If you were forced to take a job quickly you may have had to take whatever was going in order to earn some money. Alternatively, you may have found that your dream job wasn’t all you’d hoped it was, or that the company you are working for isn’t quite as wonderful and progressive with your career as you imagined when you accepted their job offer. Whatever the cause, the result is the same – you may have found yourself backed into a dead end job. Looking forward to a brick wall of few opportunities and no space to move, you will be wondering how you can turn this dead end into an opportunity.
However much you hate your job, the first thing to do is to hold off from just quitting your job. It may be great in the movies to see someone telling their boss exactly where they can put their dead end job, but it doesn’t necessarily pay to do that in real life. You may need a reference to get another job, for starters, while your current job will at least keep some money coming in while you look for something else!
That said, if things are truly horrendous and you are, for example, being bullied at work, then you should act as soon as possible. This may mean speaking to H.R., your boss, or in some circumstances just handing in your notice. Fortunately, such situations are relatively rare, so in most cases where you just don’t like your job, you can keep it going while you look elsewhere. Ironically, some people find their current jobs less of a strain if they know they will soon be gone!
Looking for another job is one way of getting out of the dead end, while you may also be able to use the experience you gained in your current role to find you a better job somewhere else. Perhaps there is a similar employer who could offer you a better job with more money, better conditions, or a real chance of promotion? In these cases you can take your current dead end job as a starting point to build elsewhere.
In some cases you may feel that you simply want to start over and do something entirely different. This may require you to retrain, but it is not unheard of for people to make huge changes in their working lives. Enrol on a course, either full or part-time and you could soon find that you are qualified and working in a totally different career.
Rather than seeing your job as a dead end with no way out, instead look at it as a part of a larger city. This city is made up of your experiences, with your job just being one street. While there may be no way out of that particular alley, it may have taught you the skills you need to hop over the wall to the other side and end up on a completely different path. At worst, you will simply learn that you don’t need to go down that same dead end again!