I recently met with a creative team doing some research for a client. They wanted a career coach’s perspective about why people hate their jobs. As odd as it might sound, I found it really difficult to answer this question.
If I look back on all the reasons clients have sought out career coaching, there are some themes, but lots and lots of variances. So when the creatives asked, I was a little embarrassed that I couldn’t definitely give them a “top 10” list of why people are dissatisfied with their careers. I guess it’s the expectation that I make a living helping dissatisfied people, therefore I should an expert on this topic. I wanted to reassure them, I really do know what I’m talking about!
What it still surprising to me is that it’s rarely THE JOB behind the dissatisfaction. It’s usually something else. Difficult boss. Conniving coworkers. Ineffective leadership. A bad fit with the organizational culture. Lack of confidence. A feeling that your talents aren’t being used. A nagging sense that there’s something else out there for you.
What I’ve come to appreciate about career dissatisfaction is that it’s complex. It’s not just about one thing, and truly, each and every person’s story is unique. I guess that’s why I find it so fascinating and why I still love, after six years, this work.