Back in kindergarten, we all answer the question, “what do I want to be when I grow up?” Being four, a lot of us choose basic careers that they see their favorite characters on TV do. There’s the one kid who wants to be a fry cook just like SpongeBob, another who wants to be a train conductor to work with Thomas the train, and an adventurous student whose goal is to go to Australia to become a Wiggle.
The Real World
Fastforward a decade and a half and you’re about to finish college with a degree that you swore would be useful, but a quick search of jobs in your field is less than encouraging. Or there are jobs available, but looking through the job description makes you fall asleep with monotonous skills that you’ve drilled into your brain throughout school.
But you’re a trooper and you apply to as many positions and you can. After a long period of phone calls, interviews, e-mails, and “re-writing” your cover letter for every company, you finally landed an entry level job in your field.
Not Your Cup of Tea
Your first week at the job? Miserable. What you thought was first-day jitters was just dread and anxiety that made you want to ignore your alarm in the morning.
- You feel grumpy even when you get home.
Home is where you should be your happiest. It’s where your bed is, it’s where your food is, it’s where your family is. But if you’re getting home and starting fights and nothing is improving your mood, it may be a sign that you need to reconsider your job.
- You tell yourself that “a job is a job.”
Yes, a job is a job and a regular paycheck is never a bad thing – unless going to your job makes you feel as if the pay isn’t worth it. The cliché, “never work a day in your life” only works if you love your job.
- You dread going to work every day.
If every morning you wake up and think, “I wonder if I can call in sick or tell them that I have an appointment,” it might be a sign that maybe you’d do anything to get out of going into the office. If you don’t want to be there, find somewhere you want to be.
- Your work environment is toxic.
Sometimes “beggars can’t be choosers” and you have to stick to a job to maintain your lifestyle and pay your bills. However, if you don’t particularly like your coworkers or manager or feel an uncomfortable tension, you should explore other options.
It’s All About You
Everyone says in their resume that they “work well with teams,” but if school projects have taught us anything, team dynamics are rarely balanced. If after many attempts to address any problems in your workplace and feeling like you’ve exhausted all your options, your mental health trumps any project deadline.
Start with fun career quizzes to get an idea of what industry you might enjoy!