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Don’t Like Your Job? Change It (Without Quitting)

Source | hbrascend.org | Amy Gallo

Sometimes you know your job just isn’t right for you. Maybe you’re in the wrong field, don’t enjoy the work, feel surrounded by untrustworthy coworkers, or have an incompetent boss. Most people would tell you to find something that’s a better fit. But that may not be possible. There are many reasons you may not be able to leave: a tough economy, family commitments, or limited opportunities in your field. So what do you do when you’re stuck in the wrong job?

What the Experts Say

According to Gretchen Spreitzer, professor of management and organizations at University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and co-author of “Creating Sustainable Performance,” people are highly dissatisfied when their job has no meaning or purpose to them, provides little opportunity to learn, or leaves them depleted at the end of the workday.

Whatever the reason you are unhappy, you don’t have to just live with it or quit. In fact, even if you are able to find another job, staying put may be the best option. “Job searching and changing jobs is not a trivial matter. It is often costly to career momentum and earnings as much as it is a boon,” says Amy Wrzesniewski, an associate professor of organizational behavior at the Yale School of Management and co-author of “Turn the Job You Have into the Job You Want.” The good news is that there is usually more leeway to alter your job than you think. “There are often real areas for movement and change that people tend not to recognize,” she says. Here’s how to make the most of an imperfect job situation.

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