Dear Human Workplace Team,
I’m in the wrong job.
My new boss has taken credit or kept me from moving things forward the few times I’ve contributed meaningfully. I am doing rote tasks after years of managing things.
I’m finding it impossible to just disengage, do whatever my boss tosses at me, and believe I will get back to a place where I feel valued.
I had 15 great years in jobs I loved and 1 bad one. Any ideas how I can shake it off? It feels corrosive, and I want to feel spunkier while looking for a new job.
Thanks for your note, and sorry for your trouble — it sounds awful. Between getting your flame stomped on by your manager and the lack of intellectual stimulation, we can see why you’re frustrated with your work situation. Anyone would be!
Messages from the universe come in strange ways sometimes. Even when it’s really hard to get out of bed and go to work, we may still cling to the question “Why?”
Why is my job so awful? Why is my boss such a jerk? Why is this happening to me?
Often we get to a point where we don’t have the emotional energy even to hate our job anymore. We’re just exhausted. That’s when a ray of sunshine can shine in.
You can realize in that moment that everything that’s happening is fine — the lousy boss and the boring work and the whole enchilada. The whole scene was set perfectly to get you out of there and on to your next adventure!
What gives a job-seeker energy to get moving? Their mojo does! How do you grow your mojo when it’s (understandably) depleted? You focus inward. It’s hard to “not” do something.
People might say “Just tune out and disengage from the nasty boss and the boring job” but you can’t will yourself to tune out!
You have to tune into something, such that your daily grind recedes in significance.
What will you tune into? You’ll tune in to the Elisa Channel! You’ll see the bright side of this situation then. You’ll say “Dang, my job asks almost nothing of me intellectually.
“This is exactly the time when I should be investing in myself. I’m going to get a journal and write in it. I’m going to do something I’ve never done before — I’m going to write my life story, and start to ponder my own needs and my purpose here on the planet.”
It’s a big project, and a wonderful project. This is how you’ll recover your mojo and get clear on your new career direction.
A great way to begin your journaling exercise is to focus on the time just before your mojo dropped – perhaps that’s the period just before you started the job you’re in now. Write about what grew your flame back then.
Where did your satisfaction come from? What stimulated you intellectually and emotionally during the day? Write about those things!
You’ll see the light in the darkness then as you imagine yourself doing any one of the huge number of possible next assignments that you’d be perfectly qualified for.
You’ll start to give yourself permission to imagine a work situation that’s dramatically different from the one you’re in now. Your mojo will start to come back as you write about and think about what you’re good at and what you love to do.
There are not one or two or six jobs available in your area that you could perform brilliantly — there are undoubtedly scores or hundreds of them! When our mojo gets depleted, we don’t see our own possibilities.
Getting out of your head and into nature is a good step, and so is yoga or any kind of exercise. You’ve been beaten up! Go easy on yourself.
You want to have more juice than you have now when you start your job search, and we agree with you.
Launching a job search is not your next step, but getting a beautiful mirror out (figuratively speaking, and literally if you like) and looking back and deciding what you want for yourself is your next move.
It’s a very mojo-building activity, so you’ll accomplish two major reinvention goals — you’ll choose your next career direction and bring back your lost mojo at the same time!
The Human Workplace Team