As babies playing with our toys, we all learned that you can’t put a square peg in a round hole. Unfortunately, many of us seem to forget this concept by the time we’re adults.
It’s an unfortunate truth that what we’re initially attracted to can keep us from finding what we are actually looking for. And this brings us back to trying to pound a square peg into a round hole.
Many people keep trying to force it. With a lot of hard work, sweat, and stress it can sometimes be made to fit, but it doesn’t fit well and never for very long. It’s inevitable that at some point the square peg is going to pop out of the hole.
Usually by the time you realize it’s not fitting, you’re too far involved. So instead of coming to your senses and and getting out, you either work even harder to make it fit or you do nothing. In either case, you’re unlikely to succeed.
What Do You Want?
The problem begins when you fail to define what you want. You’re likely to find, unless luck intervenes, that before long before the new job isn’t as satisfying as it initially appeared. Even when you realize that it’s not the right fit, making the decision to actually leave often takes a while. And in this case, desperation can lead to poor decision making.
There are a few easy pro-active steps you can take to avoid the “unhappy at work” syndrome, especially if you don’t let the little things drag you down along the way.
- Acknowledge that you dislike your job and would be happier elsewhere
- Examine your previous jobs to get a solid idea of what you like, don’t like, what motivates you, and what you excel at
- Identify what you want in your next job and what areas are open to compromise
- Actively seek it out, and reject anything that doesn’t meet your standards
- As you interview and gain information about each opportunity, pursue those that fit and discard those that don’t
Search for an organization that meets your standards and is looking for an employee with your distinctive skills. Every person, every company, and every job is unique.
Start by Looking Inward
It’s important to be aware of what makes you valuable, what you offer, and why you will be a prized employee. Otherwise, whether the attraction is a high salary, the ability to pay your bills, or great benefits, it may not turn out to be the dream job you’d hoped for.
Remember that long-ago lesson about the square peg and the round hole. Being aware of your color and shape, so to speak, will enable you to spot the place that you want to be. Once you find that perfect fit, you’ll be happy and content in the workplace.