During our final years as college students, most of us have big dreams for our futures. Of course we do. This is exactly how we are supposed to feel. The college experience is all about carving out interests and gaining an education in an area that will help you set out toward your dream career.
But, all these hopes can quickly become deflated if your first job straight out of school is the exact opposite of what you truly want to be doing. Maybe the company you work for is in a field you dislike, your boss is a dweeb, your co-workers are zombies, or you find yourself stuck in a pointless position.
Even if you try to make the best of it, it can be difficult to feel hopeful for the future and it’s easy to slip into disappointment about life in general. But, there is no reason to go through your days completely downtrodden at work. After all, you have to be there, at least for now.
Here are a few ways to change your perspective and keep working to do what you really love:
Figure out what you don’t want.
Even if this job provides you nothing in line with what you do want for your career, at least it’s a great way to sort out exactly what you don’t want. There is sometimes much deeper going on if you feel intense dissatisfaction with your current job. We all know that we will have to do some things we don’t really like until we move on to more authentic positions.
But, if you are truly unhappy on a daily basis, then it’s a good idea to do some soul searching and figure out what, specifically, makes you so unhappy with your job. Is it because you haven’t done anything on your own to find a way to the next part of your career? Is it because you don’t like the way the company is managed? Do you find the environment disrespectful or not accepting of the type of person you are? No matter what the causes, outlining them will do you some good the next time you search for another job and help you become clearer about what you really want.
Find co-workers who share your ambitions.
No matter where you work, there will always be at least a few people you can reach out to for support and camaraderie. Even if you’re stuck in a field where you don’t belong, there are sure to be co-workers who feel the same way or have aspirations to leave and do something more closely related to their desired career path. Instead of completely isolating yourself, use this as an opportunity to connect with like-minded people. Or, at least, try to find a few colleagues who will make the day go by a little more quickly.
Who knows, you may even connect with peers who are interested in going into the same fields or starting new business ventures. Plenty of success stories have developed because two people met in a company they both were dying to leave.
Know that this is temporary.
In the end, the best way to deal with a disappointing first job is to keep telling yourself that it is temporary. You may not be able to find a new position as quickly as you would like, and it may take you longer than you had imagined to establish your career in other areas before being able to branch out, but always know that if there is a will there is a way. Try to use this part of your life as motivation to continue working toward your own goals. You may spend the majority of your time at the office, but the rest of your time is your own. Use it as a means to advance your career path and reach your dreams.
About the Author:
Patricia Garza is freelance writer and blogger for many sites, including Oedb.org. She contributes research and expertise on college accreditation to Oedb.org, and she is passionate about helping students discover the right educational program for them. She also writes about trends in education and personal finance. Please leave comments for Patricia below.