How to Get Rid of That Job You Hate Once and For All

Posted by in Career Success, Job Search, Knowing Your Strengths, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator | 10 comments

You did all the right things.

You went to school, got a job with a good company, and set yourself on a career path your parents would be proud of.

Streeter Seidell, Comedian
Photo Credit: Zach Klein via Compfight

Or maybe you just took the first job you could find because those student loans were coming due.

Either way, you took a job and now you hate it.

You wonder how this happened. How did you end up doing something every day that sucks the zest for life out of you?

The problem is you don’t know what to do. You don’t know what else you want to do. Even if you did know, you don’t know how to get there.

The good news is there is hope.

This problem can be resolved by doing some real soul searching and assessing three major areas in your life.

Area 1: Your Strengths and Personality

Who are you? What are you good at? If you answer those two questions accurately more than half the battle will be won. Fortunately you don’t have to figure this out on your own. There are a number of resources to help you answer these questions.

One very good and inexpensive way to determine your strengths is to use the Strengthsfinder 2.0 (not an affiliate link) assessment.

Another more comprehensive tool you can use is the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The MBTI is the most reliable and validated personality assessment on the market. Most Fortune 500 companies provide the MBTI to their employees and I provide the MBTI to all of my coaching clients. I highly recommend it.

Area 2: Skills and Abilities

By the time you are 25 you have likely used hundreds of different types of skills to accomplish something. What have you noticed you are particularly good at doing? Which skills do you enjoy using the most? Is there something you would like to be able to do but have not tried?

However, just because you may be good at something doesn’t necessarily mean you enjoy using that skill. You’ll know you’re on the right career track when you find a skill you also enjoy using.

Area 3: Values, Interests, and Dreams

What is important to you? What do you find yourself doing during your non-work hours?

Some may ask you what your passion is. I say rather than search for the holy grail of passion, take a look at what you are already doing. What types of things do you find yourself drawn toward? Do you enjoy backpacking, blogging, kayaking, data analysis, talking to people, etc. Your interests are the seeds to discovering the kind of thing you would enjoy being paid to do.

Also, when we’re seven years old it’s Ok to say you want to be an astronaut but when we grow up we forget to continue dreaming. You need to tap into your inner seven year old.

What do you find yourself dreaming about during the day? Even if you think it would be irresponsible and impossible to do, the key is to allow yourself the freedom to dream about the job and the life you want.

When you put all of these components together, you should have a pretty good idea of what you would rather be doing. The next step is putting together a plan to get to where you want to go.

You’ll be saying sayonara to that job you hate in no time.

Question: When you were seven years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?

(If you liked the post [or not] leave a comment below. You’ll get a response from me.)


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  • Dennis

    Adam, the three areas make sense. Thanks for asking the right questions and letting me discover things on my own.

    • Dennis, yes it really is about unlocking answers to questions about yourself. Self-discovery is the best way to find what it is that you will enjoy. Thanks for your comment.
      Adam Rico
      Follow Me onTwitter: @adampaulrico

  • Bill

    Adam, this article beautifully articulates what I have been feeling over the past several months with my current job situation. It reminded me that I need to find something to do that brings back my career interests as a young kid. Very helpful.

    • I’m glad you found this helpful Bill. Yes, there is something about thinking back to when we were kids that frees our minds to believe our career options are unlimited. Thanks for your comment. 

  • Chris

    Great article Adam. I’m stuck in a factory job that I hate. I’ve been with the same company for 12 years.  I can’t enjoy Sunday nights because I dread Monday mornings . As a seven year old kid, I wanted to be a car designer for one of the Big Three automakers. 

    • Thanks for your kind words Chris. I’m sorry to hear you’re in a job you hate. However, that is so cool you wanted to be a car designer for one of the Big Three.

      I would encourage you to take a look at the things you enjoy doing now and see if there are any connections to what you wanted to do at age seven. It’s not too late Chris if that’s what you still want. If you have the desire you can make it happen. 

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  • Whitney Sparks

    Area 2:  This reminds me of playing the piano.  I enjoy playing the piano but have no desire to teach piano.  I have had people ask me to teach and I don’t enjoy it.  It’s like a hobby, not a job for me.  I don’t get paid for playing.  It’s just fun for me and it’s a gift that God gave me…so  I feel like I should use it.  Something that I enjoy and feel skilled in is the area of financial coaching.  So, I’m currently working on putting all the songs I’ve written on c.d. and starting my career as a financial coach.  Now I can have the best of both worlds:)

    • I love that Whitney. It doesn’t have to be an either or situation. You have found an “and” solution. You can play the piano and be a financial coach. Maybe you can sell your c.d’s and turn that into an income stream as well. Thanks for your comment.

  • Sophie

    it’s too bad i’m not good at anything i actually want to be good at to take a stab at trying to make something of it…nor do i have the means to take lessons or go to school for them. No one is going to pay me to learn piano at my leisure or pay me to become a writer or try to be. I wish I had a business selling things on a website, anything that sells well, so I can be truly free to do all the things I want to do with my day, whatever that may be.

    Short of winning the lottery or falling in love and marrying a rich man, I am going to have to be stuck at an unsatisfying job that pays crappy because it’s all I’m capable of doing.

    • I’m sorry you feel that way Sophie. Is there any way I can help you?