How to Deal With a Job You Hate
On the path toward bigger, better things, you might have to make a few stops. You need to pay the bills, after all, and it’s common to take a job that feels like a compromise. It isn’t what you imagined for yourself, and as time goes on, you could start to hate where you are and what you’re doing with your life.
Many, many people have found themselves in your position. The stereotypical image of the nine-to-five grind isn’t exactly positive, with traffic, cubicles and an angry boss who’s impossible to satisfy. Even if you don’t work in an office, many of these same themes of pressure and claustrophobia hold true.
So how do you deal with a job you despise? In the interim between now and your next — assuredly better — position, you have solutions that will alleviate your stress and anxiety. Review some of the suggestions below and see if they apply to your set of circumstances.
1. Change Your Daily Routine
It’s easy to fall into a routine where you do the same things, day after day. When you’ve grown familiar with a schedule, that familiarity is comfortable and often difficult to break from. Even so, you should make an effort to visit new places after work, whether you stop at a cafe, bookstore or restaurant.
These stops serve as mini-vacations, little variations in your routine to help dispel the frustration you might feel over your daily grind. You don’t have to drive to another city to see a difference in your mood, just a different part of town. A small change in your schedule can benefit your mental health.
2. Set After-Work Boundaries
You’ve likely heard this suggestion before, but it’s essential to set boundaries with your supervisor. After work hours, you shouldn’t answer emails from your colleagues. If you have to uninstall the app you use for work emails, do it, as long as it doesn’t affect your communications during work hours.
In other words, your evenings and weekends belong to you, and you need to make that abundantly clear. You might feel the pull of your inbox on a Sunday afternoon, but try to turn your attention elsewhere. Checking your emails only builds stress for the coming Monday and draws you from the present moment.
3. Learn a New Skill or Trade
Some positions are unappealing because they’re boring, and you don’t know what to do with your time. Working the night shift is just one example of these types of jobs, where you’re sitting or standing for long periods of inactivity and serving fewer customers. Many employees turn to magazines or their phone.
Instead of reading about celebrities or browsing news apps, consider a book on a skill or trade you’d like to learn. During a long stretch where you’re not busy, you can spend those hours improving yourself. You’ll feel far better when you know your job is transitory, and it’s easier to stay happy and healthy.
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4. Evaluate Your Options
Though you may feel trapped, you can initiate a change in your circumstances, even if you’re exhausted, frustrated and unmotivated at the end of a long day. You might not have the energy, but you need to muster it if you’re going to move into another, more manageable position.
As mentioned earlier, you’ll feel far better knowing your job is transitory, just a single stop on the path toward something more rewarding. You’ll find it easier to cope with a job you dislike if you seek employment elsewhere, searching for employment that suits your interests and talents. Take a few hours to browse job sites online.
5. Speak to Management
You have no shortage of strategies for dealing with a bad boss. If you want to determine which approach will work for your specific situation, it’s necessary to classify your supervisor into one of four categories. They usually conform to the following groups, and you might find them familiar:
- The boss who takes credit
- The boss who can’t communicate
- The boss who won’t let you collaborate
- The boss who shoots down your ideas
When working with these types of bosses, the solution is often as simple as a conversation. If your boss takes credit for your work, privately meet with them to express your concerns. If they’re unable to communicate, ask questions, and if they shoot down your ideas, talk to them one-on-one to learn what they’re looking for.
As for bosses who won’t let you collaborate, start speaking with your co-workers and branch out on your own. As long as you take the initiative and voice your frustration, you’ll usually find the problem wasn’t as serious as you first thought. You have many ways to make yourself happier in a job you hate.
Start With a Small Change
You might have to make a few stops on your way toward a more fulfilling job, but it’s important to pause and appreciate where you are. Even if you hate your position now, you should consider it a challenge to improve yourself. Obstacles are opportunities, and each one of them has something to teach you.
As you move forward, stay positive. Start with a small change in your routine, and go from there.
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