Staying the Course When You Truly Hate Your Job

Strategies and affirmations to get through the most trying workdays.

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Unfortunately, many people can relate to disliking their work, or even hating their job. Are you among the many workers who would leave your job at the first chance? If an immediate change is unlikely, consider the following tips from Sanjay Sathe, CEO of RiseSmart:

What do you really hate? "Take a step back and look at the big picture," Sathe says. "What specifically do you hate about your job? Is it the day-to-day work, the company, your boss or your colleagues?" How might your personal life affect your job satisfaction? Do you hate the long hours because you have a personal problem to manage at home? Or, might a tenuous relationship outside of work be stressing you out and affecting how you feel about your job?

Ask yourself, "Is it them, or is it me?" when you're evaluating your job satisfaction levels. He suggests you document things that happen during the workday that upset you. Look at the list and identify common themes. You may be surprised and learn that nothing specific happens that annoys you, in which case you can start to think differently about work.

Talk it out. Assuming you do identify what's causing your dissatisfaction, Sathe suggests: "Talk it out with a couple choice people you know and trust – different perspectives can often be invaluable in this process and often others can see things that you don't – we all have our blind spots." Take the advice to heart.

Less is more. Identify what you can eliminate in your daily routine that causes so much grief. "It could be as simple as talking to your manager about taking on more tasks that are in line with your strengths – perhaps you really enjoy interacting with others but your current role keeps you shut in your office all day," Sathe notes. "Volunteer to join a committee or conduct some customer meetings or trainings." When you incorporate tasks you enjoy, it's possible other, non-negotiable tasks will bother you less. Sathe explains: "You may never find a job where you love everything you do, but you can begin to slowly mold the job you hate to one you like more and more."

Try something new. Perhaps you can influence a change in your current work environment. "Talk to your manager about helping on a special project or joining a committee," Sathe suggests. "Look into opportunities to work within a different and interesting department for a short period. The key is getting back to what engages you and making it a part of your daily work life – a little creativity can go a long way."

Plan an exit strategy. If you really hate your job, it's up to you to start planning your transition and how to get a new job . Set some specific goals regarding finding more appropriate and enjoyable work.

It's in your hands. It's up to you whether or not to be miserable. You can focus on what you hate about your job or choose one or two things you actually enjoy, no matter how minor they may be. Can you enjoy a sense of accomplishment by making it through each day? Maybe there's a colleague you appreciate, or a great view from an office window. While you are planning a change, if you focus on some positives, it will make the work day that much better.

Don't burn bridges. Sathe reminds us: "You never know what the future holds. No matter how mean your boss is or how annoying that colleague can be, you may need them in the future so for that reason be nice and don't complain at the office."

Make time for your passions. If you don't enjoy your work, make more of an effort to enjoy your time outside of work. You may even find that new passion can become a side business that leads to work happiness down the road. "Are you a creative person who works in a very uncreative profession? Find ways in your personal life to fulfill this need – restart that hobby you shelved years ago or take a class," Sathe says. "By spending time outside of work on things you love you will become happier overall, which in turn will positively affect how you feel at work."

Miriam Salpeter is a job search and social media consultant, career coach, author, speaker, resume writer, and owner of Keppie Careers. She is author of Social Networking for Career Success and 100 Conversations for Career Success. Miriam teaches job seekers and entrepreneurs how to incorporate social media tools along with traditional strategies to reach their goals.

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careers
corporate culture
employment

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