5 Tips For Loving a Job You Hate

How to handle the guilt and misery of hating your job when you're lucky to have one.

By + More

Karen Burns
Here in Seattle, layoffs at Microsoft, Starbucks, and Boeing (“The Big Three”) have us pretty darn jumpy. After Monday’s mass layoffs elsewhere, you may be feeling the same way.

So, if you still have a job, you’re lucky. You should feel grateful. Right?

But maybe, deep down, you don’t feel grateful. Maybe you hate your job.

Maybe you not only hate your job, but you're miserable because finding a new one is so hard right now. Add to this your guilt for not feeling the “proper” gratitude, and you could be feeling very unlucky at the moment.

So let’s think about ways to--if not “love”--at least tolerate your current situation. Here are five tips:

  1. Focus on what you do like about your job. Your witty officemate, Mexican Food Day in the cafeteria--there must be something.
  2. Explore healthy ways to vent your stress. Yoga, basketball, your church choir--get out there and do something positive and/or physical.
  3. Find an advisor, mentor, clergyperson, uncle, or aunt to discuss career strategies, ways to cope, and how to maintain a sense of perspective.
  4. Look for an avocation that would supply what’s missing in your worklife. Social interaction, creativity, challenge, a sense of accomplishment--you can get these outside of work, too.
  5. Every week do something that contributes to finding a new and better job. Sign up for a class. Join a networking group. Research new fields.
  6. Meanwhile, hang in there. Things will improve. Someday.

    Karen Burns, Working Girl, is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use, to be released by Running Press in April 2009 (but available now for pre order at Amazon!). She blogs at karenburnsworkinggirl.com .