What Do I Do if I'm Unhappy in My Job?

What Do I Do if I'm Unhappy in My Job?

July 7, 2022

Apparently, many people are asking themselves that. A quick search online shows 33,500,000 people had searched on that same question. That's a lot of job dissatisfaction.

Ask Yourself What Isn't Working

The first step is to figure out why you're unhappy. Has the daily commute become more onerous due to increased traffic or record-shattering gas costs? If so, and you otherwise love what you do and where you're doing it, a heart-to-heart with your boss may be the answer. If you have a job where remote work is possible, a remote or hybrid schedule might be the solution.

The same applies to salary, benefits, and other perks associated with your position. If everything else is good, and there are just a few minor sticking points, a conversation with your boss can open the door to making the adjustments necessary to keep you happy in your job. Retaining a good employee is a lot easier and less expensive than finding a new one, so it's definitely worth a shot.

If you basically like your daily work but don't like your boss or coworkers, a change of employer should solve your problem. Polishing your resume, connecting with recruiters, and letting your network know you are on the lookout for a new job will get you on your way. Eleven Fifty Academy graduates have the benefit of networking in our Atlas program as well as help from Career Services.

There's also just being  "meh" about your current job: don't love it but don't hate it. You don't get up in the morning excited to start your day at work and engage in some fulfilling projects. Instead, you go through the motions, numb to the routine like a zombie. There are a couple of ways to approach this: one is to change how you think about your job instead of changing your job. If this job is bringing in money for a goal you have, such as paying off your home or sending your kids to college, then powering through may be a good temporary solution.

But what if it's something more complicated? What if your discontentment stems from being hired for one position but being utilized in another that you just aren't interested in? Or if you majored in a subject but after actually working in the field, find it's just not what you thought it would be? That type of dissatisfaction requires a bit more thought.

What Do You Want To Change?

First, make a list of what you dislike about what you are doing. Too people-y? Too isolated? Lack of stimulation? Just  "been there, done that, got the t-shirt" over it? Or is there something shiny career-wise that has caught your eye, making you want to make a switch? New skills to learn and new worlds to conquer? All these are totally valid and important things to keep in mind as you narrow your list of  "jobs I want".

Next up, make the list of what you value most in a job: salary, location, a particular field, etc. Try to be as realistic as possible; searching online is your friend for things like average salaries, cost of living for different geographic areas, and hiring demands. You want to move from unhappy to happy, so minimizing any unwanted surprise deal-killers and not just jumping headfirst into the unknown is the best way to keep it all positive.

Refine your list further by looking at some job listings for positions you want. Do you have the skills? If so, you're on your way! If not... well, that can be fixed. Skilling-up is never a bad idea, and if you want to pivot your career direction it may be a necessity.

Ways To Make the Change

There are different paths to expanding your knowledge. There's the self-taught route with the help of free online courses and YouTube videos. The price is right for these options, but how much weight do their credentials actually carry with employers? How can you prove you really have your chops down for those new skills without some kind of official accreditation? That can be a challenge, but there are other ways to learn.

Didn't finish college? Getting a 2- or 4-year degree is one way to have solid credentials. Graduated but regretting your choice of major? You could go back to college and pick up a second bachelor's degree or build on your previous one and go for a master's, but that takes time and more than a little cash. If you have both, you can choose to go that way.

But if you're like many people, time and cash aren't exactly plentiful. Shorter education journeys, such as those offered by a bootcamp, are able to get you moving in the direction you want without a long-term time investment, and often without paying upfront. If you are looking to upskill, or learn a skill your employer would love, talk to them about funding your studies. Tuition reimbursement is a perk at more than a few companies. Depending on your location and circumstances, your courses could even be free (the fine print: talk to Eleven Fifty Admissions for the latest scoop because the requirements change over time).

Coding and cybersecurity bootcamps such as those offered by Eleven Fifty Academy offer the chance for people to upskill if they're already in a tech-related field, or to boldly strike out on a new career path if they aren't. Don't be discouraged if you do not have a tech background. Many people from fields such as hospitality and healthcare have transitioned to tech. If you've served in the military, you already have the discipline needed to buckle down and do the work, and are likely a great fit for cybersecurity.

If you can't give up your income while expanding your education, part time options are available.

If you haven't really explored the world of tech careers before, one great way to do it is by attending a free course from Eleven Fifty Academy. You can check out coding or cybersecurity (or both) and see if it feels like a fit for your future.

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