What if I Am in a Wrong Place?

How to get back on your own track once you realise you are wasting time in your current position (job or internship).

There are some times when people just want to try something just to know if it suits them. They apply for a job just to find out if it’s a good fit. Try to remind yourself, how many times you did so. That you did something that you were not particularly convinced to, just to give it a try. How many of those times you wanted to bail out as soon as possible? How long did it take you to get back to where you belong?

It’s good to answer these questions and be honest with yourself about it, because it will be a reasonable start for trying not to put yourself into such trouble again.

Don’t Panic

Doing anything that you don’t enjoy at all or that is not rewarding in any way and you don’t see the purpose of doing it leads only to frustration. It’s really easy to fall into depression and lose your grip this way.

First of all - don’t panic. Try to calm down and get in hold of yourself again asking yourself a few questions:
  1. What exactly is wrong? Breaking the problem into smaller pieces can be useful here. Try to figure out if the problem has a solution within reach. Maybe having a talk with your boss about your anxieties will be enough to change the circumstances you are in. 
  2. What options of change outside of the current position are available to you now? (Check your contracts about notice periods and other terms of ending your work. Be aware of that contracts are mutually symmetric, which means they don’t only put duties on you, they equip you with various rights as well. Often you will have the same rights as the employer in terms of renouncing the contract).
  3. What worst may happen if I quit just now? Is it possible according to your contract? List all of the consequences of quitting. You will see for yourself that they will probably not make you much harm.
  4. How much time will it take to get another job? Do you have enough money to survive this time if you quit right now?

Most Times Things Look Worse Than They Really Are

We are not keen about change in general, so moving to another position in another company seems like impossible and in some unknown way, our mind has a self-defence system against it. But you can disarm it, asking the questions above, as well as accepting and living by the rule:

“You own yourself”.

Once you realise this and take responsibility for yourself, you will know that you can solve any problem and you will not produce excuses about things depending on others. Keeping that in mind the whole time will help you in all kinds of situations. You will be able to refuse to do things that you are not supposed or keen to do. Thus - avoid frustration.

Try to remind yourself, how many times somebody asked you to do something which was not your duty nor fun to do, but you did it with no sensible reason.

Trained to Accept

Most of us were trained to let it be. Nobody trained us to refuse. And writing this, I mean thoughtful refusing. But it’s easier this way. It gives us permission to excuse ourselves with what other people did or told us to do. This way we yield the responsibility for our lives to other people. Sadly, seldom anybody understands that.

Don’t Let “Let It Be” Mindset Take Control Over You

A good way to get out of the wrong mindset or not letting it to flourish in your head is to read inspiring things about ownership. My Top3 reads for the “owner’s mind” are:

  • Seth Godin - it’s worth to read almost anything he wrote, but for the beginning, his blog will be enough. (http://sethgodin.typepad.com/
  • Gary Vaynerchuk - one of the biggest social media influencers; (http://garyvaynerchuk.com/
  • Owner Magazine - online magazine (http://ownermag.com/), run by Chris Brogan , another one of the Top50 Social Media Influencers list made by Forbes (http://www.forbes.com/sites/haydnshaughnessy/2013/04/17/who-are-the-top-50-social-media-power-influencers-2013/)

Of course, you may want to choose your own gurus using some other list or ranking and you have the right to do that. Moreover, this will show that you own your decisions and own yourself. It will be a first step to make in the quest of getting back on your track.