5. What If I Quit & Hate This Job Too?

What do you do if you absolutely hate your job? You want to make sure you make the right choice. A classic piece of career advice counsels you to make sure you are running towards a new career as opposed to running away from your old job.

Does gardening appeal to you because it seems less stressful, more tranquil or peaceful? It is definitely all this. With a new set of skills and knowledge to be acquired you will need to be fully committed before jumping in. How do you make sure you do not have any regrets?

Have you exhausted all your current career possibilities? Try to sort out specifically what you do not like about your current job so you will feel less anxious about quitting. Do you still find enjoyment in your current line of work? Maybe it is just your manager, the company, your industry or your current set of responsibilities? Can you arrange to work for another boss, department, location, another company, a different city or a similar position but still in the same field?

Are you frustrated by the glass ceiling of middle management? Are you disappointed you are not as far along in your career as you hoped you would be at this point? Starting a new career will not be any easier. If you have not done so already, take the time to explore what other professionals in your current field have done to be successful.

Think of three people you greatly admire. Look up their biographies on the internet. See where they went to school, where they have worked, what social networks and community organizations they support which have all contributed to their achievements. Then determine if you feel passionately enough to take the steps necessary to get you there.

By taking the time to exhaust the possibilities within your current situation, it will at least eliminate remorse over any leap in the wrong direction especially if you could have simply changed one aspect of your career rather than make a huge job change.

Over the years after bouncing around a few companies, I kept tweaking my criteria of “must haves” in the hopes that the right salary and perks would provide the job satisfaction I desired. I was oblivious to the obvious. The reality of my industry was that most marketing jobs would be found in medium and large sized businesses, which inevitably come with the corresponding corporate politics typical in many offices.

Looking back, I don’t have any regrets because I feel like I did the necessary due diligence to make sure I wasn’t throwing my life away because I knew there would be serious consequences like giving up generous vacation time, compromising vested retirement income and other benefits. Due diligence as defined by Merriam-Webster's OnLine Dictionary is "the care that a reasonable person exercises under the circumstances to avoid harm to other persons or their property."

When I say I did due diligence that doesn't mean I necessarily had all the answers before I set out to take on a career in gardening. However, I minimized any harm to our financial security and addressed my husband's concerns to continue with a job that would generate enough income to contribute to our mortage and retirement ensuring we did not have to subsidize my new career from our savings. Just as companies have to undertake due diligence in the best interest of their employees and stockholders, at some point, to their best of their knowledge, despite imperfect intelligence, they need to then trust their intuition and take action.

Of course, my career in gardening now all seems painfully apparent in retrospect. It hardly seems to be as insurmountable or difficult as I made it out to be in my mind. Though your own truth will at times seem obscure and many unknowns will obscure your most authentic desires, it will eventually reveal itself with profound clarity. Continue to ask yourself what do I like, dislike and value most in this world.

No matter how mad or angry you are in your current job, it is always easier to find a job when you are currently employed. You will be less stressed about having to find income. If you have already determined, it is time to leave do not let your lack of experience intimidate you into taking the first job that comes along. Just remind yourself you have a lot of life experience to offer a future employer.

Anyone can be taught technical skills but a positive attitude, willingness to work hard, and adaptability are all attributes which go a long way. Just because you are entering a new field does not mean you have to compromise your work environment. Take the time to find an employer with a positive environment where you have multiple learning opportunities and look to see how employees are treated.

Remember, if things do not work out with a particular company or you find you do not care for the profession, you can always return to your former career or employer either part-time or full-time. If anything, all is not lost. Time away will clear your head so you can make a better decision about your former and future career path and it may even enable you to see things in a new light and appreciate your former job.

In the end, don’t worry about this career gap as many employers appreciate integrity and creative problem solving techniques and many will admire your chutzpah. Ultimately, all experiences build and define character in ways you can’t even possibly imagine.

Excerpt from the forthcoming book Getting Dirty. If you would like me to let you know when the book becomes available, just send your e-mail to adriennejenkins@verizon.net.

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