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What to Do When Your Dream Job Becomes a Nightmare

How is a job like a romantic relationship? Well, sometimes the ideal doesn't match the reality. And then, the breakup can be messy.

There's an excellent post over at Forbes about the four stages of breaking up with your former dream job: the honeymoon phase, the rough patch, the mourning period, and finally, the break up. It's basically the Kubler-Ross model, but for work.

If that sounds extreme, consider this: Most of us get a significant portion of our self-esteem, perhaps even our identity, from the work we do. After all, it's hard not to be affected by something on which we spend at least half our waking life.

When you are ready to make a break with your nightmare job, it's important to use what you've learned from your bad experience in your current gig.

"Start looking for a job that'll be a better fit," writes article author Megan Broussard. "It's out there, I promise. In the process, it’s important to dig deep and think about what didn’t work for you in this job, and what you want in the next. What really interests you and motivates you, and what type of office culture and environment complement both?"

Best of all, you'll get to use the old "it's not you, it's me." Only in this case, Broussard advises, it'll be: "I've learned so much here, and I've been offered a position with a managerial focus where I can build upon those skills." Which is pretty much the same thing.

More From PayScale:

Is Your Stressful Job Aging You?

Writer Posts Fake Craigslist Job Ad to Size Up Competitors

Why Women Quit Science Jobs

Breakingup

(Photo Credit: Ed Yourdon/Flickr)

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