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When you have what most people consider a good job, it's easy to feel obligated to stay where you are. After all, you have what most people want, right? It may be true most people settle for a “good” job, but there are some of us who aren’t satisfied with that. We want work that feeds our passion. Work that has meaning that extends beyond a paycheck. We need work that lends itself to the lifestyle we want instead of a job that forces us into survival mode: just hanging on, tolerating Monday through Friday, and spending the weekend to detoxifying emotionally and mentally.


When A Good Job Turns Into A Bad One...

For anyone whose ambition is nudging you on to make your next career move, here are a few thoughts on breaking free after a good job turns into a bad one:

Know When It's Not Working

The first way to break free from the trap is to acknowledge it is just not working. Regardless of how anyone else feels or what anyone else likes, the life you live can only be experienced by you. If you are listening to other people (more than likely folks who are afraid to take their own journey), you are selling yourself short. Isn’t it time you stopped living someone else’s dream and started focusing on yours?

Don't Let Your Job Define You

Accepting a good job is something you do - not who you are. In many cases a good job requires you to compartmentalize, becoming two different people. You have the 9-5 full time job person who is just a shell of who you are. Then you have the after-work and weekend persona where you come alive. I’ve never been good at managing that kind of split. This isn’t about working all the time; it’s about being able to be 100% of you 100% of the time.

Realize Money ≠ Happiness

Realize making good money does not equal having a great lifestyle. Good jobs, especially good jobs that pay well can keep us leashed to a life that is less than we dream for ourselves. We tolerate assignments, conversations, and mediocrity on a full-time basis and still expect to have enough life left over for living. That’s tough. Money allows us to take care of ourselves and our family, but money alone won’t get us to lifestyle we need to feel fulfilled. Getting out of the trap of bad job requires creating success on your own terms instead of settling. It’s living out the experience of finding work that meets the requirements of your financial needs and aligns with your purposed passion. Even when it seems like having both a career you love and one that allows you to earn what you need, refuse to believe that you have to choose one over the other. The good news is you can escape after a good job turns into a bad one. The greater news is you are the key to your own freedom. Enjoy this article? You've got time for another! Check out these related articles: Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Learn how to land a career you love


Everyone needs to feel their voice is heard and their contributions are important. Something as simple as sharing a drink the last hour of the day on a Friday with the team to recap wins and give praise can build camaraderie within the team.


All of the above are fairly simple to implement but can make a huge difference in morale and motivation. Have any of these tips worked well for young the past? Do you have other tips to motivate your creative team? If so, please share them with me!

Encourage curiosity. Spark debate. Stimulate creativity and your team will be better at handling challenges with flexibility and resourcefulness. Create a safe space for ideas, all ideas, to be heard. In ideation, we need the weird and off-the-wall ideas to spur us on to push through to the great ideas.

Sure, there are a ton of studies done on this, but here is my very unscientific personal take. When team members can make decisions about how they work on projects, they are more engaged and connected to the project outcome. When they see how potentially dropping the ball would affect the entire team, they step up. When they feel like what they are doing is impactful and valued, they are naturally motivated to learn more, and be even better team members.

Rarely does a one-size-fits-all style work when it comes to team motivation. I have found that aligning employee goals with organization goals works well. Taking time to get to know everyone on your team is invaluable. What parts of their job do they love? What do they not enjoy? What skills do they want to learn? Even going so far as to where they see themselves in five years career-wise. These questions help you right-fit projects, and help your team see you are committed to creating a career path for them within the company.

Most designers I know love a good challenge. We are problem solvers by nature. Consistently give yourself and your team small challenges, both design-related and not. It will promote openness within the team to collaborate, and it will help generate ideas faster in the long run. Whether the challenge is to find a more exciting way to present an idea to stakeholders or fitting a new tool into the budget, make it a challenge just to shake things up.

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