Have you ever had a job you didn’t like, or hated, or couldn’t wait to quit so you could find something better?
Most of us probably have. It isn’t abnormal for someone’s first or first few positions to be too difficult, boring, painful, or miserable. However, these jobs, no matter how bad they may seem to you at first, can help lead you towards growing your career and appreciating the opportunities that come your way.
It Helps You Realize Your Full Potential
Sometimes a boring job can help you realize that you have special skills and abilities that would be better suited in a different environment.
For example, Rick works in the warehouse department, but he doesn’t like it much. His job does not require interacting with customers much, but when customers start approaching him directly, he enjoys talking with them and helping them with their needs. Rick realizes, through his current position, that one of his strengths is customer service. He never knew he had this skill! While his current job isn’t customer-focused, Rick can use this new revelation. He can switch departments within his company to a position he might enjoy a little more that uses his skill set.
While this example with Rick might not fit your situation exactly, try to find something else you enjoy and excel with at your job. It doesn’t matter how small or insignificant it is. You may surprise yourself by what you find out!
It Helps You Realize Your Workplace Values
A job can be equally bad if you discover that your boss or co-workers don’t value the same things you do. This can cause some unwanted friction in your workplace. For example, if you value details with your work, but your co-workers do not, team projects or collaborations will turn out inconsistent and lopsided, or they might even fall apart altogether. Your co-workers may not appreciate the work you put into the project, or they may even take you for granted. This isn’t the type of environment you want to be working in. You want to be working with mostly like-minded people. You want to work with people towards a similar goal in similar ways.
Take some time to reflect on your personal values, to see if they line up with your company’s. If they are opposed to each other, it will help you better determine if other company values are right for you and where you fit in.
It Helps You Appreciate Better Opportunities
Have you ever upgraded a car, a computer, or a television to the latest model, and really liked the increase in quality over the old one? Jobs work in a similar way. Finding a company that both shares your workplace values and challenges you to use more of your skills, in contrast to the previous one, can help you appreciate the new job more. Working at your other job showed you that there’s something else out there. It showed you that you can work towards something better.
Even if it doesn’t feel like it right now, a bad job has its teachable moments. If you are new to the workforce, being flexible is key. This is especially important with what positions you take. Evaluating your current position at every step is an important component for maintaining your career. Even if the job you have isn’t so great.