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
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
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
firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her web site at
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