Roland B. Vendeland

Warmth, wisdom, and wit.

Roland B. Vendeland

I Hate My Job!

In a recent careerbuilder.com survey, three-out-of-four workers revealed they are not working in their dream jobs. This finding is no surprise since we acquire our careers and jobs haphazardly. Having advised over 700 individuals, I’ve found that most of them have backed into what they do.

I have discovered that people most frequently prepare for or seek out jobs based upon aptitude, status, money, others’ expectations, or employment opportunities. These approaches often lead to job dissatisfaction.

Aptitude

“The subject came easy to me. I was good at it so I studied it. Now I’m two courses and a dissertation away from a Ph.D. and I have no interest in pursuing the degree or a career in the field.”

Unfortunately, I’ve heard this scenario more than once. It’s an expensive way to discover that just because you are good at something doesn’t mean that you should do it.

My nephew told me, “I keep getting jobs where I’m dealing with conflict resolution. I’m good at, but I hate doing it.”

I told him, “Same thing used to happen to me, but I got away from it.”

“How?” he asked.

“I stopped telling people that I was good at it.”

The classic example is the individual who is good at math, studies the subject then looks at career options and becomes either a discontented accountant or engineer.

Status

Others define themselves through their jobs. They seek recognition and status through their jobs. They replace job satisfaction with job status.

I had a client who bemoaned having to turn down a promotion in order to relocate back to his wife’s hometown when they were about to have their first child. His attitude threatened his marriage as well as his career.

It turned out that he wanted the promotion to a large extent because he had become bored with his present responsibilities. He accepted another position within the company and no longer insisted upon climbing the career ladder out of frustration with his job.

Money

Where can I make the most money?

This is a question I often hear. Unfortunately, I usually hear this from individuals who are doing something that they no longer want to do. They want to retire from what they are doing or start their own business or get out of their own business, but still maximize their income.

It is an attainable goal that can best be achieved if they were to ask, “Where can I make the most money doing what I want to do?"

Others’ Expectations

When a client is obviously unsuited for and discontented with his/her current occupation, I ask, “Why did you choose this field.” I generally expect the answer that follows.

“My father (mother) expected me to become _______.” The position is usually a high status, high paying occupation requiring extended education.

Employment Opportunities

I used to give a presentation entitled, Hot Jobs: What’s Hot and What’s Not. During the presentation, I would provide the caveat that one should not look to the market first to determine what job to seek but to oneself. I didn’t receive questions about self-introspection, but inevitably I would be asked, “What can I make the most money at and where can I find it?”

These approaches secure people jobs, but they usually turn out to be jobs that one survives in but doesn’t thrive in.

“So mister there is a better way?” you ask.

Yes, I think so. Follow this simple formula: heart to head to marketplace. With this approach you determine what you like, then what you are good at doing, and finally what and where the opportunities to do these things are.