Midlife Career Change Myth #4: If I’m Unhappy, I’m in the Wrong Job
This is another myth that seems logical when only briefly considered. Hey, if I’m unhappy, I must be in the wrong career. But before we decide that the career is the cause of our despair, we need to consider what else may be the culprit. Here are some other causes of career unhappiness.
The job has become routine and boring. Boredom on the job is one of the major causes of dissatisfaction at work. But boredom can often be caused by our own lack of adventure. This was the case in my own career. I had become bored because tasks had become repetitive, and I had lost my creativity. I thought the career had caused the lose of excitement, but rather it was the other way around. My own lack of enthusiasm for my work had lead to my boredom.
So, what did I do about it? Well, that could be an entire other post…and probably will be in the future. But to summarize, I started talking with others around me who still had a passion for our work. I also began looking for ways to be creative once again. In only a month or so, that spark was once again ignited.
Your current employment is a problem, not the career you are in. Often times you just need a change in employers, not a change in career. Examine your current work situation and determine where the problem originates. Is your unhappiness caused by characteristics common to the field you are in, or is the problem specific to your workplace? Don’t dump a good career because of a bad employer.
You’re experiencing a general unhappiness with your life. Midlife is a time when many individuals become disenchanted with how their lives have turn out thus far. That’s where we get the phrase “midlife crisis.” If your unsatisfied with other aspects of your life, besides your career, then the unhappiness at work is likely just a symptom of a larger problem. Consider talking to someone, a counselor maybe, about what you are experiencing. Don’t be quick to blame your career if you are feeling down about other parts of your life.
You’re not being successful at work. When times are tough at work and outcomes are not the best, it often causes us to become frustrated or lose our passion. We find encouragement in our successes. So when we don’t get the promotion we wanted or a major client closes their account, our passion for work will often be the first casualty. But life and careers are a series of ups and downs. The solution to our unhappiness may be just one success away.
Of course, in the end it could be that you need a change of career to bring back that passion you once felt. First examine the other possible causes of your frustration. And once you’ve identified the problem, take steps to improve your situation. If it’s a new career that you need, then begin planning for that change. But remember, unhappiness doesn’t necessarily mean it time to dump your career.
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