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VOL. 40 | NO. 7 | Friday, February 12, 2016

Dread going to work each day? It’s time for change

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I must confess: Valentine’s Day is very possibly my favorite holiday.

Despite being overly commercialized, it’s what you make it, and that’s what I like. There are few expectations from family and friends. You can choose to ignore it, go all out, or find a comfortable space in between. And the best part is it’s about love and gratitude.

Each year, however, Valentine’s Day also brings up an important question when it comes to what we do for work: “Do you love your job?”

Very few people are lucky enough to be able to answer this question with a resounding yes. The question that can at times be just as important is, “Do you hate your job?” We spend eight hours a day at work, five days a week. This adds up to over 90,000 hours at work over the course of a lifetime, according to Psychology Today.

The way we feel at work can impact our families and relationships. It can impact our physical and mental well-being. I’m not advocating that finding our life’s fulfillment through work should always be the ultimate goal. Sometimes a job is just that – a job. But, at a bare minimum, work shouldn’t negatively impact our lives.

It always surprises me how little job seekers require from an employer, if they like their job. They’ll happily accept much less money, less vacation and a smaller title. Finding a good job is that big of a deal.

When you wake up in the morning, do you dread going to the office? Does the idea of coming down with a cold actually sound like a vacation? If so, you may be at a turning point.

When we find we would rather do anything else but work, it’s time to think of new options. There are two important areas to start with. First, write down all of the things you like about your current job. Note things you really value and would like to look for in a new job.

Then, take a hard look at your finances. Create a budget and then revise it. Are there things you might be able to reduce or eliminate? Although this step is not a mandatory one, the more true financial flexibility you have, the more options are available.

For example, if you have always wanted to work in a particular industry where you have no experience, you may have to take a pay cut – at least in the beginning. When you don’t have financial breathing room, you’re stuck looking for a job that perfectly aligns to your existing experience. And, that usually means that you’ll find a very similar job to the one you have today.

At different points in our careers, our personal priorities change – and that’s OK. In order to find a job you love, it’s important to listen to how you feel. If you hate going to the office each and every day, it may be time to realign your work and your heart.

Angela Copeland is CEO and founder of Copeland Coaching and can be reached at CopelandCoaching.com.

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