Everyone has expectations for their current role and, when the job doesn’t align with what is expected, it can create some unpleasant situations. Whether you set yours too high or too low, the fact they do not reflect reality can cause internal strife. Often, people give their expectations a lot of power, and that can harm anyone’s well-being.

If you want to make sure your expectations aren’t causing you to be dissatisfied with your job, here’s what you need to know.

It’s All in Your Head

Often, job expectations aren’t a reflection of reality. For example, when you land a new position, you may fantasize about what it will be like, painting an incredibly rosy picture that isn’t based entirely on facts. Alternatively, if you have been in a particular role for a while, you might believe it doesn’t have anything more to offer you, just because you think you’ve hit a professional plateau.

In either case, you are the one who has decided what things are or will be like, not anyone else. Unless you have been explicitly told in detail that you are correct, you are likely treating an inaccuracy as unadulterated truth.

Whether you set your expectations too high or too low, what you are doing is operating on assumptions. You are guessing about what your job experience will be like, and may be overlooking critical information that clearly shows your vision isn’t accurate.

You Are Missing Out

When you are dissatisfied with your job, based on your expectations, you are actually doing yourself a disservice. The feelings of dissatisfaction can cloud your thinking, making it harder to see what the role actually has to offer.

For example, if you were overly optimistic about a new position, and it doesn’t end up being what you pictured, you might overlook opportunities that can make it seem better. A “poor me” attitude makes it challenging to see the good in the job, even if it is right in front of your face.

Similarly, assuming a role can’t teach you anymore means you might not notice options that are available. For instance, you may be able to approach your manager and request more challenging projects, a chance to cross-train, or access to formal training.

How to Regain Your Job Satisfaction

If your job isn’t meeting your expectations, the first thing you need to do is put your assumptions down and look at the reality of the situation. Look at what is there, instead of what you perceive to be missing. Then, figure out what you can accept (and even enjoy) about the role, and what may be in your power to change.

This process will help you align your expectations with reality and empower you to make improvements in areas where that is possible. It also prompts you to determine whether this is genuinely a job that provides value to your career, and potentially take action if it isn’t.


Ultimately, by reviewing the points above, you can make some important decisions about your career.

If you would like to learn more, the team at PrideStaff Atlanta can help.

Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members today and see how our career management expertise can benefit you.

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