The Blog

How to Cope With a Job You Hate

Consider a full turn around. Work in your loathed job for as long as you can stick it and quit. Then go work abroad and completely change your surroundings. I know that this option isn't always affordable or possible for people, but changing your surroundings may be the therapeutic change that you need.

Unless you're extraordinarily lucky, you've probably had an awful job at some point. Maybe it was a fine job to start out with but things took a turn later. Maybe it was the only job going and you had to take it but hated every moment. Perhaps you're waiting on tables and scrubbing cutlery whilst applying for something better morning, noon and night. It's a truly tough thing to handle when you're trapped in a job that you cannot stand. Never fear! If you're heading to work, shoulders hunched, carrying your briefcase as you cast your weary gaze to the ground then read over some of these suggestions. As someone who previously got out of a job I hated, I'd been trying to do whatever I could to find something better and would advise anyone else to do the same.

  • See what you can get out of your current job. Try to make the most of what you have in the moment. If you've got to be there, make it work for you. If you're working at the bottom of a large company, try to take on more responsibilities and make yourself useful. It could lead to a promotion which you could use when applying for other jobs. It could make you look more impressive when you go into interviews if you can show that you're up for taking on new tasks and making the most of your time in a job.
  • See if you could be transferred to a different role, department or location/branch of the company. It offers some security whilst also changing your situation and surroundings.
  • If your job is dull, and you yourself are a creative person, find ways to make the day less dull. Perhaps this is to introduce office games to get people to be more competitive in their work environment.
  • Maybe you're in a job you hate not because you hate the work, but because you hate the people or the way you're treated. If you're being mistreated at work you do not have to accept it. Find out how to lodge complaints and don't be afraid to speak up about what you're experiencing. Join a union. Find the courage to speak up. Is your supervisor singling you out? Speak to a manager. Does your manager mess around the staff? Speak to the rest of your co-workers and, if they feel the same, make a plan of action because you' together are probably stronger than your manager.
  • Utilise your lunch break. Are you working a job to pay bills, but have secret dreams of becoming a writer or and artist or something you so rarely have time to pursue? Harness your break time and try to put it towards all the other stuff you want to achieve but neglect. Write your novel over your lunch time tune bagel. Look at improv classes you could attend and work on some material whilst you wait for the barista to bring over your coffee. Don't let those spare moments of the day go by and become utterly wasted. Finding balance is important. Work towards the thing you've always wanted to do in the scraps of spare time you're given.
  • NETWORK. Go out into the world and boast your skills and see if someone takes interest in your passions and skills. Often, in the world of work, it's about who you know.
  • Hate your job? Why not look into cutting your hours and working part time there and getting a different part time job elsewhere? If it's a possibility then it means you're halving your time spent in a negative space. Who knows? Something could come from that other part time job. It adds another place of employment to your CV and boosts future employability.
  • Until recently, I myself was in a job that I loathed. My co-workers and I were all unhappy and we banded together in the knowledge that we all could do better and were wasting our time chasing pennies on a minimum wage job that treated us like dirt with management that actually bullied us and made us feel awful. Despite all we did to try to improve things there, nothing ever changed. What happened next was beautiful. We all rallied together to help each other find new jobs that suited our skills and interests and within two months a third of us had new, better jobs that actually made us happy. We're all still helping the others to get out into new jobs. Things then became interesting. The sudden 'abandon ship' movement made our management team see that, perhaps they were doing something wrong. They began trying to reach out and offer whatever they could to the members of staff that they still had left, but it was too late. Those that are still there are soon to be on the way out. Many have interviews and apprenticeships lined up. By next month, half of their staff will have gone and they are currently having to scrape around to find roughly seven new staff members. If you work somewhere in which it is universally loathed by the staff, realise that you are stronger as a team and your management team need you more than you need them. Think back on the protests of McDonalds workers who rallied together to ask for a raise of their minimum wage. You are always stronger when united as a team than as individuals. If you all hate your jobs, join together to see how you can all change to fix it. Our management may not have cared too much about us, but thankfully we all cared enough about each other.
  • Consider a full turn around. Work in your loathed job for as long as you can stick it and quit. Then go work abroad and completely change your surroundings. I know that this option isn't always affordable or possible for people, but changing your surroundings may be the therapeutic change that you need.
  • For every day you have to go to work at a job you dislike, apply for three jobs. If there aren't a lot of jobs in your area then try to do three things that could help you achieve any other goals or dreams that could lead to something more for you. Always wanted to write a novel? Write a chapter each day. Dream of recording a CD on the side? Each day, spend thirty minutes writing music. For every day you have to turn up for a job that doesn't satisfy you, try to seek out ways to pursue something that WILL satisfy you.

If you've read this because you're currently stuck in a job you hate then I wish, from the bottom of my heart, that you find a better career soon.

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