One day I’ll find my dream job. I’m just putting in the hours until I get to a position where I’m respected. This would be my dream job except for (insert annoying boss/long hours/lack of progression here). Does this sound like you or somebody you know? We are constantly sold the dream of the ‘ideal job’, the ‘four hour work week’ and ‘finding our purpose’. Bloggers shout about how easy it is to work from a beach, in the exotic locale of your choice, yet so many of us remain unsatisfied as we wait for this to happen.
I could add to the myriad of articles that sell you the dream of the perfect job, giving you helpful hints and tips. However, I don’t think that would help. Nope, what I’m really interested in is how you can make your current job that little bit closer to your dream job. Seems a bit far fetched? You might be surprised. Give the following tips a go and see how much your workday improves…
1. Search for opportunities
In even the most dead end job there are opportunities. Think about what your talents are, what you really enjoy doing, and how you could do more of that in your current position. For example, if you’re working in admin but really crave a marketing position, perhaps you could help out on some marketing projects, or shadow somebody one day a week.
2. Use your free time
If there’s something that you love to do, do it anyway, regardless of what your day job is! If you dream of becoming a travel writer, start a blog detailing your adventures. If the Not For Profit sector is your preferred industry, why not volunteer on weekends? There’s no law that says that you have to do all of your rewarding work within the hours of 9-5. Additionally, if you are getting to do what you love in your spare time, you may find that you resent your job less.
3. Cut the complaints
Somebody once said that we see the world not how it is, but how we are. Therefore if we focus on negativity, that is what we will perceive. Ever had a colleague whose moaning made the days drag? Negativity breeds negativity. Instead, think about what you like about your current position, there must be something, even if it’s just the fact that it pays the bills! When you’re feeling really down in the dumps, remind yourself what you’re grateful for in your role, and feel your motivation rise.
4. Do your best
It can be tempting to slack off when we feel a position isn’t right for us. However, this is counter-productive. Doing your best will give you a sense of achievement and pride, even if it is whilst doing something you hate. What’s more, being recognised as a good employee may open doors for you that could lead to career progression or new opportunities. Likewise, when your boss is satisfied with the work you are doing, it can be easier to have potentially awkward conversations about career growth and motivation. You may be surprised at how supported you really are!
5. Think strategically
Maybe your current position will never tick all the boxes. If that’s the case, think about what it’s doing for your CV. Look at what skills your dream job is looking for, and see if there’s anything in your current position that you could use. Be creative and think about core skills rather than specifics. For example, perhaps you work in a call centre but dream of the bright lights of advertising. Instead of looking at the gaps in your experience, look at what you are already doing: persuading people, selling, getting grass roots experience of what motivates buyers. Many positions will overlook qualifications and lack of experience if they feel that they have found a candidate who truly understands, and has a passion for, the role.
Have you had a nightmare job and managed to turn the situation around? Or perhaps you believe in getting out quickly, dusting yourself off and moving on. Let us know how you cope with less than perfect jobs by leaving a comment below.
Helen Cross is a marketing executive at the British Assessment Bureau, a company providing ISO training, ISO certification and consulting throughout the UK.
Image Credit: Shutterstock.com
Category: Personal Branding