You’ve got questions. We’ve got answers. Hi, I’m Kevin Eikenberry, answering the questions that new leaders ask us. Actually, it’s our goal to help all leaders be more productive, confident, and successful. If you happen to be watching this on YouTube, we’re glad you’re here. Make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss any future episodes. Make sure you go back and watch some of those from the past.
Today, I’m answering a question that you may have asked yourself at one time in your life. What if I don’t love my job? Are you ready? Let’s get started.
Now, this is a question. What if I don’t love my job? Then anyone might ask themselves. I understand that. We’re talking about it here in the context of being a new leader. Because I’m often asked this soon after people get promoted because their goal was to become a leader, a manager, a supervisor, and now they’ve got the role.
They’re finding out what it actually is and they’re sometimes disillusioned. And so when people ask, What if I don’t love my job, my answer depends a little bit on the context and how long you’ve been in the role. Like, even if you’ve only been there a couple of weeks, my advice is to take a deep breath, give you a chance to get over the overwhelm and start to understand what the job really is. And you might find that you like it, or even love it more than you might think at this moment in the overwhelm stage.
But if you’ve been doing it for a while longer, my answer is you’ve got two basic questions. Listen, I don’t love my job, Kevin. What do I do? You got two choices. You can either find love or you can go find love.
That may sound strange, but one of them is look where we are, and the other is to look somewhere else. So let’s talk about each of those. Let’s talk about finding love where you are, finding love in your work. Let me be clear about where you are.
Number one is you need to decide what it is you love about work. Like, you may be asking this question because you really like the job you had before and you don’t like this one so much. But maybe you’re saying, Kevin, I’ve never really found a job that I love. To which I would say you’ve got to decide what it is that you love first. And once you’re clear on that, then I would encourage you to look for it in your current job.
Are there parts of the current role that you do really, really like a lot that you can emphasize and think about more? Maybe they’re the parts of the job that you aren’t good at yet, but you want to get good at. But whatever it is, you have to figure out what it is that you would love or do love about work and then go look to find it in your current job.
Which may mean that you need to reframe your thinking a bit, especially if this is your first time in a leadership role. It is a quite different set of responsibilities than when you were a subject matter expert. That’s okay, but maybe it’s time to reframe your thinking and say, Hey, this is the role that I’m in now. Maybe I need to think about the impact that I can have and I can find a lot of passion in that.
And maybe within reason you can rework the role a bit. Now we can’t rework the role just so we can like it more, but maybe we can figure out ways to get more time spent in the things that we love about the current job.
But if you do those four things, you say, Kevin, this isn’t it. This isn’t the job for me. Then maybe you need to leave to go find that love somewhere else. And by leaving, it may or may not mean leaving the organization, but it certainly might mean leaving the role. So, again, know what you want before you leave. Go back to the first question about what do you love about work? So make sure you’re clear when you go looking right, because otherwise you might find yourself in a bit of a treadmill right back where you started.
And the other thing I would say, especially if you’ve moved into your first role as a leader, is to be okay with stepping back. Lots of people sort of grown up with. The thing is that the way to succeed in my career is to be promoted. And one of the ways to be promoted fact often the only way to be promoted is to move from being an individual contributor or maybe even a subject matter expert to becoming a boss. And maybe that’s just not what you want to do.
So when I say be okay with stepping back, I don’t mean that stepping back means means something less for you. It’s just that perhaps you found out that what you love is doing the work, that what you love as being a subject matter expert and not necessarily leading people in the role of a leader.
It’s okay if that’s the case, then I would encourage you to find that whether it’s to move back within your current organization or go somewhere else and find that, as well.
Let me close with today’s tweet. If you don’t love your job, you have two worthy options. Reframe and rethink your roles so you do love it or decide what you would love and go find it.
I hope you found my answer useful, either for you or for someone that you know. If you have a question you’d like me to answer in the future, put it in the comments or send me an email to info@kevineikenberry and we’ll either answer it in the future here or point you to where we’ve already answered that question in the past.
If you would like other resources about being a more effective leader, whether you’re newer or more experienced in your role, go to KevinEikenberry.com where we have tons of free resources to help you. We hope you’ll take advantage of that. We hope you’ll be back here, right here for more of these questions and answers in the future.
And if you’re wanting to really love your job more, one of the last keys to consider is to think about how you can inject more learning into your work. One of the ways to be a more effective learner every day in your work is by taking our Remarkable Master Class on learning. You can learn more about that right at this link or you’ll do that.
Look forward to seeing you soon.