Not liking your job is tough. It’s where one spends the majority of their waking hours, so if it’s something that makes you feel miserable, that can feel… well... awful. We can try to find the positive and see the gifts we are getting from it as best we can, but at the end of the day, if it’s not the right fit it simply isn’t the right fit. And yet, so many people, myself included, find changing a bad-fitting job challenging, especially if it's one that started great and you have spent years of your life together. I lived my life in that place for years. The person who dealt with the brunt of it was my husband.
Here are three lessons I learned from doing something I did so often-- crying about my job to my husband.
1. Whining & doubting yourself isn’t cute.
Listen, I get it. I get how it feels to dislike your current circumstances — your job. I get what it feels like to cry when you’re getting ready for work mustering up the will to show up another week once again. I get how it feels to have your ideas feel like they’re constantly shot down, and your concerns not being addressed. And I get how it feels to simply need encouragement from your partner when you don’t feel like going anymore.
But eventually, the tears need to stop. They stop being cute. Their cue for sympathy stops working. They’re a starting point; they aren’t the solution. Eventually, the tears need to turn into you making a change, whether that’s changing your thoughts or changing your circumstance.
When it came to whining and doubting, I often did one or the other. Whining about the job that I so badly wanted to leave, and yet also when I had my solution right there in my hands — my coaching business — all I did was doubt that too. Doubting yourself, and then whining about doubting yourself is not cute. This is something I did all the time.
So there my husband sat, either being a shoulder for me to be miserable on or cheering me up to go all in on my business. He was in a damned if you do, damned if you don’t type of situation and I was the one putting him there. There wasn’t ever just the right thing he could say to make it all better.
That my friend is not cute. Eventually, the tears need to stop. Eventually, you need to stop being the victim of your circumstances and take charge and change things. Living a life from the space of things happening to you is unattractive. And that’s what I did for such a long time.
Instead, what is cute is saying enough is enough and taking one step at a time to change things. Perhaps it’s creating a LinkedIn account, updating your resume, or getting out a journal and getting clear with yourself on where you want to go, and what you want to do. Cute is taking care of yourself and creating what you want and no longer waiting for someone to make it all better for you.
2. You have to have your own back
At some point, my husband got sick of giving me what I wanted— a you-can-do-it speech — and he gave me what I didn’t know I needed. Tough love. I remember the conversation vividly. Another day, another round of Kelly whining about the job yet doubting she could make this dream job —coaching— work.
“Are you sure?” is a question I kept asking him. “Are you sure I can do this? Are you sure I can make this work?” He was good at answering the questions the way I wanted him to. Then one day he stopped. Instead, he answered the question the way I needed it to be answered. “Yes, I’m sure. We aren’t having this conversation again until you give your notice. I’m not doing this anymore. Either you do this thing and make what you want happen, or we stop talking about it completely.”
Yikes, right? Way to put the tough in tough love. But in all seriousness, that is exactly what I need to hear at that moment. That answer pointed out two obvious things to me that I had been missing:
3. I was putting too much on one person
Our partners can certainly be a person we talk to for literally everything in life, and they don’t have to be the only ones that we share things with. They don’t have to be the problem solvers of every little thing going on. When you put all that on one person, it can be a lot for them to bear. Yes, likely our partner is our best friend (or at least one of your best friends), but they aren’t your therapist. They have things going on that they could use some listening to as well. While our partners only want the best for us, they may not always be the best person to talk about these things with.
When I allowed myself to work with a coach and had a neutral space where I could have my thoughts and feelings heard, it changed my life. I started seeing how I was getting in my way and was also finally able to see my strengths, gifts, and abilities. She saw me. She heard me. And she reflected exactly what I needed to do the big, scary thing — leave my job. And the funny thing is that when I began allowing myself this space of growth, leaving my job wasn’t scary at all, it was simply the next inevitable right step.
If you're tired of crying to your partner about the job you're no longer feeling fulfilled at, reach out. I'm the boss at helping people quit their jobs because I have been through it all when it came to leaving my own. And I can help you leave yours! Schedule a free Focus Forward Consult here.