Shout out to all the unhappily employed: do you hate your job? If your answer to that question was a resigned Yes, then you are not alone. There are plenty of people who are unhappy or dissatisfied in their positions. The reason why could be anything. It could be the hours, the pay, a difficult boss, unfriendly coworkers, boring tasks or even an unproductive work environment. The long-term solution would be to find a different job, but that isn’t as easy as it sounds.
The competitiveness of the market can make it difficult to find a decent job quickly. Beyond that, you might feel reluctant to resign and start somewhere else even if you are unhappy at your current job because change is not easy either.
I’ve met my fair share of unhappily employed professionals and they all share a common issue. They are not gaining as much experience as they could because they are too busy amplifying the negativity to even focus on the positives and make the most of their situation. Don’t get me wrong. It is completely natural to get into this funk. Our emotional states impact how we interact with our careers. If you are unhappy, you will struggle to find motivation, not put your all into your tasks, miss out on learning opportunities by resigning yourself to the idea that there is nothing this job can offer you and otherwise negatively influence your performance at work.
While ‘sucking it up’ is definitely challenging and counterproductive, I believe there are ways to fall in love with a job you hate. In fact, I have prepared a fail-safe recipe to stir passion into the mix of your daunting career.
1) One Tablespoon of Silver Linings
Focus on the things you do like about your job. This will give you the strength to tackle the tough parts. Consider your coworkers or your team, certain tasks you enjoy doing above others, vacation days or compensation. This will give you the fighting spirit to soldier on through the daily grind.
2) ½ Cup of Personality
Part of owning your space is making it personal to you. I find that de-cluttering your work space, putting things that inspire you or motivate you on your desk and otherwise personalizing your surroundings can get rid of some of the workplace blues. Decorate your desk with personal items such as photographs of loved ones, or pictures of your happiest moments, plants or bobble heads. It can actually be fun to work when your space is an extension of your personality, giving you a comfortable space to focus and perform.
3) A Pinch of Positive Change
Positive change can sometimes be the key ingredient to changing your outlook toward your work. You should approach your boss or direct report and discuss your workload and responsibilities. Don’t be scared to ask them to alter it. You could be overworked, overwhelmed or completely unchallenged and your boss will understand that you will never be as productive as you could be unless some changes are made.
Even the act of having this conversation can be a huge help in making the most out of your situation. After all, the goal is to come up with a solution that will prove to be the best for you, your team, your boss and the organization as a whole. Even if your direct manager does not make the changes you wish for, the insight you are bound to gain through the conversation will take you that much closer to finding a solution. When you are in a job that is draining you, it can be a breath of fresh air to hear a different perspective on how things are going. You might even be inspired to improve your own duties and responsibilities, and the initiative won’t go unnoticed.
4) 3 Cups of Fun
If you are reading this far, you probably aren’t doing a job you see yourself doing ten years from now. Maybe your passions lie elsewhere and that can be a huge factor in why you’re having trouble enjoying a job that seems to be going nowhere fast. That is why it is important to make time for your interests in your spare time. This can be a hobby, a sport, an activity, or a side-project related to what you reallywant to do. Who knows? This could be the first step toward starting your own business.
5) ¾ Cup of Realistic Goals
It is important to be realistic about your situation and what is necessary for moving forward. While you might hate the job you are in, it might be a necessary evil to overcome what lies ahead. However, it is important to ensure that you are not taking any easy shortcuts. Instead of trying to impress your employer with promises you can’t keep and setting yourself up for failure, focus on working hard and accomplishing what is in your power to do. If you manage to do this consistently, your manager will find it considerably more impressive.
6) Mix Some Confidence into the Bowl
I don’t know about you, but when I am feeling down on myself it shows. I’ll stop making an effort to dress up and will skip the morning rituals that give me a self-esteem boost at work. Be careful not to fall into this trap. They say that clothes make the person, and dressing to impress is a foolproof method of building confidence at work which leads to a smoother work day. If you show up looking like you are exhausted to the point of having one foot in the grave, then you will feel dead tired throughout the day.
7) Add Flavor With New Ingredients
One of the biggest problems about getting lost in hatred for the job you’re in is that you are denying yourself a learning opportunity. When you think you have nothing to gain from a job and that nobody has anything to offer you, you will learn nothing. Even if you think your coworkers are not the most competent, or even believe your boss is not as smart as they think they are, they still have something to offer you. If not raw intellect, then they can offer a wealth of insight from work/life experience.
Another thing you should consider is that one of the best ways to break the monotony of your job is by pushing yourself to do more than what is required of you. In some cases, this is actually the only way you can get promoted at all. Your ambition will also go rewarded and boost your positivity about the work you are doing.
8) Allow Mix to Cool for 20 Minutes
‘Take breaks’ might seem like easy advice to follow for most of you, but it is important that you are taking good breaks. That is, if you’re coming back from your break worn out and unrested, you did not efficiently use your break. To avoid this, try getting fresh air or some quick exercise instead of eating junk food and staring at the screen of your phone listlessly for the entire 20+ minute period.
As a final point, I advise you to remember to refrain from taking your job for granted. Sure, it may not be perfect and you may hate it, but you should focus on what you can do in the present to make your job matter. Talk to coworkers about things other than how much you hate your job, support new employees, have frequent conversations with your boss whenever you need a little inspiration and stay proactive.
By Roba Al-Assi
This article originally appeared in Bayt.com. This article and all other intellectual property on Bayt.com is the property of Bayt.com. Reproduction of this article in any form is only permissible with written permission from Bayt.com.
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