It’s official: I hate my job

dead endOkay, so I have just had a rubbish day at work. But not an awfully or unusually rubbish day, just another bad day of many.

For the first time in my life I’m in a position to say, you know what, I’m not enjoying this and I don’t feel it’s helping me professionally or personally, and I have a choice to leave. All through school and university you’re on a set path – if something’s not working you make small adjustments within that path, like swapping a module, or changing a project or group. But in the world of work there’s no longer that sense of commitment to a set time period. There’s no clear path to follow or ladder to climb.

I miss learning and feeling like I’m really getting somewhere. There’s always a sense of progress with exams and time-frames, whereas in the world of work you make your own targets. I realise I could take a course alongside my job, but I’ve been working so hard to build up experience alongside work that I don’t feel like I have enough time just to relax. It doesn’t feel like there are enough hours in the day to do everything. Busyness is never an excuse. If you want to do something you make time. And I really believe that, but I’m getting stressed out. 8 hours a day, 5 days a week feels like a massive chunk of my life right now.

And everyone’s been talking about Meg Jay and her book. Part of me feels I should read it, part of me wants to avoid it like the plague. I know your twenties are important and aren’t for messing around. I know that professionally and personally it’s the time to start to make sure you get to where you want to be. I know all that and it scares me and stresses me out. I don’t want to read about how behind I am and how much work I have to do in my twenties. I’m already terrified that time’s flying by and I’m getting nowhere.

I’m considering going back to university, but I don’t want to pick that because it’s all I know, I want to pick that if it’s genuinely the right thing for me to do. Because I miss knowledge and learning and academia. From my experiences so far I’m really not sure that the business world is for me. And then there’s teaching, and I like that idea, but am I just clinging onto another thing that’s familiar?

I’m not proud of my job. I want people to ask me what I do and for me to be able to tell them with pride, not embarrassment.

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5 comments on “It’s official: I hate my job

  1. If its any consolation you are not alone with your emotions. I know of many people who tasted despair in their twenties only to find themselves and their direction and take pride in their thirties. I am confident this will happen to you. Accepting our dissatisfaction is the first step to turning our life around.

    • I know you’re right that I’m not alone – just so often it feels like everything’s going fine for everyone else. I hope accepting my dissatisfaction is the first step to turning my life around. As always, really appreciate your comment.

  2. I totally agree with Ducks. 100%. I’m sorry to hear that you’re in this place. It is an unfortunately common feeling in the 20s, but your self-awareness and willingness to make change will serve you well. I’d suggest having long talks – with follow-ups – with a trusted friend or with a life coach (and I’m honestly NOT saying this because I offer this sort of service!) so that you can come up with an action plan for forward movement.

    Meg Jay’s book can be overwhelming if you take her “by the 30s you’ll have regrets” theme to heart, but at the core of it, her message is don’t just sit around waiting for things to get better. Be active, take the time to reflect, and you’ll find yourself in a good place by the 30s. You’re well on your way there, and I have no doubt you’ll find a path that fits you.

    PS – Keep in mind that you can find learning opportunities in the context of many jobs – i.e., jobs that are dynamic and full of new experiences by their very nature. Academia is a narrow swath of “learning” (as I can fully attest, from spending my adult life there to date!) and it’s not always the right fit.

    • Thanks Rebecca, I know you’re right, as always! I have considered speaking to a life coach, I really think it could help me, just it’s often quite pricey and I’m not convinced just one or two sessions would be enough – right now I don’t feel like I’m anywhere near working out who/ where/ what I’m meant to be!

      I guess by actively looking for a new job I’m making sure I’m not just sitting around waiting for things to get better, but I’m struggling to work out where to go next. I plan to write my next post on this, but essentially the jobs I’m qualified for and that I’m applying for all seem very similar to my current role, with all of the things I don’t like!

      I love the idea of “a dynamic job that’s full of new experiences by it’s very nature” – that sounds great! And your final comment does make me think I might just be wanting to go back to university because it’s the familiar option compared to the long and difficult search for the path that’s really right for me.

      Thank you so much for your encouragement and advice – it means a lot.

      • I look forward to reading your future post. It sounds like you need to take an “aspirational resume” approach and become clear on what you WANT so that your cover letters & application packets reflect that, not just what you’ve already done.

        I sure do hear you about the expense of life coaching! I agree that you’d probably need at least a month, if not 3 months (the standard life coaching contract). I didn’t break down and get a coach until I was in my thirties, but once I did, I wished I had started in my early 20s. What would ten years of greater fulfillment, meaning and purpose (not to mention less anxiety and stress) have been worth to me in monetary terms? $10,000? $50,000? I can’t even say. But the dollar figure is a hard one to get over. That’s why a trusted, thoughtful friend can fill the role, if need be!

        Look forward to reading more about your path. Wishing you better occupational times ahead!

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