OK, I admit it. I will tell you a secret just between you and I…..I stayed in a job I hated for many, many years because I had a good salary and health benefits and a mortgage and other bills to pay. I dreaded walking into the doors of the office to a job that didn’t fit who I really was.
I share a lot on this blog about how to find a job you love and I hope that you have found it helpful. But for most of you, there is an amount of time where you have to stay in a job you might hate until you can find that dream job. I don’t want to ignore you and pretend like it’s fun. It’s definitely not! So while you plan your exit route, here are some tips to stay motivated if you hate your job.
How to Stay Motivated When You Hate Your Job
1) Find the Root of the Problem
What’s keeping you from feeling positive at work? Find where the problems lie and start forming possible solutions. Just because you hate your job doesn’t mean you have to throw in your towel right away. You may be able to resolve the root of the problem so your time at work can be more bearable.
When I realized that I disliked the financial tasks that I was doing in my job but I loved the training and mentoring tasks, I tried to spend as much time as possible doing what I enjoyed. You might be able to find temporary solutions as well to make your work more enjoyable for the time being.
2) Assess Yourself
Know why you’re sticking around if you hate your job. Ask yourself, do you really hate your job or you just need to make some changes and new goals? Will a one-on-one coaching session with a mentor or your manager help you re-engage with your position?
And if leaving is not an option, then ask yourself why exactly you’ve got to tough it out. Is it because of your pay grade or is it a necessary step in your career? Step back and see if you really have the right personality to succeed in the job. If this isn’t the right career for you, then what is?
3) Plan Your Future
If you hate what you’re doing now, the prospect of sticking with it for the next 5-10 years is a daunting and overwhelming scene. So I encourage you to know what you really want in the future instead. Think about where you’re going and what you need to do to succeed in the future.
If you can get a clear vision of where you want to be 1, 2, or even 5 years from now, your temporary job will become much bearable. Having something to look forward to can make a huge difference. When I was plotting my exit route, I had a notebook that I would repeatedly look at reminding me of my goals and future vision. I would look at my vision a few times a day just to make sure I didn’t forget what I really wanted my future to look like. And the best part is, my career vision came true and so can yours!
4) Leave Your Misery at Work
Do not bring your on-the-job negativity home with you. This can be very challenging if you have a family. If you have kids, then it is more important to leave your misery behind. Our children don’t need to know that our job equals unhappiness for us. Try to balance your work and life and leave your negative work mindset in the office.
5) Be Better At Your Job
Just because you hate your job doesn’t mean you can’t keep improving! When your job sucks, you might feel that you suck too. Keep in mind that you are not your job. Don’t let yourself be a byproduct of a miserable job. Stop self-pitying and find ways to improve yourself professionally.
You can begin by attending networking events and conferences within your industry to stay up on the latest trends. Develop new skills and expand your resume by taking online courses and participating in your company’s professional development offers. This will make you feel more fulfilled and your boss may notice your new skills and put them to use in a better job. Give your boss a reason to appreciate and promote you and a better career fit might be right around the corner.
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6) Bond With Your Colleagues
Take some time to get to know your co-workers even better. Even if your job sucks, at least you will enjoy being with your team. This will help you increase your on-the-job engagement. You will appreciate your position more and the company as a whole if you truly like those you work with.
7) Manage Your Bad Days
Everyone has frustrating moments at work but one small problem or event doesn’t have to ruin your entire day. Take a step back and assess the situation before you jump to conclusions. Maybe take a walk outside or call up a friend during your break that makes you laugh. Give yourself a moment to think about how lucky you are to have a job that pays your bills and to remember your future vision that you are working towards. Remember, work isn’t everything.
8) Know & Enjoy Your Passion
Waking up knowing you are wasting another beautiful day at a job you hate is an awful feeling. You MUST make time in your day for what you are passionate about. Is it art? Is it music? Is it yoga? Know what really makes you happy and schedule it into your calendar! Trust me, this is the only way you are going to stay sane until you find your dream job. When I was on the job hunt while working in a job I hated, I spent every spare minute working on my blog because I loved it so much. Hours would fly by and I wouldn’t even notice because it wasn’t “work” to me. Spend at least an hour each week doing something you love and it will help keep you motivated.
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