If you love your job and are engaged in what you do...you are the minority.
According to 2015 Gallup national poll, the percentage of the U.S. workers who are considered engaged in their jobs averaged 32%. In the 15-year history of Gallup conducting this research, engagement has consistently averaged less than 33%.
Southwest Airlines tapped into this insight with their "Wanna Get Away Sale" commercial where a military leader is forced to give up his password to stop a hacker. His password is revealed to be "ihatemyjob1." Humiliated after having to share his secret with his colleagues, he wants to get away.
Maybe the word "hate" is too strong to describe your situation, but if you are honest, you are less and less satisfied with your work.
A whopping majority will get an education, go into debt, find a job and make a living to pay bills until the end of their life. There has to be a better way.
Here are three ways to avoid getting stuck in a career you hate and how to take action now to land a career you love.
1. Own Your Power - The words "trapped" and "stuck" are often used to describe how you feel about your job. Judging an uncertain future in a new area against years of prior experience and education in a totally different area can feel overwhelming. People often equate power with external forces including education, network, money or experience. Yes, these have value but the internal factors are the driving force of personal power. This includes your vision, values, purpose and resiliency which will empower you to create the change you want to see. Everything you need to move from where you are to where you want to be is in your hand. Now it's time to learn how to work your hand.
What to do: You have the power create the change you want to see. Build confidence in your ability to reinvent and align yourself with what you really want. Start by asking yourself the hard question, "What do I want out of my career and my life?" Take time to reflect, think and focus on what matters most. Is it money, flexibility, creativity or advancement? Write down what makes you feel "trapped" or "stuck" and then identify situations where you have felt this before but successfully change the situation by taking back your power.
2. Be Fearless - Fear runs rampant and often goes unchecked. You may suffer from a fear of failure, fear of loss, fear of success or fear of the unknown. It manifests itself in procrastination, busyness and avoidance. Dealing with this emotional tax is something you often keep close to the vest and only share with confidants. Isolation only exacerbates the problem.
What to do: Acknowledge and identify your fears. Write them down and then write down the best and worst case scenario to address each fear. When you can call out the fear for what it is, you have the opportunity to address the unknown until it no longer haunts you. For example, if you acknowledge your fear of the unknown, write down the worst case and best case scenario to address the fear. Begin to put steps in place to identify opportunities to launch your next career move which will help direct your energy toward optimism instead of pessimism.
3. Embrace Being Uncomfortable - You worked hard to pay off your student loan, get the car of your dreams or move from unemployment to having consistent income. You negotiate with yourself to be content because your job affords you the lifestyle you enjoy. Possibly you love the perks of the job or the prestige of the position. Leaders who excel in any situation get comfortable being uncomfortable. When comfort causes you to compromise your passion it becomes the enemy of excellence.
What to do: Although you may not choose to make a move immediately, you can put a plan in place to transition to a job that sets you on a new career path. Identify what type of work, experience and people will bring greater purpose and fulfillment to you. How are you able to grow your skills, expertise and experience? Jump start your motivation by giving yourself an accountability partner and ongoing deadlines to ensure you are making progress weekly toward your transition.