Dear Karen,

I think I am beginning to hate my job. Am I just in a funk, or should I quit? Also, is it possible to ‘fall back in love’ with my job?

Jaded Jules

Dear Jaded Jules:

“I hate my job” – a phrase uttered often, and by so many. On average, some 100 million Americans were employed full-time in 2010-2012 — and 70 million of them either hated their jobs or were simply “checked out,” according to a recent Gallup survey of America’s workforce.

So, how do you know if you’re in a temporary funk or are absolutely miserable?

Signs you no longer love your job

You find yourself anxiously awaiting the end of each week, and experiencing the “Sunday Sads” at the thought of returning to work on Monday.

You wake up demotivated and sluggish – it’s difficult to drag yourself out of bed.

You often daydream during the day.

You don’t jump to take on new projects anymore – you feel bored and uninspired.

Negativity has suddenly creeped into your vocabulary more than ever – others may even comment on it.

Can you fall back in love with your job?

The answer is yes – and no. It all depends on the effort you put into it, as well as your overall goals/desires. A job is just like a relationship, meaning that you have to work at it, and keep things new and interesting. You may be in a company and/or industry that you love, but feel like you’ve hit the ceiling in your current role.

Perhaps you’ve learned everything you can in your position, and are now getting the little kick needed to tell you to reach for that promotion, taking on new responsibilities. Or, perhaps you like your job, but you’ve just hit a slump.

Meet with your manager and discuss your role, and see if there are any new opportunities for you to challenge yourself and learn more – even if it’s just assisting with a project from another department. The upside? You’re not only shaking things up (and yourself, right out of that slump), but you will have new experiences to list on your resume, as well.

Should you stay, or should you go?

If you love your company and your job, fully assess what is making you unhappy. If you feel out of sorts every so often, that is normal. If it’s every day, you have to dig deeper and determine the root of the problem. If you discover that you would be happy if your boss considered you for that new project that she’s developing, then start the conversation.

You have to ask for what you want in order to receive, and opening the dialogue can often make a huge difference, especially when your boss is invested in your success. If you ultimately feel like you need to make a change, then prepare yourself for a transition, and research other companies and roles you’re interested in before making the leap.

Sometimes you can discover that a temporary slump has been misdiagnosed as a source of unhappiness, and the grass may not always be greener. The key is self-awareness, and research – armed with both, you’re sure to make a decision that is right for you.

Good luck!

 

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