We’ve all had those moments. Well, most of us anyway. You know, those moments on some random Thursday afternoon. We’re sitting in our cubicle, and suddenly everything about our job sucks. We hate our boss, coworkers, and the culture. We hate our work. We aren’t challenged enough. We. Hate. It.
We’re imagining the seen we think we’ll create if our boss tells us that he still needs those TPS reports by 5 or that he needs us to come in on Sunday. We’re contemplating our line of exit. Do we throw our desktop out the window? What am I going to say? Do I stomp out? How do I quit?
We don’t’ know. And subconsciously, we know we’ll never act on these moments of, dare I say, ‘boldness’?
But the question remains… How did we even get here?
And what the hell is here, anyhow?
Well, no matter how exciting your role is, or how great the work environment, I expect that wherever you may venture in the matrix… err… in Corporate America… you will feel like this at least once. It’s not even necessarily exclusive to Corporate America. Maybe you’ve launched your own freelancing business. It really doesn’t matter much. What matters is that you should expect doubt to creep in on you.
“Am I doing the right thing?”
“Should I be working somewhere else?”
“Am I being fully utilized?”
“Is this my potential?”
The words even taste sour as you ask them.
I can assure you that this is very natural. Slumps occur. You just have to ask yourself, “Can I un-slump myself? Or should I move on?”
So, before you hurl your work computer out the nearest window and yell to the high heavens, let’s take a look at three questions you should ask yourself beforehand.
1. Why am I upset with my current work?
Stop and evaluate your position. Why am I upset? Is it because of my boss? Coworkers? Is the work that I’m performing not challenging enough?
These are all viable questions to evaluate your position, questions, which you must ask yourself prior to making any big decisions. The answers are not only relevant to this job but also your next. You certainly don’t want to find yourself in a similar position; especially after thinking you’re moving to greener grass. Focus on gaining clarity. Once you’ve done so, be decisive in your next move.
2. Have I talked to my manager about the issues I’m having?
Before you jump ship, a conversation with your manager should be 2nd on your list. Many managers are oblivious to employee unhappiness, disallowing them to effectively address issues you’re having unless you tell them. This conversation is nothing for you to be intimidated with. If you’re unhappy about the work you’re performing or even general work environment, they can help. You were hired for a reason, and that reason is not for you to be unhappy with your work. Perhaps you feel a raise is in order, or you have a troublesome coworker, just… ask.
3. Is entrepreneurship or freelance a feasible option?
When you are in charge of your own schedule and your path—whatever that might be— is in your control, things suddenly become easier. And I use that word lightly, because entrepreneurship is no easy task. It can, however, be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made. It’s rewarding. But it takes a sheer amount of work to be successful. So, start asking yourself if what you do in your current role is a viable freelance or entrepreneurship option. It doesn’t even necessarily have to be your current work. Maybe you’re a photographer or program as a hobby. Work is available. The question is whether you have what it takes to make it happen.
I know the TPS reports are a drag. I do. I get it. It’s extremely easy to sit and complain without ever taking action to remedy the situation. True change doesn’t really happen until the pain of staying the same outweighs the fear of change. But don’t let it get to that point. Take control of your life. Do it wisely.