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You’ve had a few jobs throughout your career. And, while you like them all (at least somewhat) to begin with, the same thing always starts to happen after a certain amount of time.

Slowly but surely, you begin to detest that job of yours. 

We can all get a little restless in our careers. And, we’ve likely all heard the old clichés about the grass always looking greener on the other side.

But changing jobs every year or so isn’t necessarily a recommended strategy for professional development. Sometimes, it’s good to plant roots somewhere. 

While it’s easy to think that your no-good, terrible employers are the sole reason for your constant career unhappiness, have you ever stopped to shift the spotlight to yourself? Could the problem actually be you?

Well, to be brutally honest, yes. Chances are, you’re having a hard time feeling happy in your career because you’re still relatively uncertain about what exactly you want. And, it’s pretty challenging to feel satisfied or fulfilled if you have no idea what you’re looking for.

Now that you’ve swallowed that reality pill, here’s how to move forward.

1. Make a list

The first thing you need to do is gain some clarity. What exactly is making you so unhappy job after job? What are you missing? What are you looking for?

Make a two-column list to help narrow your focus. In one column, list the positives — these are the things you’re actively looking for in a new job or a new employer. Perhaps it’s an entirely different set of responsibilities. Or, maybe it’s a flexible work schedule. The sky’s the limit. Jot down everything that you think would make you truly happy in your career.

In the other column, list the negatives — the things that you absolutely don’t want in your next role. Maybe you hate your boss’ management style. Or, perhaps you want to get out of a specific industry. 

Now, you have a helpful checklist of sorts to help you better evaluate any new opportunities that present themselves. You can use those criteria to ensure you don’t end up in yet another short-term situation.

2. Seek outside fulfillment

There’s no denying that your career makes up a large portion of your life. You spend at least 40 hours per week in the office, and you often see your co-workers more than any of your friends and family members.

However, if you find yourself continuously wrapped up in a spiral of being unhappy with your job, it might be time to try to find some happiness outside the office. Find a hobby or interest you’re passionate about. Or, start a side hustle to use some of the skills you think are otherwise untapped. 

Do what you can to try to find some satisfaction in your life that isn’t completely tied to your job. Your personal life and your overall attitude can have an immense impact on the way you perceive your work.