By Fawn Germer
Contributing Writer 

Here's the Band-Aid Cure When You Hate Your Job


Last updated 6/16/2019 at 10:02am

Fawn Germer

When work is working for you, it isn't really work. It may be a job and it may be time-consuming, but it is also a joy and a passion. I would hate for the people who hire me as a leadership keynote speaker to realize that I love my work so much, I'd probably do it for free.

Caveat here: I am really glad I don't have to. Book me now. 🙂

But there may well be a time in your career when your work does not make you happy and you don't know what to do about it. The solution is to find something outside of work that can fill the void inside of you while you are figuring things out.

My first career was in journalism, where I passionately dove into my job as an investigative reporter. I loved it. I lived for it. News reporting made me feel joy, passion and life. But, years into it, I realized I was getting bored. Investigative reporting was so endlessly stressful. I did some feature writing, which was fun, but I got dragged back into hard news again and, there I was. Miserable. I knew I needed to change careers, but I had no idea what I needed to do next. The thought of becoming a motivational speaker never occurred to me.

"What do I do now?" I kept wondering.

I found a temporary solution

When a friend signed up for a screenwriting class at the University of Colorado, I decided, on a whim, to sign up, too. Two weeks later, I felt fantastic. Same job, whole new me.

Diving into fiction writing gave me the freedom to come home and get lost in my characters and their stories. It was an instant cure to the malaise of what had started as my life's passion and turned into just a miserable job.

This is a band-aid approach when you don't know what's next. You can also buy yourself some time to figure out your life. Start studying something new, learn to paint or do pottery or garden or do volunteer work or learn how to tile floors. Whatever. Something is out there that can give you enough of an outside distraction that the unsatisfying moments at your job don't seem like such a big part of your life.

It's not a quick fix

It's not a solution, but it is a buffer while you come up with the solution. Eventually, you'll get the clarity you need to know what to do next. If you are lucky, it will come quickly. That didn't happen for me – it actually took another five years for me to get the clarity to know what was next after journalism. I finally thought about being a motivational speaker, although it's not like a light bulb went off and I thought, "I should be a professional keynote speaker and do corporate leadership speaking for men and women around the world." It took awhile to come up with the other direction of my career to become a women's leadership speaker. But, over time, I did find my way. It didn't happen easily.

I would never have had the work that I have loved most if I hadn't made my way through that time when I felt so lost. When you don't know what's next, just do something different, stop trying to force the answers. Eventually, the answers will come.

Keynote speaker Fawn Germer is the best-selling, Oprah-featured author of eight books and one of the nation's most sought-after leadership speakers. She is a four-time, Pulitzer Prize nominated journalist and has personally interviewed more than 300 famous leaders and legends for their perspective on leadership and success. She has headlined events around the world for Cisco, Coca-Cola, Xerox, Kraft, NASA, Michaels, PepsiCo, FritoLay, State Farm, GlaxoSmithKline, The Department of Defense, Novartis and many other associations and corporations. She lives in Dunedin, FL. For more information, see her website at\


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