You might have started loving your work, or else you took a job because you needed the money. But now you hate your job and you don’t know what to do. I’ve been there, and there are ways that you can improve the situation right now, if you can’t jump ship yet!
In this week’s podcast I share what you can do right now if you are hating every moment of being in your job. There are actionable tasks that you can do to help the situation, and ways that you can make the most of being where you are. Sometimes it isn’t possible to leave straight away, so understanding what you can benefit from the situation can make all of the difference.
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How to make your job better
Sometimes because the situation feels so bad we struggle to see the positives that are around us. Stop right now and think about three things that you liked about today. They could be tiny things like the way a colleague shared something with you, or the great coffee you drank on the way to the office, or it could even be the fact that you were asked something. Those tiny moments can help you to feel better in small ways. Starting small can make the situation right now feel better. You still have to go to work, so making it something you don’t completely hate is key.
Next think about why you took the job in the first place. Was it to make contacts, learn new skills or that you needed the money. It is alright to take work because of circumstances, whether they are personal or financial. I waited tables at night while I built my career as a photojournalist. Sure I was tired, but I learnt some valuable people skills as a waitress that made me a better journalist in the end, plus I was able to pay my rent!
Reminding yourself of why you ended up where you are right now is important. This gives you ownership of your situation, even if you are feeling like you don’t have control right now. This also applies to you if you have your own business or are working as a freelancer.
Finding your passion
We are told so often that we need to find our passion to be happy. But what do you do if you hate your job and have no idea what your passion is? I believe that you don’t need to be completely passionate about what you do to make a success of it. This isn’t to say that you don’t need to enjoy or love what you are doing, but you don’t need to feel like it is your one true calling!
Start with what you enjoy, understand if there is a need for it (so you can make money), and work out a plan to achieve it. Now I know that sounds superficial and you need so much more than that to make a success of it, but understanding what you don’t like can really help you too.
When we are in situations that are uncomfortable or we hate, we can have our best learning from them. They teach us what we don’t want and they help us to grow. If you hate your job right now, think about why that is. What is it about the job that you would never like to do again. This has already helped you to work out what you aren’t willing to do for your next job.
The other thing to think about is what you can gain from being where you are right now. Can you make contacts or learn new skills. You might even have access to free mentoring programmes or career advice. If you aren’t somewhere that offers this, you might benefit from finding some mentoring yourself. I wrote about how to find a mentor here.
Mentors can help you to unpick what you really want, as see the positives of where you are right now. This can help make a difficult situation less awful, and help you to build resilience if you can’t leave your job or change careers right now. Sometimes you feel like a career side ways step as you have outgrown what you are doing, or else you have built up a successful business but you no longer love the work. This is hard to walk away from (I’ve been there myself) but it can completely change your life for the better as well.
If you are struggling with any of this and don’t know where to start, download the free workbook to accompany the podcast. This will help you make a start and change those negative feelings into more positive ones.
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Know that you are not alone feeling this way about work. Sometimes things change and it can feel incredibly painful at the time, but with support you can aim for a better future. Make sure you get support and speak to others who can help you through this difficult time. And if you are really low please do reach out to someone like the Samaritans.