Rate Your Job: Find Out If It's True Love

It’s the season of love … sigh. You’re caught up in finding your significant other the perfect (and affordable) gift, planning a night with your girlfriends or just moaning about what a pointless holiday Valentine’s Day is. What you’re not doing is evaluating how you feel about your job and now is as good of a time as ever to stop drawing hearts all over your notebook and get down to business.

Find out where you fit in on the love your job spectrum and check out what tips Five O'Clock Club career coach Robert Hellman has to offer:

Marriage Material:

• You have been at your job for over a few years and you still can’t believe you’re getting paid to do what you love to do every single day.

• Your boss is absolutely AMAZING!

• You listen to your friends complain about their jobs and secretly wonder how they could stick it out in such an unhappy work environment.

• You are never, ever leaving this job—this is it!

Career Coach Tip: “Job-love” is notoriously fickle in both directions, so be prepared, not surprised. No matter how head-over-heels you are, you need to treat your job like you have a consulting gig—keep your skills marketable, your network active, and your ear to the water-cooler conversation—in case things go south.

Honeymoon Period:

• You have been at your new job a few months and you cannot stop talking about how great it is (even when you can tell your best friend stopped listening half an hour ago).

• Your co-workers couldn’t be nicer and you can really see yourself here years down the line.

• You see eye-to-eye with your boss and get along perfectly.

Career Coach Tip: Keep the honeymoon going by managing “up, down and across” — make sure the relationships with your bosses, peers and subordinates are as good as they can be. Relationships can be more important to career success than the work itself.

Relationship Rut:

Is it Monday, again?! You're working 24/7 and need a break from the office or you are going to snap.

• You are so over your co-workers and boss — you feel like you’re on the set of The Devil Wears Prada when your boss walks in the room.

• The same projects that used to excite you at work put you to sleep now and you can’t believe you used to think your work BFF was cool … she’s certifiably insane!

Career Coach Tip: Time to do a self-assessment to help you avoid this “rut” in future jobs. Are you repeating a pattern from previous positions? What do you enjoy that you’re great at, and are you doing it now? How does your job fit in with your long-term vision for your career and life? The Five O’Clock Club book “Targeting a Great Career” can help you with exercises that get at the answers to these questions.

Hit the Road Jack:

• You have trouble getting out of bed in the morning because you dread going to work. If it wasn’t for the free coffee you’d be long gone.

• Deep down you know it hasn’t been the same in months and you’re just not happy.

• You should be looking for a new job, but you’re stalling on where to go and what to do next.

• Your friends have started making ultimatums. Either you quit complaining or quit your job.

Career Coach Tip: Nothing energizes like developing a step-by-step action plan. Start with developing job targets. And be specific — “Marketing” isn’t enough, “Marketing Manager” is. Then build a marketing plan that includes the organizations you are interested in for each target. Get your promotional materials ready (e.g. resume, pitch). Then go out and get what you want — that is, don’t just wait for ads and headhunters to come to you! Use your network, or contact people directly, to get meetings at the companies in your plan. Good luck!

It’s Time to Move On:

Jokes aside, if you are unhappy at your job (or in your relationship for that matter) and find yourself leaning towards the “relationship rut” and “hit the road jack” side of things – it’s time to really think about your next move. Yes, we are in a tough economic climate and this is an incredibly difficult time to be looking for a job. But despite all of that it’s time to make a clean break and check out what else is out there. iMag’s career section is jam-packed with great career tips for how to land your next job. We also created a new series, The Job Journal, in which we follow one woman’s search for a new job with the help of best-selling author and career coach Nicole Williams. The best part about the series is that all of Nicole’s advice is applicable to you and your job search. Check it out, take a look, comment and get started looking for your dream job!

• Visit us on our Facebook page! >>

Robert Hellman is Associate Director of the Five O’Clock Club Guild of Career Coaches. He’s also a Guild member himself with a substantial private practice, and teaches Career Development at NYU. Rob has over 20 years of experience in Marketing and Organizational Development through organizations such as JP Morgan Chase, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and American Express. In addition, Rob founded his own successful marketing/multimedia production company where he has worked with clients such as the Audubon Society and 1-800-flowers. His educational background includes a BS in Economics from Binghamton University and an MBA in Finance/Marketing from Fordham University .