Love The Career? Hate The Job?

 In Career Tips


Love the career hate the jobThere are times when we are well immersed in our careers, convinced we love the work we do, and yet we’re unhappy with our job.  It’s not a comfortable feeling to have.  We’re left wondering if we made a bad decision about the career, because we can’t sort out our feelings about the situation.  Sometimes we think the whole thing is wrong for us and other times, we think it’s simply our employer or business that’s the problem.  We’re reluctant to leave our careers, because we might be sacrificing something great simply because we can’t clarify the issue.

This happens with many of us.  It’s a problem to be solved and sometimes, it might require a keen ear and unbiased point of view to help.  Nevertheless, there is some work you can do that will help you solve your dilemma.  Here are some questions to consider:

Will the issue you have go away in another setting?

You may have multiple issues to consider, but you have to look at whether transferring to another department, business or industry will make the problems go away.  Sometimes, the issues you have are inherent to the career and you can’t get away from them.

When I worked in education, I felt very de-motivated when I looked at some of my peers.  I worked long hours and did what it took to help my students excel.   I saw teachers who used the same, out of date, boring lesson plans year after year and left the building 5 minutes after the kids did.  Those teachers got the same amount of pay increase I did.  This situation was not going to change, no matter what school district I went to.  It was simply how the system worked; but I needed to be rewarded for my results. This was an insurmountable issue for me.  I had to able to work with people who shared my work ethic.

If you dislike conflict, you might not want to be a lawyer. If you don’t like long hours, you might not want to stay in sales; and if you don’t like repetition you might not want to do production work. There are some careers that have features that simply are part of landscape.

Is it a proportion issue?

All careers have components to them that are going to be less desirable than others.  You may have run into a great career, but there is some item that you must do that drives you crazy.  You may discover that the item may shrink over time or in other settings.

I purposely avoided finance careers, because I didn’t want to do a job that worked too much with numbers and math.  I discovered that if working with numbers lead me to an analysis and decision, or managing a budget, it was ok.  Neither item was so encompassing that it created a problem.  If the proportion grew bigger, it would have been.

Are there too many issues to sort out and problem solve?

You know the saying about when you’re draining the swamp, it’s hard to remember why you’re there, when you’re surrounded by alligators.  Sometimes, the dynamics of your work situation is such that you can’t see the real issues.  You might have conflict with co-workers, a ditzy boss and long working hours.  A big pile-on of stress makes sorting out these questions so unclear that you can’t problem solve your career question until you do something to actively improve your environment.  You can do more than you might think in your work situation to change some of the things that are causing you discord.  Again, do some research, read books or counsel with someone to help you with some actions to help change the environment.  It doesn’t always take a directive from the boss to make a difference.

What do you do if you discover it’s a career problem?

Don’t despair!  If you’ve spent some time sorting through this issue, you probably discovered the parts of your career that you do love.  Do your homework and figure out other jobs where that part exists in alliance with new elements to form a completely different career.  It’s called transferrable skills; and there are usually numerous jobs that capitalize on or expand on the things you like best.

Understand, like everything else, you are never going to love or hate all the parts of your career.  I think what you are looking for is to like most of your career and job, most of the time.


Dorothy Tannahill-Moran is a Career Coach and expert on helping her clients achieve their goals.  Her programs cover: Career growth and enhancement, Career Change, Retirement Alternatives and Job Search Strategy.  Want to discover specific career change strategies that get results?  Discover how by claiming your FREE gift, Career Makeover Toolkit at: or email her at:

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