Hate Your Job? Get Out of There!


Would you show up to work tomorrow if you won the lottery? While this may seem like a no-brainer, you might be surprised by the amount of folks that  would continue to work if they suddenly came into a vast amount of money. According to Gallup, 63% of workers who are “Engaged” with their job would go to work, same as always (well, with the addition of some new Italian leather shoes and a convertible).

While that’s a pretty big percentage, you have to keep in mind that engaged workers are in the clear minority in the United States, representing under 1/3 of the workforce. For the rest of us, who would have a healthy preference for cruises and caviar over our 9 to 5 (given that we hit the jackpot, of course), you can bet that there would at least be some extended vacationing if not an outright move to Tahiti or some other island paradise.

What if you can’t even think about your job or some of your co-workers without getting agitated?

If you hate your job, make like you won the lotto and get a move on!

Fortunately, there aren’t many things that look better to a prospective employer than being employed. While this particular Catch 22 can be a big pain for unemployed job seekers, your crummy job can definitely help you to get to the next step in your career. Now, that “can” is a pretty big one. In order for you to get something useful out of the job that you hate, you need to make sure that you’re held in high regard by at least one of the people that you report to.

Do not, I repeat, do not: slack off, phone it in or similarly start sleep walking through your work day during your job hunt. If your dislike for your job or the people you work with has turned you into less than a model employee, it’s time to get back to your usual, high-performance self. This will make your manager much more likely to give you that all important reference later down the line.

Now, when you’re looking for another job when you’ve already got one, it’s important to use a little tact and common sense. First, don’t go telling everyone that you plan to move on.

While it may feel nice to let this tidbit slip the next time you’re doing some grousing with your work friends, you really don’t want that information to make it into the office rumor mill. The last thing you need is to have an uncomfortable conversation with your boss about job satisfaction. Just think, you might not get an offer for months, and you don’t want things to be any more unpleasant than they already are.

Second, be careful with your interviews. Too many “dentist appointments” might arouse suspicion or will just make you look like a slacker, which you don’t want. Try to schedule your interviews for your lunch break or a slow point during the day when you can be missed without too much fuss.

Finally, don’t put down your current boss as one of your references unless you are 200% sure that they will be okay with it and you’ve already told them about your intentions. Now, it’s pretty rare to have a boss who’s willing to help you with your job search, so unless you have a really close relationship with them, I’d suggest just leaving them out of it.

If you’re consistent with your job seeking efforts and careful about the way you go about it, then there’s no reason that you can’t be on to greener pastures before too long.

As the popular saying goes, keep calm and carry on.


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