Don’t Like Where You Work? Do Something About It!

Showing up to work unhappy each day is not a way to make a living.

No matter how much you are being paid, no one wants to walk into the office and prepare for a long day of doing something that you are not passionate about.

Sound like your situation? Well, then get out of your comfort zone and make a change.

We’ve all had jobs that we could not wait to leave. Just a few years ago, I used to work at a place that I just could not stand. I wasn’t passionate about the clients, the team chemistry within the agency was just not suited for me, and I’d leave to go to the restroom at least 12x a day just to clear my head (honestly, it wasn’t because I had a medical issue). So why did I go there? Money talks.

But what am I trying to get at? The moral of the story is don’t stay at a job that you hate. And instead of going to another agency or working in-house (good luck finding those opps..) for a company you are not interested in, go apply and make connections at places you DO want to work for. Shoot a note to an HR person at a specific company you are interested in, connect with someone on LinkedIn, or even follow a group like HAPPO to see what’s out there.

Jobs are never easy to come by, especially during today’s economic climate, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to go to a place you want to be at. Otherwise, if you continue exploring opportunities at companies where you are not passionate about the work, you are just going to end up back where you started … being a frustrated, miserable worker.

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19 comments on “Don’t Like Where You Work? Do Something About It!

  1. Good post, man!
    I’d also say, if you are unhappy to take the leap and make your own happiness. Start your own consultancy and be passionate about the work you do for yourself and your own clients.


    • Thanks, Jason! Good point about trying to go out on your own. Not an easy task, but there’s hundreds of agencies out there, so clearly it doesn’t take a Harvard MBA to start your own gig!

    • Hi Jason,

      A lot of the people in this group dont know what they are passionate about. I genuinely believe they dont like to do the work, but they do it because they have to to pay the bills. This is just what I have observed. On the flip which is interesting is those that are really good at something but hate doing it. Very tricky.

  2. Couldnt agree more! My impression of the people that ‘phone it in’ for a paycheck (clock watchers I like to call them) is that they stay because they dont have the initiative or the drive to do something about it, dont really care and/or just like the money (as you mentioned). These people bring down the team and the problem is that they do the work so there is no call to release them from the company. Its a global problem because they keep showing up for work day after day – miserable – and you have a hard time getting them off the team. Curious to hear how managers manage employees who are unhappy.

    • It’s sad to say it, but there are always going to be employees who are unhappy. How do you deal with them? If they are doing their work and acting in a professional manner, then you let them be. Not everyone is going to be passionate about their job. You can have reviews with them or take them out for lunch every now and then just to find out what’s going on, but honestly, even giving someone more money may not necessarily make them happy. And if it does, it will be a short-term resolution. Eventually, these unhappy employees will weed themselves out, but in the meantime, as long as they are doing their work then that’s really the best thing at the end of the day.

  3. Excellent topic to blog about! Management 101: the person who wants the job the most will do the best job. So find something or a company that you’re passionate about and go for it, good hiring managers know a good thing when they see it. Live your passion!

    • Angela, I hope the hiring managers understand this. As a new PR grad, I have a lot of passion, energy, and willingness to do what it takes to get my foot in the door. At the end of the day, people that have the drive to be in the office for something other than money (lord knows interns don’t get paid hardly enough to buy lunch), are the ones that are there for the long haul.

  4. I dig the post. I’d argue, though, that passion can’t power a career. While money talks and doing things you are passionate about are both good, I’d argue that working in your passion will one day dry out the well.

    I’m reading a book about intrinsic motivation and, personally, I’d say things we are passionate about we are also internally motivated to do. We do it for the sake of doing. In this book, Drive, the author talks about a study done by Edward Deci in 1969. They study ended up finding that while one group was paid they ended up less interested in the activity while the unpaid group continued to raise their interest in the activity.

    How this relates, to me, if I’m passionate about my job and I get paid for it, doing it day in and out I’ll grow tiresome, and thus not like it anymore. I feel like passions are better served as hobbies. It helps step out of the work life and focus else where. I’d also argue that no one can truly be “passionate” about pr/marketing/advertising but that is a conversation for another time.

  5. Thanks for the shoutout to HAPPO, Andrew.

    Patrick makes a great point too, it’s about intrinsic motivation. For me there’s a subtle difference between Passion and Money in that Passion may be an end, but Money is a means to an end (or ends).

    For me also, it’s called “making a living” because you have the power to actually live. It’s not just about the money but its about your ability to make it and enjoy it, not just dread the work. I’m not sure if I’m articulating this correctly, but its about living, and not just making money to sort of live.

    • It’s definitely a balance. The whole point of my writing this article, though, is that too many people just cannot stand going into the office each day. Those people can continue living their life that way, or they can make a change.

      • You’re right. We all need reminders like this from time to time so we stop for a minute to think about what we’re doing and evaluate our satisfaction.

  6. “Jobs are never easy to come by, especially during today’s economic climate, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to go to a place you want to be at”. Couldn’t agree more. One thing I learned is that when you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. I think it’s better that you leave them a good impression than eventually getting kicked out because you don’t love what you do anymore.

  7. Pingback: Learning How to Accept Feedback During your Annual Review « PR at Sunrise

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