by David Couper
Recent statistics on job satisfaction show that 50 percent of respondents hate their jobs even more than ever. People are hungry for change!
But the recession is still with us, and even when we do come out of the economic slump, some economists point to a jobless recovery.
If you hate your work, want a new job, but don’t want to quit, what can you do? Here are five tips for creating a new opportunity with your current employer.
1. Promote Your Unique Skills to a New Boss Within Your Current Organization
You may be one of those people who go to work, do their job, and go home. You could be invisible to anyone outside of your group or department. Find out if a great job is available in your company before it gets posted to Monster and HR has 300 applications. Network in your organization and find the decision-makers — those people who can hire you. Then sell your strengths and get the job before it gets posted.
For example, a woman who worked as an operator on a production line caught the eye of the quality-assurance department, and with her attention for detail, got a new job as a QA inspector.
2. Sell Your Current Boss on Your Unique Abilities and Get Yourself a New Job
Often your boss knows you only for what you do during the workday. He or she does not know what you did during your college days, or in previous jobs, or what occupies you in after-work activities. So you’re recognized as a great administrator, but no one knows you also paid your way through college by selling Tupperware and would love a new job in sales. You need to share all of your expertise with your boss, and help him or her to understand how you could solve the company’s problems.
For example, a woman who did not like her role as an analyst in the compliance department of a financial institution successfully leveraged her previous experience in training and her outside experience as a volunteer teacher to transfer within her department to a role as a compliance trainer.
3. Analyze What You Hate, and What you Love, and Change the Equation
You dread Monday mornings and long for Friday evenings because your job is the worst. But do you hate every minute of your eight hours? When you look at your work, you probably will find that some parts are bad, some are okay, and a few are good. The trick is to change the mix. Try to create more good parts of your job and fewer bad. How can you do that? Work with your boss and team to see if you can rearrange the workload to not only help you but also help your organization.
For example, an administrative assistant I worked with, hated his job supporting a VP’s calendar and travel arrangements, but realized he loved creating presentations. He also saw that some of the other assistants didn’t like working with PowerPoint. With the support of his boss, he got to rework his job responsibilities, so he could focus on the slide shows for the entire department, and eliminate the tasks he found less interesting. He not only helped himself, but also his co-workers, and improved the overall work of the group.
4. Get Your Organization to Create a New Job for You
You hate your job, you can’t find another job in your department or in another area of the company, and you can’t see how to change your job. In fact, your perfect job doesn’t exist in your present organization. Well it doesn’t yet! I worked with an engineer who didn’t like her job. But she did love solving problems, thinking out of the box and even doing magic. Instead of seeing the poor fit as a problem, she saw an advantage. She recognized a lack of creativity in her company. So she got permission to teach a class. It went well, and she taught more. Finally, she persuaded her company to create a job for her, training people in creative problem-solving, and she loved it!
5. Become a Consultant to Your Employer
You don’t like your job, but you really want to be out on your own. You’d love to be a consultant with more flexibility and freedom. But you don’t know where to find new clients. Discovering customers in your current company is a great choice for a would-be freelancer. Your company knows you and you know the organization, which creates trust all around.
For example, a training manager who disliked the routine and demands of his job got his company to give him a yearly contract as a trainer instead of his full-time work. He taught a number of courses a year — but worked much less. Although he earned less than his salary as a manager — he actually earned more per hour. His company also saved money because it did not replace him or have to pay benefits. The scenario worked out well for everyone.
Final Thoughts on Creating a New Career Opportunity
If you don’t like your job you can leave, but in this economy that move can be risky. A smarter choice is to see how you can sell yourself to your current employer. Every salesperson knows that it’s easier to sell to an existing customer than to a new one. You can follow that same principle when making your career decisions.
Questions about some of the terminology used in this article? Get more information (definitions and links) on key college, career, and job-search terms by going to our Job-Seeker’s Glossary of Job-Hunting Terms.
This article is part of Job Action Day 2010.
David Couper is the author of seven books and is an award-winning career trainer and coach in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. He has helped miserable outsiders become happy and successful at Fortune 100 companies, fast-food joints, and faith-based organizations. Couper has a bachelor’s degree in communication, completed postgraduate work in education, and graduated with a master’s in spiritual psychology. He has been quoted in more than 30 online and print publications. He lives in Los Angeles. For further information, visit his Website.