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Is Your Job Costing You More Than It's Paying You?

People who are unsatisfied with their jobs often say things like "the daily grind" or being "on a hamster wheel." These regrettable terms tend to be spoken by those who hate (or aren't satisfied) in their current position.

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Do you love your job?

If the answer is no, then that's understandable. According to a 2020 survey, 60% of people hate their jobs or have checked out from them altogether. And who can blame them? Forty, 60 or even 80-hour work weeks go by excruciatingly slowly when a job doesn't fulfill our needs and desires. Many people spend years in soul-crushing job dissatisfaction before doing anything about it, and let me tell you — there's no reason to stay miserable for that long.

If you're reading this, you've probably spent some time wondering if it's worth it to put in the effort to keep a job that feels like it's costing you more than it's paying you. If you start your day with a certain level of dread and end it feeling drained, then yes it's costing you something — your happiness.

Related: 4 Ways Ghosting Job Seekers Perpetuates Oppression

It takes commitment to pull yourself out and find a job you love, but I assure you it will be worth it in the end, your sanity and quality of life included. Here are some tips on how to navigate job unhappiness.

Make job-hunting a habit

If you are living in job unhappiness, then it is in your best interest to start looking for a new job or at the very least a job that has more potential to bring you satisfaction. Start by setting up job alerts on job sites like LinkedIn for positions that might be good matches. Then, take it one step further and actively reach out to hiring managers (not just HR) through a platform like LinkedIn, or email directly if you have their information, and express your interest in their company. The job market is tough right now, but this will help you keep your name out there and get considered for new positions. This also shows initiative, which is always highly sought after.

If you're job hunting every week, you'll never stop putting yourself out there. Keep your job applications up to date, and be ready to apply for new positions as they come available.

This means that any job offer that comes in will feel like a bonus instead of the end goal. You won't get shut down by rejection if it's just another step on the way to achieving what you really want out of life.

Related: Meet the Startup That Wants to Bring 'Sanity' to the Job Hunt

Do your research

Job sites like Glassdoor give you a peek into the company and culture of companies that might interest you. These are also very helpful when considering whether or not a job will be worth your time and energy.

The last thing you want to do is leave a bad job for one that's an even worse cultural fit.

Map out your dream job

Create your own job title. Yes, many of us work jobs that fit into certain buckets, but if you're struggling to find a job that matches your skill set, experience and passion, create a custom position. Write out your dream job description, and start by answering these questions:

  • Do I want the ability to earn more money than I do currently?
  • Do I want more responsibility?
  • What would I do in a job that fits into that job title?
  • What kind of skills will I need to acquire and what can be transferred from my current role or other roles I've held?
  • Who do I report to?
  • Who reports to me (if applicable)?
  • How much time will I spend doing this job each week, on average, over the course of a year?

Related: 10 Secrets to Finding a Job You Love

Act quickly

Ideally, you should apply to a job listing within a week or two of the posting. Being one of the first to get your name and resume in front of a recruiter's eye will only be beneficial to you. After all, a report from Brazen found that 43% of job openings are filled during the first 30 days.

If you procrastinate, you run the risk of someone more qualified getting their application in before you do and yours never even being reviewed.

Give yourself rewards for job success…and setbacks

There are always good days and bad days at work no matter who you are or where you work. When things go well, treat yourself to something special: coffee, lunch out, anything that feels like a small celebration.

Try to stay positive and patient

It's not always easy to find a job that you love, but it's possible.

The good news is that there are ways around this dilemma. You just need to know where to look for them.

And when you do start looking in earnest, remember these five steps:

1. Stay positive

2. Keep an open mind

3. Ask questions

4. Be persistent

5. Follow up with your leads 

They will help guide you through this often confusing or frustrating experience of finding your ideal career match, so that one day soon you can feel comfortable saying “I love my job” without any reservations at all.

Related: How to Master the Interview and Land the Job

Elizabeth Pearson

Written By

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor

When Elizabeth Pearson's 15-year career in corporate sales left her unfulfilled and depleted, she decided to bet on herself and start a business. Now, as an executive career coach, she spends her days helping powerhouse women get "unstuck" and rise both spiritually and professionally.