Dissatisfied with your current job?

Look inward and land the right job for you

TINA L. SCOTT
EDITOR

If you’re dissatisfied with your current job, you’re not alone. Gallup poll statistics show that in 2021, only 48% of employees said they were completely satisfied with their current jobs.

But before you hit the pavement, or the internet, or the newspaper in search of your next job, take some time to look inward. Doing a bit of self-evaluation before you start your job search can help ensure your next job will be a better fit and increase your job satisfaction level.

Consider your current job, and past jobs you’ve held, and make a list of the best things about each of those jobs in one column.

Now think of those same jobs and make a list of the things you disliked about those jobs.

Ask yourself “Why?”
Then ask yourself “Why?” … for each of those best and worst things. Consider how even the things you disliked about a job might have been different and what would have made those job duties or responsibilities more tolerable or even enjoyable.

For instance, perhaps you identified the job duties that are your favorite are those times when you are working with, and engaging with, other people; your least favorite job duties are done more in isolation. Or perhaps it is the reverse. Perhaps you are most productive when you are focused and working alone, without distractions or interruptions.

Consider the ideal circumstances and your personality
While most jobs have a mix of responsibilities, identifying the circumstances under which you are most productive, least stressed, most engaged, least bored, and happiest can help you find a job that fits you the best.

Think about yourself and your personality and consider what kind of job or what kind of business you would be best suited for so you can target your job search accordingly.

Identify the changes you need
If your current job feels small, and opportunities for growth and career advancement seem limited, consider applying at a larger company where there are more levels and opportunities to grow and advance within the company.

If you’re tired of job repetition and you’d prefer more variety, apply at a smaller company or a mom-and-pop business where employees perform more diverse tasks and there is more cross training so all employees can step in to perform the various jobs.

Consider the personalities you enjoy working with the most, and seek out the kind of job and job setting that is the best match for your personality.

Think about how much responsibility, or autonomy, or diversity you’d like in your ideal next job.

New job or new career?
Consider whether you’re looking for a new job or a new career and how long you want to be employed in your next position. Are you looking for a stepping stone to something bigger, a bridge to retirement, or a long-term steady job with good benefits where you can work for many years?

Do you want to go in, punch a clock, do your job, punch out, and go home? Or do you enjoy a job that is more of a lifestyle, with more fluid hours and greater responsibility? How much responsibility do you want to assume? Do you want a job or a career?

What’s really bugging you?
Finally, consider the true cause of the dissatisfaction with your current job. Is it the work/job itself? The people? The hours? The pay? The benefits or lack of benefits? The physical working environment? The physical or mental demands of the job?

Most importantly, as you’re examining all of these things and looking inward, be brutally honest with yourself. There is no such thing as a wrong answer. But there is such a thing as the wrong job. Look inward, do the work, and you’ll increase the odds that if you choose to change jobs, you’ll find a job that is the right job for you.

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