Many young professionals come to me saying that they’re unhappy with their jobs.

They feel disappointed that this is what “the real world” is like. They think back to how successful they were in college, where they knew how to excel.

By comparison, their jobs feel unstructured and a whole lot less fun, satisfying, and connected to their larger purpose.

The big question they ask is, “Should I quit my job and go get my master’s to figure out what I really want to do?”

Whenever I hear this question, I know that at least one of four things is happening:

  1. They don’t know how to create value at their jobs with the skills they already have.
  2. They don’t know how to create their own happiness by mastering their minds.
  3. They’re experiencing the tough truth that working is hard… and they don’t want to be uncomfortable.
  4. They hate their bosses and assume that for that reason, they must be in the wrong jobs.

Ultimately, they feel stuck.

And I completely understand. The transition from college to career is challenging, especially if you haven’t had a coach in your corner to help you set realistic expectations and make a game plan for how to handle setbacks. [click here to learn more]

Here’s what you need to understand: Putting off the transition of getting a job by getting another degree won’t make it any easier.

If you want to feel happier at your job, a master’s degree isn’t a silver bullet solution.

So what can you do instead?

Let me tell you about a client I worked with recently.

She came to me wanting to figure out what to do in her career. She didn’t know if she liked her job, and she felt like she didn’t jive with people at work, so she felt hopeless. She thought more education would make her find a job she liked, which would make her happy.

After a few weeks of coaching, we got to the root of her unhappiness. It wasn’t the job or the people she worked with; it was her Negative Nelly attitude.

No matter what happened, she saw the negative side of it. No wonder she was miserable at work!

In our coaching, we worked on strategies to help her ditch the negative attitude and look for the ways she was in control of her thoughts and feelings. Her new attitude made a huge difference. She could finally get a clear picture of her skills, strengths, and what she wanted to be doing.

She did decide to quit her job, but not to go back to school. Instead, she looked for different jobs to apply for. I showed her how to break down each job description and understand the skills she could bring to those jobs, [link to Prep before job description post] and also how to speak to those skills.

Our work also focused on understanding three things:

  1. Even if you’re not enjoying parts of your job or people you work with, it doesn’t mean that job has no value; you can always be learning new skills.
  2. Nothing at work will ever be perfect. I call this the 50-50 rule, and it actually applies to everything in life: 50% will be challenging and 50%will be amazing.
  3. That “lack of structure” feeling comes from not using the prefrontal cortex of the brain to manage the mind, take actions, and achieve results.

Working on this game plan for her career gave her much more confidence.

Now, she’s finding more success in her new job because she is happier. Her bosses love her, she’s taking on more responsibility, and she’s much better at managing how she thinks about challenges.

If you’re in a job that’s sucking the life out of you and wish you could feel happier and more productive, contact me for a free strategy session so we can discuss your path to success.  [click here for a free mini-session]

Image by Mark Adriane, Unsplash