Have you ever experienced this: You finally got your dream job, but you feel a vague dissatisfaction? Is it the colleagues, the company, the workplace, or yourself? Or is the dream job perhaps not your dream at all, but just someone else’s dream?
Dissatisfaction is a helpful feeling. It shows you that something is not right and that a change is necessary.
Step 1: Where do I stand?
Find out if what you are doing is really your dream job. Take 45–60 minutes to reflect.
Go through the following questions and write down your answers, ideas, and other insights that come into your mind:
- What occasions do you talk about your work? What do you say when you talk about your job? How do you feel when you talk about it?
- What have you achieved so far? What are you proud of in your work?
- Which inclinations, talents, and skills can you use and further develop in your job? Which not?
- Imagine a scale from 1 to 10. 10 = ideal job, 1 = you hate your job. Where do you currently stand on the scale?
- How do you feel when you wake up in the morning and what are your first thoughts? Are you full of energy, and are you looking forward to work and the day?
- What is meaningful about your work? What can you contribute and achieve?
- Imagine you win 1 million EUR / USD in the lottery. What impact would that have on your job? What would you do?
- What do you like about your job and what don’t you like? Write down the three most important points
What is your assessment after the reflection? Are you really unhappy or feeling just a temporary bad mood because maybe something went wrong?
Step 2: Where do I want to go?
If you are seriously dissatisfied, there are three options:
“Love it, change it, or leave it.” (Henry Ford)
It doesn’t have to be a drastic change right now.
You may have already gained some initial ideas from answering the questions above.
Are there positive things (e.g., talents, skills you can use, aspects you are proud of, a good salary) you can focus on more? Your answers to questions 2,3, 6, and 8 mentioned in step 1 may give you the first hints.
What would need to change about your work to make you happier? Write down the changes and think about what positive impact and what negative impact they will have. For example, if you are satisfied with your work, you might work more and have less time for hobbies.
How can you make that change? Brainstorm and write down all the actions that come to your mind. Do not think long; you can evaluate and sort it out later. When you have written down all potential actions, choose three that you want to tackle first. Set yourself a date by which you wish to have implemented them. When you have implemented them, look at your list of measures and work on more if necessary.
If “Love it” and “Change it” don’t work, there is still the option to “Leave it”. It is crucial not only to move away from something but also to move towards something.
Think about what your dream job should look like and write down what is important to you. Then, as in “Change it”, think about the advantages and disadvantages and make another long list with possible actions that support the implementation. Choose three for your first step in the new direction.
If you don’t stay stuck in dissatisfaction but reflect and make a plan, things will always move forward. Dissatisfaction is a great thing because it serves you as a compass to find the right direction.