3 Tips for Making Good Use of Your Dead-End Job

April 17, 2015

Connect Member

The Financial Whisperer: untangling your emotions from your money.


Do you get the Sunday afternoon blues? Do you start thinking about the next day with a sinking feeling? Do you rationalize that what you do for a living enables you to have a certain lifestyle? Do you wish for a change but are lost as to what would make you happy and fulfilled? Take heart: 70 percent of Americans feel detached from their jobs.

What stands in the way of getting what you want?

Do you sabotage your performance at work, or do you sabotage your chances of being happy, because you are afraid of declaring your real feelings?

Are you playing it safe, hiding in a dead-end job because you are afraid of getting too much attention and you want to stay below the radar? Does getting pushed out of your comfort zone make you freeze?

Do you meet women who seem confident, assured, and at ease and wish you could feel the same?  

As I look back at my life, I was in a daze, or so it would seem. I was not at all grounded in the truth as I am now. How I made all the money that I did, married the kinds of men that I had, and navigated through such murky water was a sheer statement of denial.

I spent all of my life living through my jobs and businesses, never stopping long enough to feel entitled to being happy in what I did.

I pursued financial gain, which sounds “normal,” but the price I paid for ignoring the authentic part of myself that needed expression was severe, almost disfiguring eczema.

I ended up, at 58, feeling as though I was going over the financial cliff.

I finally took control of the direction of my life, but first I had to give myself permission to step out of the shadows and pursue my happiness. I stopped mindlessly following a trajectory and discovered how I could find happiness in what I accomplished.   

You can, too.

Try this three-part exercise to help you identify who you are, what you need in order to keep sane and not resent your job and life every day, and how you can change your future.

1. Discover Your Dream

  • Do this first exercise when you are calm, not at the peak of frustration when you want to quit on the spot. You cannot see your reflection in running water.
  • Sit quietly and allow yourself to identify the things you would like in a job that give you pleasure, a sense of value, and self-respect.
  • Identify your skills — what do you do best? What do you struggle with?

2. Assess Your Current Reality

  • Take an honest look at what you don’t do well but falls under your responsibility, or what you do well in spite of disliking it.
  • List reasons why you stay at the job. Be bare-bones honest. Is it fear of being seen for who you really are and judged? The possible discomfort of a change in your lifestyle?
  • List the sacrifices you have made this past year for your job, including your happiness and respect for your boss.
  • Allow yourself to feel the contrast between how you feel when engaged elsewhere in your life versus the dead, flatness you feel at your current job.

3. Make Your Dream Come True

  • Research where your skills can shine.
  • Identify what you need to add to your current skill set to move you closer to your goal.
  • Consider that it’s better to be low on the totem pole at a company you admire with the possibility of upward mobility than work as a barista serving coffee where the only higher position is manager.
  • Get an accountability partner to help you stay on track.
  • Practice gratitude for getting a weekly paycheck while you decide your next move. Your current job gives you stability, unpleasant as it may be at times. Embrace it while you identify what it is you want to do and how to go about getting that done.
  • Give yourself permission to be happy in a career — you are entitled to it!

The better you know yourself, the better chances you have of being happy. You have the power within yourself to make that come true!

Pegi Burdick is a member of the DailyWorth Connect program. Read more about the program here.

Find tools to help you on your journey of getting control of your life on my website. And, you can sign up for your 30-minute free session and get my free e-book by signing up for my newsletter at www.thefinancialwhisperer.com. twitter: @emotionandmoney.