Can’t Change Careers Right Now? How to Make the Best of Your Less-Than-Ideal Job

You dread going to work. You think of a million other things you would rather be doing or even think of a million excuses to call out from work so you can do them. Sometimes you just know that your job isn’t right for you. You could be bored, maybe you don’t feel like you are using your degree or skill set, or your boss is an idiot who thinks you’re an idiot. Your friends and family are tired of hearing you complain about your job and you know pretty soon something is going to give. The problem is you have responsibilities. You can’t just leave-you have a mortgage, car payment, and where do you even start looking for a new job?

The truth is that your lack of passion or interest in your current job is noticeable. It is also impacting your performance, attitude, and even health. Believe it or not, you can do a lot more than you think to change that feeling of dread and hopelessness. You can still search for a new position with a progressive company that you can really make a contribution and feel valued. But, what do you do in the meantime?

  1. Stop Complaining. You’re not helping your mood or the mood of anyone around you. Yes, your job sucks, everybody gets it. What are you doing about it? Try another approach in reflecting on your workday. Ask yourself, “did I help anyone today?” You can try setting that goal for yourself at the beginning of the day too, just aim to help someone or give out random acts of kindness. You can also quickly jot down two things you are thankful for at the end of the day. I know you probably hear it all the time, there are people who are unemployed that would love your job. And you respond, “well, they can have it!” That’s not true. At the very least, that position is giving you a paycheck that is taking care of all of your friends named Bill. It’s okay to be grateful and also be working on changing your career. Just because you find parts of your day dreadful doesn’t mean you have to be a dreadful individual.

  2. Look in the Mirror. No, seriously look in the mirror and ask yourself for the raw truth about your happiness. Specifically, what do you dislike about your job? Is it the work environment, the people, or the job tasks? Go deeper, what about the work environment, which people and why, and what specific job tasks? This is an important exercise because it helps identify what you should be looking for and avoiding in your next job search. To help you know what is controllable and non-controllable, put a “C” or “NC” besides each item you listed. All of the items that are controllable you can take immediate action to change.  Let me give you an example, you identified a specific person that is extremely negative and your conversations are never productive. If you can, reduce or limit your interaction with this individual. Another option is that you talk about something positive in your life and change. Your turn.

  3. Maximize Company Benefits. Some of the many benefits of your less-than-perfect job could be tuition assistance, discounts, fitness centers, health programs, etc. Get to know your benefits and utilize everything that is right for you. You want to be in great shape for your next opportunity, right? I stress the importance of using tuition assistance because this could propel you in moving into another career faster and also be highly skilled. You give a lot to the organization and these great benefits exist for a reason, but many employees leave them at the door. You have to make the best of where you are and what resources are available to you.

  4. Network with Everyone. Many people forget that their brand is so important to their next step. Change your attitude and talk to everyone. Is there a department where you do not know anybody? Strike up a conversation and get to know what they do on a daily basis. This is good information, and an added benefit is you are building relationships. You never know who your next boss or co-worker will be. Maybe you have no interest in staying with the company, they could be thinking about leaving too. Based on the relationships you have built, someone could connect with you via LinkedIn and think you are PERFECT for their new company. It happens every day, it’s happened to me! The key take away is stay positive and open to speaking to new people.

  5. Be the Best Version of You. You have already looked in the mirror and identified your controllable.  So, you are not going to be late to work anymore, leave early, or waste the company’s time, right? These simple behaviors are actually noticeable. Maybe you don’t care about the bridges you burn where you are, but what do you want to be known for? Would you want your kids mimicking your behavior? Be a better you for you! Even if no one sees all the great changes you have made, you will! It will slowly start lifting your mood and help you to take pride in what you do on a daily basis. If you can just work “THAT” company, you will be the best employee ever. Start now, right here and “THAT” company will come knocking.


There is so much you can do right now to help you feel a lot less miserable. There is light at the end of the tunnel. While you make these changes, don’t forget to be ready for the next interview. Is your resume updated? Are your interviewing skills sharp? Are you job searching on the regular? You should be able to answer “yes” to all of these. Willis Professional Services can help you become polished, confident, and really ready for your ideal job. Feel free to visit