When you don't like what you're doing

Quote12 I've done some jobs I really hated.

When I was 14, I took a job at the local restaurant/bar. Every Saturday, I walked into the bar to undo the damage of Friday night. Sticky floors covered in splashes of rye & coke, bathrooms where various fluids missed their mark.

Not my favourite job.

After my first year of university, I needed a summer job so I could pay for a trip to Europe. Time was running out, and I didn't have many marketable skills besides toilet cleaning, baby-sitting, and weed-whacking, so I took a job selling knives.

I called everyone I knew and asked if I could come over and give them a  major sales pitch presentation to make them feel obligated to buy knives practice my skills. I sold a lot of knives, but I couldn't sleep at night. I was obsessed with knives, and that didn't feel too good.

Then, I went into pharmacy. There was a major pharmacist shortage and Internet pharmacy was driving wages up, so things were looking good. I was going to do healthcare without having to touch people. Bonus!

We all know where that story went. In short, I spent seven years doing a job that just didn't do it for me. It wasn't a matter of, "Should I make a career change?" - it was, "When can I get outta here?"

Along the way I felt the whole range of emotions that go along with feeling like you made the wrong choice. I grieved the loss of the dream. I was angry that I didn't know myself better to be able to choose better. I felt thankful that I had such a good paying job so I could do what I really wanted. And I felt guilty that I didn't like it.

If there's a few things I can impart from my own experience, it's these nuggets:

1. It's okay that you don't like it. Let your dislike fuel your search for something better that will suit you more.

2. Try not to beat yourself up for the choice you made. You are collecting experiences to add to your body of work, and none of it is a waste.

3. Wherever you are, soak it up. Because it's going to change. And the more present you are in the whole process, the more you will be able to appreciate it when things are better.

Bon voyage!