I wake up dreading going to work. Help!

I wake up dreading going to work. Help!

I‘m 23 and I hate my job. I’m bored to death and stuck in a dead end job. The company doesn’t promote anyone and there aren’t any other areas I can be moved to. I wake up dreading going to work. Where can I go for career advice? I went to a TAFE career counsellor but she told me just to do anything. That’s how I ended up in a job I hate in the first place! Please help. Megan

Being in a job you hate can be like a prison. However, making the leap to something new can feel equally overwhelming. So it’s a good thing you’ve hit the wall, in a sense, and are ready for some changes. Also, you’re so young, and if you don’t have children or a mortgage to pay, you’re in the best position you could be to steer yourself towards something new.
We all know the working world has changed; there are no jobs for life anymore; the kinds of jobs our parents stayed in for 30 years until retirement. These days, there’s more contracting, more shifting from job to job and a lot more people making radical career changes throughout the course of their lives. A careers counsellor is a great starting point but it sounds like you didn’t quite click with the one you visited. No matter, get onto Google and find another – a good place to start is the Career Development Association of Australia, or My Future, Australia’s Career Exploration Service. Careers counsellors can be invaluable – they will help you narrow down your passions, define your strengths and isolate your weaknesses. They can also suggest paths you could take and tell you how to start working towards those careers – the kinds of study or training you’d need to do, which takes time and commitment and needs to be factored into your overall decision.
Start researching now. Buy a big notebook and start jotting down ideas and notes. What are you interested in? What are you good at? What do you love? Write a list. It can be as pie-in-the-sky as you want, because this is the time to figure out whether landing your dream job is actually doable, or whether there’s something close to it that might be a bit more achievable. Are there people you know who have jobs you envy? Talk to them. Or, if you have an idea of where you’d like to be, research the industry and find people working in that industry who can give you advice. Offer to do work experience so you get to see, hands-on, what the job would really be like.
Realise, too, that you probably won’t just ‘fall into’ your desired career, but will have to work hard at it, possibly at retraining, ‘doing your time’ in the industry and working your way up to where you want to be. You may have to work on the side or part-time in order to pay your way while you study – but many do it. Don’t be put off by the thought of many years of study – it’s a sacrifice, sure, but the rewards will be priceless when you can wake up each day and earn money doing something you truly enjoy. It’s all about being flexible, adaptable and open to furthering your skills in order to get where you want to be. Good luck!
Love, reality chick

Got a question for RC or the Manswers team? Drop a line in

the RC Question Box! (Questions may be edited.)
Freelance journo, blogger, self-appointed advice-giver and co-author of Get Lucky. If you've got a dating or relationship issue, feel free to ask a question. (PS. You can also find me at The Mama Files and Letter To My Ex).


  1. Hate_my_job2011 9 years ago

    I am definitely in this situation at the moment. I cannot stand going to work each day because i hate my current work environment. Morale and leadership are basically non existent. I hate the working conditions and the beaurocracy that goes with working in a government department for 6 years (including 2 years in my current role) and dealing with the beaurocracy from other govt depts. I do kinda feel like i am in prison because the nature of the work i do makes it difficult to just walk away but having said that i have started exploring other options. The problem is people leave and almost never get replaced. While i chose to do this particular job i certainly didn’t choose for things to be the way they are at the moment. I am very glad i am not working in my parents generation where you started a job and that is what you did for the next 30 years!

    I have to say Reality Chick makes alot of sense!

  2. Author
    reality chick 9 years ago

    Thanks Lola! Great advice from you as always 🙂 x

  3. Lola 9 years ago

    Megan isn’t alone, won’t be and hasn’t been… In my late 20’s, after 5 daunting years at Uni, getting married half way through my course and becoming the mum of a beautiful baby girl just before my last year started, I could feel how much was expected of me in that industry (ESL) and how little it delivered in the mid ’80’s. A few years down the track, I found a career path closer to my heart’s desire, but it wasn’t easy.
    I guess that nowadays it’s easier (and more acceptable) to change career paths, particularly in a country like Australia. Nevertheless, we should be prepared to make sacrifices.
    Megan: for your sake, move on. RC is right and in five years’ time you’ll be looking back, thinking that your courage and RC’s wise words saved your soul from drying out. All the best in your quest! Lola


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by reality chick, reality chick. reality chick said: New RC Q+A: “I wake up dreading going to work. Help!” http://bit.ly/9JBvSC […]

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *