Do more for yourself than just getting a job. Make it work for you.
Getting a job may seem like an immediate solution to financial issues, but it is really just half the battle. Keeping it and getting what you want out of it are entirely different issues. For that reason, I recommend having clear goals and making sure that any decisions you make are thought through and are consistent with those goals. The point is to develop a path that leads to a satisfying life and continued employment for as long as you need to work.
Anyone can put on their game face and show up for an interview. If a position is open due to a staffing shortage, sometimes (literally) any “body” will do. A surge in available minimum wage jobs occurs during times of low unemployment because people have moved up or moved on when opportunities presented themselves. This leaves more positions with less complex skills open. Those employers may be less discriminating, and those candidates are often simply picking low-hanging fruit.
Getting any job without knowing what you are getting into can lead to conflicts with your personal or family’s values
Jobs in retail, hospitality and many nonprofits are more plentiful because they are typically low paying, the work is often stressful and the hours are long. Getting a job in these areas may seem like a quick fix because the employer needs a body and you need a job, but if no other thought is put into it, things can go south for each or both of you very quickly. Getting any job without knowing what you are getting into can lead to conflicts with your personal or family’s values. It can present unforeseen challenges, and it may be impossible to make it work for any length of time. Taking any job isn’t necessarily going to provide financial security of any kind. Although a low-paying retail, service or nonprofit job may seem like it’s different from anything you might be considering doing, the concept is similar to why people take “available” jobs in other fields and at other levels. In much the same way, a person may accept a role simply because it was available and they were tired of being unemployed. If no greater thought is invested in what else the job will bring besides immediate income, then it’s very possible the situation will sour in short order.
So as tired or desperate as you may feel, whether you are unemployed altogether or suffering through the job from hell, it’s critical to know what you need and want before you make a desperate move. Sometimes the landscape may seem unclear and the entire process of getting a new job may seem overwhelming. Don’t let your feelings push you into making a bad move. Consider what things will look like six months down the road or even next year. If you don’t see a connection between where you are and where you want to be in the long term, your knee-jerk reaction is really only a stopgap. It’s time to build a strategy that will keep you on track.
Changing your perspective and your reactions can make a difference to a seemingly bad situation
Sometimes when a work situation seems to be untenable, it is impossible to see the forest for the trees. Changing your perspective and your reactions can make a difference to a seemingly bad situation and help end the misery you may be feeling. It’s very possible that what you see and hear may be influenced by other issues or past experiences that are causing you to misinterpret things. Running away or accepting anything else that takes you away from where you are doesn’t solve the problem. On the other hand, you may have fooled yourself into believing that a toxic environment is fine. The issue stems from not being clear about what you want and need, not knowing what that looks like and lacking a strategy for getting there.
There are times when a work scenario was just off from the get-go and an immediate change is needed. There are other situations that are correctable and you may not be able to see how. I do more than help people get jobs. I help my clients choose the right scenarios and overcome hurdles they encounter. Sometimes they can’t see when they are already on a good path and really just need to be able to navigate rough patches better. If we are able to plan ahead to make sure a new job lines up with their long-term goals, or if we can catch an uncomfortable situation before a decision has been made outside of their control, then we’re able to develop a strategy for moving forward.
Strategizing and planning is always my recommendation over knee-jerking. Having clearly defined goals and exposing the root causes of any employment issues will allow you to take thoughtful, purposeful actions. Developing a strategy for either keeping a job or improving the situation by moving on before things get out of hand allows you more control. This process may require guidance, and it surely will require accountability. As a coach, I am not a clairvoyant or mind reader, and I can’t go to work for people. Someone has to be transparent with me (and with themselves), act on the recommendations provided and stick to the plan and timelines set, or the strategy behind it is all for not. Without a plan, you might end up staying exactly where you are or getting right back into the same unrewarding mess.