It happens to the best of us… You go to college, graduate with your degree, begin working in the “field of your dreams” and then one day you realize, I hate this. You begin to second-guess your entire life… Did I even choose the right college, the right husband?
When I realized I was a hater…
My experience with this realization was when I worked in child welfare as a case manager. I went to school and obtained by BS in Criminal Justice, interned at Department of Child Services (and loved it), and found a job in case management… eventually leading to a career in child welfare. I thought I loved my job. I was so proud to tell everyone what I did for a living and how I am making a difference!
After some time (and constant complaining about my job to my husband) I realized that I was only infatuated with the response I got from people when I told them about my profession. “You’re such a good person for doing that.” “Those kids are so lucky to have someone like you in their lives.” But I was still unhappy…
Let me tell you, it is hard to make someone else happy and be positive when you are unhappy yourself. Toward the end of my career, I was not a very productive case manager due to the fact that I simply did not like my job. I quickly knew I had to make a career change, and fast.
I first made a mental list of the positives and negatives (at least what I perceived as such) and started pulling from what I liked about my job. I knew I liked helping people in some capacity and I knew that I enjoyed the autonomy. These aspects were very important to me when considering a new career. I also pulled from the “negative” list. I knew I did not want a job where I was constantly driving around. I also did not want a job that required me to be “on call” 24/7. Upon doing my college research, I found that the field of Human Resources was the best fit for me.
Time to re-evaluate your career
For all you haters out there… Maybe it is time for you to re-evaluate some things and make a career transition, a life transition.
I recently conducted a survey at my current place of employment regarding employee recognition. During the initial literature review, I found a great article that addressed employee engagement issues. This article resonated loudly with me because I was able to relate to a T. The author, Paul White, described 5 main negative responses that included:
- Calling in sick even when your not
- Lack of motivation
- Decrease in quality of work
- Increased complaining of job to others
- Emotional detachment
These points reminded me of how I felt when I was in my previous field. Luckily, without this article I still knew when to make the change.
We all know that change is scary, but a career transition doesn’t have to be. Being able to recognize the need for a change is the hardest part. Once you realize it is time to make the transition, your heart will guide you to do the rest. It will just feel… right.
If you have experienced these “negative responses” in your career, or already know that you are looking for a change, stay tuned for my next CAREER article, where I will address these issues and share with you some tips that worked for me during my career transition.