can subconsciously leave you feeling like a fraud.
Quitting a job when you’re feeling unsure of your abilities might feel very irresponsible. You may feel like you can’t quit in case you aren’t able to find another job or if you did find another job, you would be caught out as an imposter. It is most likely not the case that you are lacking in ability, but imposter syndrome and feeling like a fraud can have real effects on your self-esteem and self-belief.
As mentioned previously, not being your true self at work might mean you’re currently wearing professional mask. If you introspect and think about what drives you –is it your current job that you hate, or is it your career? If you find yourself in a career that does not align with your authentic self, you may be hating your job and not enjoying your working life at all. In this scenario,quitting your job might not seem like it would make a difference to your unhappiness since the cause is greater than just your current position - it’s your career.
Facing this truth is not easy and changing careers comes with its own set of challenges and potential factors that may hold you back.
Hating your job can be a stressful and challenging experience and thinking that you aren’t able to quit may leave you feeling rather helpless. If you’re in this situation, it’s important to remember that you are not your job and that your current position does not define you.
It may help to start by reflecting on what exactly is making you unhappy and what is causing you to stay. Another option is to consider some career counselling.Our experienced career consultants can help you reflect on or understand your current situation and navigate the next steps to help you find fulfilment in your career.
Get in touch for a free phone consultation and chat to one of our qualified consultants about career counselling to help you through this tough time.
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