A Job You Hate Means Every Morning is a Monday Morning
We have all been there, dreading the moment when we have to get out of bed and go to work — and nothing seems to make it any better. It is enough to make you go crazy and want to pull your hair out. Being trapped in a job you hate can be soul-crushing. But here are strategies you can adopt to try and navigate your way through these feelings and the situation you find yourself in.
First and foremost, you may need an attitude adjustment. Do you feel like you are doing work that is somehow ‘beneath’ you? Or perhaps you dislike your boss, so you are getting back at him by doing shoddy work. There is a saying: “How you do anything is how you do everything.” If you are not doing your best work, for whatever reason, it is likely that other areas of your life are not getting your best work either. Good habits are formed in the things we do not like to do but do anyway because that is how you become a reliable man. In short, in anything we do, if a job is worth doing, it is worth doing well. When you start trying your hardest to do the best work you can, you may just come to enjoy your work more, because it is almost certain that you’ll feel better about yourself and more fulfilled in what you’re doing.
But if it is not your boss or a specific person that is making you have to go into a job you hate, then what is it?
Identify the Problem
If it is not a specific person, then it may well be the work itself. Get some clarity on what part of your work is causing you the most anguish. Do you feel like you are bad at your job? Are you bored with the work? Has your job morphed into something you did not sign up for when you joined? If your job has changed and you do not like the direction it is going in, it may be time to talk to your boss and see what your options are. Is the change irrevocable? What do you need to do to love some of your tasks again?
If you know your job is not a good fit for you, get feedback on what you could do instead. Can you delegate certain tasks and pick up others? Can you get training or mentoring? Is there a way to change to a new role or create a new opportunity? If you are bored, what would make you feel more engaged? How do you need to be challenged to be happy? By learning new skills? Tackling a new project? Figure it out and find it at your company, or start looking elsewhere.
Take Positive Action
Whatever the reason is, one of your first steps should be to set up a meeting with your boss or supervisor and just be honest about how you feel in a professional and civil manner. If it is boredom and you do not feel challenged enough, ask for some more responsibility. Or maybe you have too much responsibility — while there are times where overtime is a necessary evil, it is not sustainable. Be honest about the amount of work that you can handle. If you write off the possibility of negotiating changes at work and just assume that your boss is tyrannical, you are only adding to your problem.
Other things you can negotiate include working from home one day a week, being more flexible with hours (shifting your workday by an hour or two every once in a while), even requesting to transfer departments if you think your gifts and passions would be better suited elsewhere. Working from home, even one day a week, could give you just the right amount of perspective on the issue, and the breathing space from the office, to accurately identify where exactly your apathy about your job is.
Thank with Clarity
Clarity of mind is very important. That means you need to be able to distinguish things that you can and cannot change. What are the things you can do practically, and how you can do them? There is no point in trying to solve a problem that cannot be solved. Knowing whether a problem can be solved or not takes experience. How does experience come? By doing it and going through it. And, if you fail, it is okay. You would have paid the price for learning.
Inevitably, if you have taken all these steps, and still you find you are in a job you hate then the truth is, taking action – even if it involves looking for another job – is the best answer to ending your unhappiness.
Getting out there, seeing your options, learning your market worth and thinking about what truly makes you happy can open the door for opportunity and give you much-needed perspective on what you have. That might be enough to make you wake up and feel better about what you do.