Trapped in his Job in a Bad Job Market


Steve writes:
I am at a point with my job where I think I may have
a problem. I used to love my job but lately I feel trapped — trapped by
being in a job where I feel underpaid and underappreciated and trapped
because the job market is still so bad for my occupation. Please help
me. Thank you.


The Career Doctor responds:
We spend the vast majority of our lives at work. And above all else
work needs to be satisfying… our work needs to give us some intrinsic
reward. Our work needs to be valued and our suggestions taken seriously.
Pay is important of course but as I tell my college seniors on a regular
basis focus on the entire picture — not just on salary. Of course you
have probably been in your job so long that the small raises you have
received make you vastly underpaid.
Job satisfaction is critical to your success. Once you are no longer satisfied
– once your opinions are no longer valued your work seen as mediocre at
best and your attitude falters — the downward career spiral begins. If you
are no longer satisfied you must bite the bullet — regardless of the perception
of the job market — and polish that resume perfect your networking skills
and prepare for job interviews.
Here are some things to think about. The more strongly you agree with these
statements the sooner you need to leave this job.

  • I spend parts of my day daydreaming about a better job.
  • I am mentally and/or physically exhausted at the end of a day at work.
  • I feel that my job has little impact on the success of the company.
  • I am not being used to my full capabilities.
  • I feel as though my boss and employer have let me down.
  • I feel as though my employer has broken promises about my future with the organization.
  • I have lost sight of my career goals and aspirations.

You can find the full list of 20 statements — take the full test — here in my
Job Satisfaction Quiz:
How Satisfied Are You with Your Job?
published on Quintessential Careers.