How to Turn a Bad Job Into a Learning Opportunity

When you are stuck working a job you hate, it can be difficult to find the silver lining, especially if it’s your first job out of college. However, it is important to understand that you won’t be in that job forever, and you can always find learning opportunities in bad situations. If you can leverage some knowledge out of a miserable experience, you will find yourself much better off in the future. Here’s how to look beyond your negative feelings and find the positive lessons you can learn from a bad job.

You Now Know What You Don’t Want

As you move through the early stages of your career, it can be difficult to define what it is you are looking for from an employer and from a job. A bad job can teach you a lot about what it is you don’t want from your next position. Sit down and make a list of the specific things you find it hard to tolerate. Perhaps the company culture isn’t a good fit, you’re being micromanaged or you are working 70 hours a week and haven’t seen your friends in family in months. Use this list to determine the things that are important for you to have in your next opportunity.

“Once you decide to pursue a new opportunity, be sure to leave with integrity.  Remember, you made a commitment and should follow through with it.  Always provide 2 weeks’ notice so that you leave in good standing with your employer.  You may cross paths with previous co-workers or managers and therefore, should never burn bridges that could hinder future opportunities.”   Says Ashlei Randolph, Branch Manager, CSS.

Your Next Search Will Be More Focused

Look at the list of things you dislike about your job. Were they things you could have uncovered during the interview process? Should you have conducted more research or asked more questions before signing your offer letter? Identify what you could have done differently and use it to conduct a more thorough job search in the future.

The Art of Sticking With It

When you hate your job, it can be tempting to walk out the door on a Friday and never return. However, you don’t want to burn bridges and you need to stay on the good side of your supervisors and coworkers. At some point you may need to use them as references. Press forward and commit to doing the best job that you can while you are there.  Try to learn everything you can about your field and look for opportunities to try new things. You never know how a small change might lead to better feelings about your work.

Start Looking For A New Opportunity

Sticking with a job you dislike doesn’t have to mean a life sentence of misery. Commit yourself to your current position, but start putting feelers out in the market to find a new opportunity. One of the most effective ways to do that is to work with a professional recruiter.

A recruiter will conduct a search for you “behind the scenes.” You don’t have to spend your free time scouring job postings, you can relax and recharge during your off hours.  You can also rest assured that your search will remain confidential, so your boss won’t find out. Recruiters respect their candidates’ need for privacy and will contact you through your personal email and phone only, and will stick to a contact schedule that you are comfortable with, so you aren’t fielding awkward phone calls from your desk at work.

If you are a recent college graduate, or if you are about to graduate soon and want to get a head start on your career, the recruiters at Contemporary Staffing Solutions are here to help.  We will partner with you to match you with positions that align with your goals. Contact us to learn more about our commitment to your success.