It’s the worst feeling in the world. The idea of getting up every morning and going to a job you hate. But wait, you are not alone. A global poll conducted by Gallup shows that only 15% of employees like their job and the rest 85% are unhappy with what they do for a major part of the day.
The worst part is, even if you know you don't like your job, you most probably can't do anything about it. Leaving a job and getting a new one is not always possible for everyone, especially in a tough economy like the one we are in. If anything, most of us are juggling two jobs to make ends meet.
So, what are your choices? Limited, but you don’t have to hate what you do. There are ways to cope with the aversion in a healthier way. In this article, we outline a few ways to get through a job you probably hate.
Find the Problem.
Instead of dwelling in extreme misery of our jobs and replaying it in our heads repeatedly, take a step back and try to look at yourself and the job objectively. Sometimes we are so emotionally charged about something we don’t like that we are unable to look at the situation objectively. We are so focused on how we feel that we seldom try to find the root cause. Asking questions to yourself can be helpful:
- Why do I really hate my job?
- Am I being overly dramatic about it?
- Do I like working with the people in my office?
- Is the work I am doing meaningful?
- What do I like about this job?
Do not just think about it, take some time out to write about it. Categorize the problems at work into minor and major. Now major problems are extreme, like bullying, not getting paid, or any mistreatment from co-workers. If you are facing any of these major problems, you need to talk to HR (Human Resource) or a legal advisor. These serious issues at work are not okay. If you are concerned about your safety at work, it's not okay. You need to contact the authorities at once.
What this exercise will do is give you the reality. It will chart a path towards a possible truce with your job. Especially if you have a lot of minor issues with it.
Face the tough conversations.
Many times, once we identify the problems, the next step is to have a conversation with someone. A tough one. Seek help from others in the company to help you navigate through the situations. For instance, if the biggest issue in your current role is not liking your direct manager, then talk to your colleagues about changing your department or working under someone else.
If you are bogged down with work with no one to help, then have that tough conversation with your manager. Let them know that you are having a tough time keeping up with the workload and it needs more fair distribution.
Most of the time, when reasoned well, the company responds positively. The company also is interested in keeping talented employees and will try and help you as much as possible. But unless you take the first step and talk about it, there is no way your employer is going to know what you are struggling with. Have an honest conversation with your employer as early as possible and request a change.
Look for the benefits.
No matter where you work, there is always something good there. A kind colleague, good insurance, work-life balance, good money, a larger purpose, good manager, opportunity to learn on the job, etc. Many times, we cannot control the situation externally. Many pieces of your job are not in your hands, but being grateful for it is something you have control over.
Even when you are not getting paid enough, try to be grateful for what you are getting right now, it is meeting some of your needs. If you don’t like your manager, be grateful for your colleagues with whom you can share your experiences.
If you are constantly riddled with negativity about your job, then make a list of things you are grateful for at work. Look at that list whenever negative thoughts arise. Go through it even when you are stressed. It will help you refocus from the stress to something positive and good.
Remember that it's temporary.
If you think about it, everything in life is temporary. You should start quoting Shakespeare in your mind, “this too, shall pass”. Going this will reduce the tension from the current moment and remind you that everything in life is temporary. Removing the finality from an issue makes you realize that this is not forever. This is temporary and it’s okay. This will help you reduce the stress around your job and focus on the task at hand instead.
Look at it from an unfamiliar perspective.
There may not be much you can control at your workplace, but you can control your perspective and your thoughts. Instead of looking at the job as a dreadful thing overall, try to reframe it. More than 2.7 billion people in the world earn less than $2 a day, and 1 billion people barely make $1 each day. That means billions of people are looking for a job that you are doing right now. They are struggling to find something, anything, that will help them feed their families. While this approach does not solve your problem, it gives you a larger perspective. When we think about our jobs in this way, we change our outlook to that of gratitude vs. Just dislike.
Create a life outside work.
Working for 8 to 9 hours all day long can be mentally exhausting. A wonderful way of not letting your job take over your life is to create a meaningful life outside of work. An active social life, good company of friends, a nice walk in the park, reading a book on the bench, studying something you are passionate about, starting a side hustle, can all help relieve some stress. If anything, you are motivated to get up in the morning, finish working, so you can do what feels fulfilling.
Take care of your health.
When we spend long hours doing what we don’t like to do, it takes an emotional and physical toll on us. As a result, we eat junk food, don’t get any exercise, and in general, tend to neglect our physical and emotional wellbeing. Unless your job requires being on your toes and hard labor, staying fit should become a priority. Be it doing jump ropes, going for walk, a short run, or lifting some weights, working out is essential. Workouts also produce oxytocin and endorphins – happy hormones. When most of your day is spent feeling anxious, depressed, or dislike, moments of happy hormones tide you over. You look at life more positively overall.
If you were not taking care of your health till now, doing so will make you less moody, improve self-esteem, and sleep. Do something good for your mind and your body. Take good care of yourself.