What happens when you realise the job you’ve been working towards for most of your adult life is slowly but surely killing your happiness each and every day?
You’ve probably spent your life leaping through various hurdles in order to attain said job. All of a sudden you find yourself wondering how you can break your leg so you can avoid work for a lengthy period without permanently damaging yourself… something isn’t right.
When you’ve spent so long working towards something, it’s easy to be completely blinded to the fact that it monumentally sucks. I suspect there’s a whole lot of you out there who have jobs slowly killing your inner joie de vivre and are painfully aware that there are a whole host of jobs out there with the possibility of fulfilling day to days. What the heck are you doing faffing around with (insert pointless, daily task here)?
With seemingly endless, dreary news of our lacklustre economy filling in the airwaves, you’re probably quite aware that everyone is delighted and relieved that after years of boozing in your grimy home town, you managed to bag yourself a job at all. By everyone, I mean your immediate family, no one else really cares. Don’t get me wrong, getting a job is really, really great but as you progress into the world of work it will become increasingly apparent that there are, bafflingly, hoards upon hoards of utter morons who somehow got jobs too? Getting a job is obviously not that hard. Lesson is, there’s a lot of ‘who you know’ and a general truck load of luck involved in getting those early career jobs. Trick is doing something that you want to do, and doing it well.
If you’re one of the lucky sods who has landed in something that you genuinely quite enjoy then congrats to you, my friend, you are a needle in a huge stack of equally shit junior job hay. If you are however, someone that’s suddenly had the realisation that the idea of becoming your big boss is a prospect more hideous than a night between the sheets with Dave Cameron, then listen to me: LEAVE.
It’s inconsequential how you go about doing this. Feel free to take what you will from the below, which as you either know or have guessed, are written from experience.
1. Don’t wait for validation.
No one knows what’s best for you apart from you. Saying that, do take direction from those who know you best such as your family, significant other, your favourite barman or people you inhabit your overpriced rental accommodation with. If you’re a bitch every evening then not only are you damaging your own happiness but those around you too! Do it for them, if not yourself. If you don’t do a proper job, I really doubt the daily stress and unhappiness is really worth it. Doctor? Social worker? Soldier? Fine. Fashion, finance, PR? Nah, get a grip, pal.
2. Have a bit of an idea about what’s next and talk to people about it.
I’m not saying you need a plan but having something in place to ensure your next pay packet is advisable if you want to continue your shit nightclub, uber and dominoes takeaways habits and still visit your overdraft more than your savings account. But anyway, speaking to people in the industry that tickles your fancy or simply having drinks with that friend of a friend who does that awesome job you’d die to do is a sensible and proactive way to start paving your way to professional zen. After your first few jobs you’ll have a clearer sense of the environment you’re after. You know what you like and what you don’t. Whether that’s not working for morally questionable clients, having a nice company culture or an awesome office location, whatever you have more questions to ask prospective employers other than what milkround.com told you to ask in an interview scenario.
3. Don’t be afraid to do something you’re unsure about.
Chances are, you’re never really going to be 100% sure about anything but that shouldn’t hold you back. If you don’t like where you do move to, that’s fine too, because guess what? You can leave that as well! This life you have is as liquid as you want it to be! Obvs, you don’t wanna be skipping about all over the place every other day otherwise you’ll look well flaky and people will be scared of you but at the same time, faffing around somewhere to show you have ‘sticking power’ is pointless. Also, starting a new job is unbelievably, utterly exhausting.
4. Stick to your guns…
You’ve handed your notice in! You did it! You may or may not know what’s next but you’ve accepted that where you are isn’t right. Congratulations to you. To some degree, your notice basically says that the current professional relationship FAILED, and no one likes failure. Fear of failure is innate in most humans and as a result you’re probably going to have to prepare yourself for what I like to call, ‘the claw back’. Losing staff for any business is usually a shit thing for the business. It means extra work for everyone else and sometimes makes other people look a bit rubbish. Your action has caused reactions, and therefore those impacted will try to reduce the impact of your actions. Nine times out ten, this involves an awkward chat with someone, usually with an offer of a bit more cash, maybe a promotion or vague adjustments to your working life. As a loyal worker you feel guilty, a little flattered and suddenly you fear the unknown more than ever before. This is the really, really hard bit but to have gotten to a place where you’ve decided you want to leave then there’s really very little in it for you by staying after ‘the clawback’. I’ve never heard of a successful clawback. It’s like moving in with your boyfriend, saying you want to move out, moving out, but then staying together. The dynamic is now really weird and you both know you don’t really want each other. Be brave, young millennial and commit to the leap!
5. And finally, listen to Taylor Swift.
She has all the answers. I genuinely listened to her latest album thinking about my JOB rather than men. A tragic insight to my life there.
Throw caution to the wind in 2015 and remember ‘if you don’t like where you are, move. You are not a tree.’