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nine to five
THE QUESTION

I have worked in my current job for about a year, and while I love my manager and my coworkers, I hate my job. Is a great team worth staying in a job that I don’t enjoy? What can I do to make my work more enjoyable?

THE FIRST ANSWER

Shalini Duggal, chief people officer, Wattpad, Toronto

I’m sorry to hear that you’re in this position. It never feels good to work in an environment that isn’t the right fit.

The fact of the matter is this: If you’re truly hating what you’re doing, you shouldn’t be there. Life is too short, and there are plenty of ways you can manoeuvre this situation to get to a place where you feel fulfilled in the workplace. So where to go from here?

First off, you need to determine what the rules of engagement at your job are. What are the company policies? Are they cool with internal transfers? Have you worked there long enough to request one? It’s important that, before you make any moves, you understand what levers you could pull to navigate your way to greener pastures.

After that, sit down with your manager or human resources representative and have an honest and tactful conversation about how you’re feeling. Discuss what your ideal future role would look like and the two of you can come up with a plan to support you in getting to that next level.

Finally, you need to map out where you’re going to go from there. If there’s nothing available at your current organization, determine what your next journey will be. Read the business section of newspapers. Familiarize yourself with what’s going on in the world and the field you’re looking to pivot to. If you need to upskill, consider enrolling in a course.

Uncertainty is scary, but don’t shy away from moving on from a position that dims your light. With respect to your bills that need to get paid, your mental health is worth more than any job will ever be. There is a way forward: you just need to draw on your resources and strategize.

THE SECOND ANSWER

Tanya Sinclair, founder, Black HR Professionals of Canada, Toronto

I don’t often see the words “hate” and “love” in the same career sentence. The uncertainty you describe is not unexpected. A recent study from Lifeworks showed that 30 per cent of Canadians changed career goals because of the pandemic. While this situation can be stressful, there are a few strategies. First, analyze what it is about your job that makes you unhappy. Is it boring? Is your workload too heavy? Are the clients a nightmare? Or is the job simply not what you signed up for?

Once you pinpoint what you don’t like about your job, speak your truth to your boss. Positive relationships with colleagues can help increase your feeling of happiness at work. You can use the strength of those relationships to help navigate your next move. Any great boss would like to know and help an employee who is not enjoying their job. Together, you might be able to introduce changes to improve your job satisfaction. There could be a project or a job opening coming up in your workplace that is more in line with your interests.

If you trust your boss, let them know the type of work you prefer and how much you enjoy working with your colleagues. Finally, you can also talk to a career coach to explore other career options. With the support of your manager, there may be an opportunity for you to take a workshop or a course in a new area of interest on your journey to greater job fulfilment.

Have a question for our experts? Send an e-mail to NineToFive@globeandmail.com with ‘Nine to Five’ in the subject line. Emails without the correct subject line may not be answered.

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