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Ask Sue
A Weekly Q&A Column About Professionalism, Etiquette and Problems in the Workplace
by Sue Morem

Job Hopping to the Right Career

Dear Sue: I am working at a job I do not like. I was promised one thing, and given another, and now I am making cold calls on individuals at home, which is something I am just not cut out to do. Over the past year Iíve had seven jobs. I feel lost and donít know what to do. I donít want to ruin my life. Please give me some advice.

- Need Help

Sue Says: Rest assured you are not ruining your life; you are recognizing youíve made a few bad decisions, and attempting to improve your life. Do you have any idea how many people stick with jobs they loathe, because it is easier than doing something about it? You are more in control of your life than you think; you are facing your problems, and thinking about, not ignoring, the impact of your actions. You know you want something more, you know you can do better, so you are looking for direction. I admire you candor.

The first thing I recommend is that you evaluate the reasons youíve had seven jobs this year. Is this a pattern carried over from other years or due to unique circumstances? Do you accept every offer you receive, use poor judgment, perform poorly, or lose interest quickly? Have you ever found a job you felt was right for you? If so what was it, and why didnít it last?

Whether this has been a pattern of yours for years, or just recently surfaced, consider working with someone (a counselor, psychologist, or coach) who can help you work through your issues.

Secondly, take some time to identify your ideal job; what type of work would you like to do? What do you need to do to that will help you qualify for or find employment in your ideal job? Is working in your ideal job realistic or are you lacking skill or qualifications?

Third, if you are unsure about what youíd like to do, you may need assistance figuring it out. There are resources out there for you, both profit and nonprofit. These organizations are dedicated to helping people prepare for, and find jobs. You will find resources and information on the Internet, as well as within your own community. Talk to people in high school and college resource centers, utilize your local library, and seek out other community programs that may be available. Many churchís and synagogueís have job seeking support groups as well. Once you make even one call, you will find it leading to others.

Finally, this year may be unusual, and I do not know the details of your particular situation, but I do know that there are times when a pep talk and suggestions such as those I have made make little difference. There is always the possibility that an underlying medical condition is contributing to your situation. Millions of people suffer from depression and other neurological disorders, which can impact a personís well-being and overall effectiveness. Relief and treatment is available when properly diagnosed.

No job or situation has to be permanent. You can change your circumstances; you can change your life. Everything you do, no matter how small, makes a difference. You already have taken action to make things better; now take another step and pick up the phone to get the help and support you need.

Sue Morem is a professional speaker, trainer and syndicated columnist. She is author of the newly released 101 Tips for Graduates and How to Gain the Professional Edge, Second Edition. You can contact her by email at or visit her web site at

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