I was completely mistreated at a job I had in the radio industry. When I first started, I was so proud and beyond excited because I was working for such a big name in the industry – a name that I wanted to work for ever since I was a little girl. Unfortunately, after two years of dealing with what actually went on behind closed doors – including poor management, disrespect for lower-level staff, horrible values and ethics, unnecessary drama, and the list could go on… – I wanted no part of it anymore.
Leaving was an extremely difficult decision to make, and one I actually received backlash from as I was one of many who walked out those doors in such a short period of time. But I was mentally exhausted, unhappy, and overly stressed at my job. This wasn’t normal. I had to make a change for myself.
If you ever feel stuck on your career path or if you are completely miserable at your current job, always remember:
1. There are so many opportunities out there, you just have to keep looking.
Nothing has to be forever. If all the signs pointing to you indicate that you need to make a change, chances are, it’s because you do. And you can always make that change – whether that is getting a new job, or switching career paths entirely, you can do anything you set your mind to. Don’t hold yourself back.
2. Spend time with your resume and cover letter.
Things won’t magically happen on their own, you have to put in the effort. If you want a change, start by taking the necessary steps to do so. This includes tailoring your resume and cover letter to each job you apply to. If you feel as though you’re a good fit for a certain position, show that company or organization through your resume and cover letter why you are. Describe projects you may have worked on, and highlight the experiences and skills you have that could potentially become an asset to them.
3. Those busy-work skills could be crucial to landing your next job.
Someone once told me a story of how he was hired solely based off of the busy-works skills he had accumulated in past jobs. Those skills just so happened to line directly with what that company was looking for in that particular position.
We all know those tedious daily tasks that we tend to overlook because they don’t feel like a crucial part of the job. But, this busy work could be helping you to build your resume, and round you out professionally. Different skills are important to different positions, companies, and organizations. Always be open to acquiring new skills, both menial and significant, because you never know what could give you that advantage in the long-run.
4. Build your brand.
Explore things you like and things you don’t like in the workplace. Think back to jobs you had, what was your favorite part, how about your least favorite? Take all previous work responsibilities, big and small, decide what you liked most, what you disliked, and keep all of that in mind when looking for your next position.
Build that professional brand as you go through your career path. You can even display your brand through an online portfolio (using blog sites like Wix or Weebly) by organizing all of your projects, skills, and experiences in one place. This way, employers can look through your portfolio, in addition to your resume and cover letter, during the hiring process. This allows you to stand out, and to have a collection of your accomplishments and skills that are a part of what makes you, you.
5. Be patient.
Job hunting is tough, and if you’re switching career paths completely it may or may not take some time to find that perfect fit. But be patient. It will all happen the way it’s supposed to. And if you stick to applying and exploring your options, you will certainly find something. Keep going.
6. If you didn’t get a job you applied for, it probably wasn’t the right fit for you.
We’ve all experienced applying for those jobs where we can totally envision ourselves working for that place or doing that particular type of work, but then getting that dreaded email: “Unfortunately, we had a lot of qualified candidates…” blah blah blah. But, if that happens, don’t let it drag you down. You probably didn’t want that job anyways – if you weren’t the right fit for that company, then they probably weren’t a good fit for you either.
7. Keep a list of skills you want to learn at your current job to take with you to your next.
Our job should help us to grow and feel fulfilled. Once those feelings completely disappear is when you should begin to think about looking elsewhere. Try keeping a list of skills you want to learn at your current job that you’ll be able to carry with you to your next one. This way, you’ll know where you’re at growth-wise, and get the most out of your current job while building your professional brand.
8. If you’re no longer growing or feeling fulfilled, it may be time to look elsewhere.
Every day, most people aren’t exactly excited to go to work, because at the end of the day, a job is still a job. However, if that job (on top of the monetary benefits) fulfills you and allows you to grow and develop professionally, then chances are that work is never a daunting task, nor something you dread going to every day. It is when that job becomes stale, lacks fulfillment, or you aren’t learning anymore, or you dread walking through those doors that you should start looking elsewhere or figuring out what changes you can make to find a resolution.
9. Work-Life balance is key.
Yes, there are always moments when work becomes a huge part of our lives. There are days we work late, or take our work with us into the weekend. But – do not let a job take over your entire life.
Think about it. Years from now, do you want to look back on your life only to realize that you worked it all away? No. You’ll never get this time back, so make the most of it so you can look back and remember all the vacations you took, memories you made, and time spent with family and friends. Work-life balance is key, and if this is something you value but it isn’t respected at your place of work, you should consider your options. There are many places out there that understand the importance of work-life balance.
10. Negatives of a job should not outweigh the positives.
I was not treated correctly at my previous job by any means, but I tried really hard to hold on as long as I could since I was good at what I did. Despite this being the job I always wanted, I made the decision to leave and move forward with my life and pursue a brighter career path.
Never give up on yourself and never stay somewhere that makes you dread coming into work. At the end of the day, it’s a job, but you should feel moments of fulfillment and growth. The negatives of the job should not outweigh the positives.
It was extremely difficult for me to get up and quit in a place where I felt so comfortable and made a lot of friends along the way, but I knew it was something I had to do for my own happiness and wellbeing. Currently, I have a new job in an entirely different industry, and although it took some time, I’m so grateful that I made the decisions that led me to where I am today. You can do it too.