The worst and the best thing to do if you are unhappy in your career

by | Career

If you are like most people who follow me you started working at least 7-15 years ago, (or more) and you were full of ambitions at the time. When you started the job you have now, perhaps after a change, you were hoping that this would be the right time for your career to take off. You were thinking of getting challenging and stimulating tasks, of being given the opportunity to grow and learn new things, of getting social bonuses and a steady compensation that can grow rapidly. 

You dedicated yourself to this job, you put yourself into the daily tasks and gave what you could to the team, your boss and the managers or directors above him, if any. You worked really hard, for a long time, because you actually believed that the harder you work, the more it will be possible to get recognition and appreciation, in any form.

As usual …you are not alone. Many people believe that “working hard” is the key to their success and happiness on many levels. The problem with this is that when you find yourself in this cycle you can get exhausted and extremely isolated and burnt out. I believed that too. It did not help, at all. On the contrary, the consequences of that almost killed me mentally and physically.

So here is what normally happens when you find yourself in such a situation:

You probably think that you have already worked so hard that you don’t want to “blow it”—make a huge mistake and fail big again. 

You get obsessed with overthinking, and are simply stuck. 

You keep stuck, thinking, complaining, overthinking and over complaining. 

You do the worst thing anyone can do if they want to change careers or pivot to a new direction— absolutely nothing. You stay stuck. You don’ network or explore new avenues. You don’t talk to inspiring people who were doing great things that make your heart skip a beat. You don’t attend conferences or workshops that would teach new skills. 

You do not seek for help. 

I did nothing to change my situation. I didn’t even accept a great new job that was offered to me because I was worried it might be more of the same. I was just stuck.

I know how being in such a situation is. 

This is not what I wish for you. 

The worst thing to do is to wait until you think you have it all figured out and have “the answer” before you make any moves. 

Progress just doesn’t work that way. Nothing will change if you wait until you think you know exactly what you want to do before you take any steps. 

And success won’t come at all if you’re so desperately afraid of failing that you won’t even consider exploring a new direction. Most professionals who come for career coaching and want to pivot their careers have no idea what they would do instead, and that keeps them locked in paralysis.


In order to get unstuck, you can’t wait until some magical revelation occurs to you that will solve all your problems. Instead, you have to begin to get moving now, and start taking brave, empowered microsteps that will open new doors for you, and help you see that there are indeed more options available to you than you currently recognize. Confidence doesn’t suddenly strike. 

It’s in the execution of these brave (and often intimidating) steps that will guarantee you will grow the confidence and self-esteem you need to make a change.


You are not stuck. 

It’s your thinking that is stuck.

The BEST thing to do if you are unhappy in your career is this:

We are approaching 2020.

It’s the end of the second decade of the 21st century. (that’s impressive, isn’t it?)

We are transitioning into a completely new decade in less than 75 days:

Instead of keeping your thinking stuck and take it with you in the 3rd decade of the century, I want to invite you to act on the following:

  • Start talking about your situation to people who are fulfilled, successful with their careers without coming from a complaining perspective. Be objective and talk through your situation with them, without falling into the “complaining” mode.


  • Start identifying fields of interest of yours you have always had. Becoming more fulfilled at work does not mean you have to let go of ALL you know, have studied and are capable of. It mainly means to be more aligned with who you really are and to start doing work that is aligned with who you are. So, what do you LOVE doing?


  • Talk to 10 professionals who are engaged in these fields, to get a real-world perspective of what’s involved. Take steps and reach out for help. 


  • Become friends with people who are fulfilled at work, and who love what they do. You need inspiring and empowered people in your life to help you stay motivated, energized and engaged in the process of growth while you commit to exploring some new directions. It may sound cliché, but it’s real: “we are the product of the 5 people we spend the most time with”


  • Start to get to know yourself better. Most of the people that are unhappy at work, do not know themselves very well. The only way to be really successful 360° at work is to do it from the inside out. Be open to it. 

You probably already know that you need to take action on your career situation. 

Go through the above steps and get your thinking unstuck, it’s worth it!


Claudia De Pasquale

Claudia De Pasquale GmbH
Dammstrasse 16
8810 Horgen-Switzerland

+41 763 176639