Coping with a Job You Hate

Coping with a Job You Hate

I have a few clients who absolutely hate their current jobs but feel stuck where they are because they believe that there isn’t anything else out there. Unfortunately, few people have the luxury in today’s economy to leave a job without having something definite already lined up and the job dissatisfaction rate continues to climb. Having a job you hate is not an easy thing to deal with so here are some ways to make your situation easier to handle:

1. Maintain perspective: Know what’s motivating you to stay at a job you hate; it’s important to know why.

Is your current job the only one in your area that fits your skills? Or do you need it to keep your children fed and clothed? What attracted you to the job in the first place? Does that reason still exist? Whatever the reason, remembering what it is and keeping it at the forefront of your consciousness makes working a difficult job easier.

When you do this, you end up working not for the job itself, but for whatever the motivation is behind your being there. The job becomes more than a job— it becomes a way to fulfill whatever desire moved you to take it in the first place.stressed+businessman

2. Know what you really want: Often, a terrible job will help you be clearer about what you would want in a better job because you know for sure what you don’t want. Identify the things you desire in your job.

It may help to focus on what you don’t like and note the opposite. It may also be helpful to note the things you dream about in your ideal job. For example, are your coworkers too competitive?

Then, you may prefer a more team-based environment. Is your boss always second-guessing or changing your decisions? Then perhaps you would like a job where employees are trusted, and tasks are truly delegated. Would you prefer a job that requires a lot of problem-solving instead of a set group of tasks? Would you rather work for yourself? Have you always dreamed of teaching for a living?

Be sure to create a physical list that contains what you really want in a job. Explore how many of these things you can create in your current job situation or somewhere else in the company.

3. Make a conscious choice: Being in ‘choice’ is very powerful. Therefore after identifying your key motivation for staying at the job you hate, if it’s compelling enough to keep you there, then consciously choose to stay.  If you’re unsure about it, evaluate it further. Maybe you took this job several years ago because you wanted a job close to home beings you had small children and didn’t want to spend an excessive time commuting.

Now that the kids are older, is this still important criterion? Or perhaps you took this position because there seemed to be an aggressive career path to a higher-level position, but it never materialized. Or maybe you realize that you qualify for lots of different jobs of the same type that you’re working now, and you realize that a different work environment might make things much more tolerable.

Whatever your motivation, consider carefully whether it’s enough motivation to stay at the job or if you’d be better off transferring to another department or Division if you’re at a large enough company, or leaving entirely if there aren’t any feasible options within your current work environment.

4. Set weekly goals for yourself: If you really want to leave your job, set weekly goals to help you find the golden opportunity for you. One week you might research the industry, another week you might arrange three informational interviews, send out five resumes or attend a networking event.

Having these goals will help you transition to something better. Doing something daily towards a new job will help give you a sense of accomplishment and keep you progressing toward a new job.

5. Re-engage your commitment whenever you feel negatively toward your job: When feelings of frustration, hopelessness, anger, or sadness about your current situation re-surface, review your choice again. Realize that even after you have chosen to stay, there may still be parts of your job that you dislike.

Let go of the negative emotions and re-focus on the positive motivations for staying.  Allow your conscious choice to stay to become the habit and motivator to continue doing a good job and contributing daily.

6. Honor your needs: Allow yourself to acknowledge whatever emotions come up for you. Don’t try to hide it inside, or it will just blow out later. If you need to take a walk, or go to the restroom, take a day off, or even write it out in your private journal, do that. Letting things build up until they might explode is never a good idea. And, in the midst of your feelings, reflect back on your motivation for choosing to stay. Control your stress by respecting your needs.

7. Be realistic: If you really hate your job, don’t expect to love your job someday soon. Instead, expect that you won’t like it. Expect that the things that have frustrated you since the first day will still frustrate you now and will probably continue to do so as long as you stay at the job. If you expect that, the job will never sink below your expectations. However, at this point, you know that you are more than the job.

You don’t expect all of your satisfaction to come from that, because there are more areas in your life than just that.

8. Enjoy the Perks: Some jobs are terrible, but still have some great perks. Almost every job has at least one good perk such as a good salary, tuition reimbursement, health benefits, gym discounts, stock options, or opportunities to travel.

Take advantage of whatever perks are available because even focusing on some of these more positive things may make things easier, at least in the interim until you find something else.

9. Increase your Self-Care: Going into a job you hate will be worse if you get to the office feeling rushed, stressed and frazzled and lack self-care.

Set aside some moments of solitude each morning. Develop some positive daily rituals such as treating yourself to a latte, listening to upbeat music, going for a walk outside at lunchtime, getting up early enough to hit the gym before you go to the office, or connecting with friends for fun diversions.

Add some humor to your day buy posting a “joke of the day” calendar near your work space. Enjoy an activity regularly that helps you unwind and get rid of tension. Be willing to treat yourself to simple pleasures to help you feel better inside. By focusing on you, your well-being, health and happiness your present situation will be more tolerable.

10. Maintain your job performance. Although you’re dissatisfied at work, it’s important to continue to do your work and do it well. Hating your job doesn’t mean you can’t learn new skills or be a good performer at work.

Use your time to make yourself a better candidate down the road. If your company offers training courses, take advantage of them. Use downtime to learn something new on your computer. Pick up a management development book and read it (or listen to it) at lunch.

Turn your job into an opportunity for self-improvement. Set personal performance goals that you’ll be able to highlight as accomplishments in future job interviews. Be sure to avoid burning any bridges at your company because you are unhappy. Instead, maintain positive relationships and grow your network.

Right now, it might seem like you will be stuck in this job forever. Keep your chin up and remind yourself that you are in charge of your destiny. Search internal postings for new positions. Start your search for a new job externally. Realize that this too shall pass!

Med League provides medical expert witnesses to trial lawyers. Please call us at (908)788-8227 or contact us today to discuss your next case.

Visit our BLOG:

Go to Top