For a few fortunate young professionals, job satisfaction is found through their first opportunity. For others, the road to a blissful career is laden with twists and turns.
Personally, I aligned with the latter. The third time was the charm on my path to a rewarding career, and as of now, I couldn’t be happier. I work in a startup environment that ditches corporate stuffiness, encourages creativity, embraces collaboration, and seamlessly integrates my life into my job.
While I can only speak for myself, I know of many other friends and family members who are stuck in workplace purgatory. What’s that, you ask? It’s the demoralizing state of being stuck in limbo between hating your job, and being too scared to quit because of unemployment.
In fact, did you know that 80% of people are dissatisfied with their jobs? This painful predicament is all too common.
The road to fulfillment in what I did for a living had its share of rough patches, but I had zero regrets along the way. Mistakes are temporary learning experiences, but regret can last a lifetime.
Avoid these situations to retain your happiness, more importantly, your sanity. Here are the three common mistakes young professionals make which ultimately lead to workplace purgatory, not job satisfaction.
Looking Beyond the Dollar Signs
Money may be the reason you accepted the job, but it shouldn’t be the reason you suffer. Completely neglecting morale for money is a huge red flag that will eventually turn into regret. The average person works 90,000 hours during their lifetime. While it is a daunting figure, time goes by much faster than you think. Do you want to spend the majority of your 90,000 hours happy and content? Or sad, angry, and full of regret?
When searching for a prospective job, be sure to research the company’s office culture. Also ask the the right questions and be aware of your surroundings: Are your interviewers and other people in the office upbeat or mopey? And does this company host team building/morale boosting events? More and more businesses are starting to invest into their employee’s happiness. Because after all, happiness leads to productivity.
Undervaluing Your Stock
Knowing your worth is as easy as a Google search. Never, ever go into a job interview without knowing the value that you can bring to a company. Let’s call a spade a spade: most businesses seek to minimize their overhead, while you seek to maximize your paycheck.
Before you sign any agreement or contract, utilize third-party sources like Glassdoor to help you measure salary ranges in your occupation, as well as the compensation packages provided by specific companies. If they can’t meet a certain salary, try negotiating extra benefits or even PTO.
Never fall victim to a low salary simply because you neglected a little research. But most importantly, this ensures that you will not look back and regret eagerly accepting the first offer on the table.
Quitting Too Late
Commitment to a company is a valuable quality for any employee, but don’t let it jeopardize this quality of your personal life. If you are ever unhappy with your own growth over an extended period due to pay/benefit cuts, lack of advancement, company culture, etc., then maybe you aren’t the right fit for the company.
Some attribute pride, others blame insecurity, but it is always optimal to bite the bullet now than to wish you had years down the line. Your dream job may be posted online, but it’ll never be yours if you are too scared to look in the first place.
Do you regret any career decisions that you made?
If so, what did you do to overcome this feeling?