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Hate Your Job But Don’t Know What to Do? Check This to Make up Your Mind

Hate Your Job But Don’t Know What to Do? Check This to Make up Your Mind

Do mornings bring with them a sense of impending doom?

Do you often lie in bed sleepless, hating your life and yourself?

And would your rather have your teeth pulled out, one by one, sans any anesthesia rather than going to work?

If a really stressed yes is your answer, then it’s pretty clear that you hate your job and would go through anything to be able to send in a scathing resignation letter.

The thing is, practically speaking, most of us don’t have the wherewithal to be able to simply quit a job we hate, for there are bills to be paid. So what to do when you hate your job?

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Why is it so hard to quit, and even harder to stay?

Moaning and groaning about your job on an everyday basis is not only making you miserable but also irritating everyone around you. And telling yourself that sticking to a known devil rather than trying out an unknown one is better is bad philosophy.

If you hate your job, you are probably not going to be very good at it in any case, and are setting yourself up for a big fall later; and frankly if it is getting unbearable – you need to find a way out, pronto![1]. That said, the five most common reasons people keep doing the jobs they hate are listed below, and they are pretty understandable too.

Fear of testing new waters

One of the main reasons people keep sticking to the jobs they hate, and probably end up hating themselves while they are hard at work is the fear of unknown waters. This is particularly true for people nearing retirement or women getting back to work after a maternity leave, or even employees who have stagnated in the company or at the same position for too long.

Monetary concerns

Yep, the cost of living, unpaid bills and rising debts can put the fear of God into anyone! Your rather rickety financial situation will be worsened with unemployment and so this is one reason people stay put in the jobs they hate, unable to see a way out, at least immediately.

A lull in the job market

Sometimes you stay in the job you hate simply because there seems to be a dearth of good jobs in any case. Your regular scouring of classifieds and job sites simply tells you that leaving now means you might end up unemployed for a bit

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Being miserable is okay

So you hate your job. So what. There are so many people in the world who would shrug and say “what to do when you hate your job”? Its part and parcel of life, you don’t have to like what you do – and somewhere this homily has taken root in you. And if this job is giving your family a good life, then it is well worth the sacrifice, no? Is it, truly?

All jobs are the same

And the final excuse, somehow you think that all the jobs in the world are bad and would probably end up making you miserable one way or another. Bad bosses, jealous colleagues and a workload that feels like the entire world’s weight – all jobs are like that, only … well, they aren’t.

So what to do when you hate your job? Doing nothing is a bad option.

You hate your job, that’s been established. And if you are still reading this article, you not only hate your job very much, you also abhor, despise and detest it, and this is not a transitory phase for you – you have hated your job for a while. The problem being, staying put at a job you hate and not doing anything about it, isn’t good for you, your job and both their entwined futures at all.

As we said before, a job you don’t enjoy will, if it hasn’t already, turn into a job you are not good at it. You will procrastinate, avoid added responsibilities, and basically harp and complain about it all day long – much to the ire of your colleagues, and the boss. And if your whining reaches the boss’s ears, well, soon you will be out of the job in any case.

What to do when you hate your job. Assess and take affirmative action.[2]

Frankly, as Maya Angelou put it, “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”

And this hold true for your “what to do when you hate your job” whining too. There are basically only two things you can do: either you change your job, or at least the things you don’t like about it; or you change your attitude about it [3]

1. Is it the job, or is it you?

Being unhappy with your job, or hating your job may be an extrinsic factor, but it may arise from an intrinsic one. Are you unhappy in general and hate your life? Or is it just the job you hate? If it’s your life you are unhappy about, then decide to make small little changes every day and get all the help you need to make yourself happy, now.[4]

2. Find out what you “hate” about the job

The first thing to do when you get stuck in a “what to do when you hate your job situation” is to find out why you hate your job. Is it the mean boss? Is it the sniggering and overly competitive colleagues? A new and added responsibility that you cannot handle or are not equipped to do well? Has the workload suddenly increased or decreased? Has your job profile been changed?

Make a pros and cons list of your current job – this will help you sort out a problem (if it can be sorted) and also, make sure what you don’t want in your next job if you are going application happy.

3. Discuss your woes with your boss

Sometimes bosses are the reason you hate your job. While sometimes they are just nasty pieces of work, mostly bosses are as human as you and I. Talk to your boss, and discuss what is making you unhappy. See if a solution, or at least a part solution, can be reached – and then try and compromise a bit from your end too. And if the boss is the problem, see if your company can move you to a parallel position, under someone nicer?

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4. Unless unbearable, don’t quit

If your job is not driving you up a wall and is also compensating you decently for your troubles, quitting may not make you as happy as you thought it would, especially if you haven’t landed another gig. Being unemployed will make you miss that salary, overanalyze your behavior and perhaps think yourself as a quitter.

If you have to leave your job, make sure you have landed another one, preferably one that is your dream job, or has all the attributes your current job lacks.[5]

5. Always be a good worker

So you hate your job and no compromise or new job is in sight, and you are not quitting either. That doesn’t mean that you will not work well or be unprofessional – hate your job as much as you want, but you still have to do it to the best of your abilities. Basically train your mind to be strong![6]

6. Try to look at the bright side

You cannot hate everything about your job now, can you? So if you are stuck in a what to do when you hate your job situation, try and concentrate on what you do like about your job instead and mentally block the negatives out. Think about the future, you may hate your current job, but if it’s just a stepping stone that allows you to reach your career goals a few years down the line, sticking to it makes more sense, no?

7. Do not overshare your feelings

Frankly, no one wants a gripe at the office. If all you do is moan, groan, complain and whine – no colleague of yours is going to like you and those friends you made at work will soon disappear into thin air. Being a person who always dissed this and that all the time will further alienate you at a job you already dislike and make it unbearable. So put on that game face and work, till you have another option [7].

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So there you have it, if a job starts affecting your life in a bad way, maybe it is time to quit [8] But it is always good to have a good exit strategy beforehand, as in another job before you do up and leave. And till that time you can, well, grin and bear it and remember that this too shall pass!

Reference

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Last Updated on April 17, 2019

10 Essential Soft Skills That Will Help Advance Your Career

10 Essential Soft Skills That Will Help Advance Your Career

What’s the secret of professional success? Some of it lies in the mastery of your discipline and all the technical skills you have to carry out your job; but a much bigger part lies in the soft skills list you possess.

Soft skills are your people or relationship skills—how well you get along with others and your ability to communicate and collaborate—as well as the personal characteristics you bring to the job, such as optimism, a can-do attitude and the motivation to work hard. These skills are not always easy to point out, but their absence can cause serious problems and negatively affect the whole work atmosphere.

They say that hard skills will help you get the job, but soft skills will help you get along—and get ahead. With that in mind, here’s the top-10 essential soft skills list to help you advance your career.

1. Communication Skills

Communication skills are hands-down the most sought-after soft skill that bosses want, and this one ability covers a lot of ground.

To communicate well, you have to listen carefully, interpret the context of the conversation, express yourself clearly, persuade others of your point of view, check your body language and use an engaging presentation style that won’t intimidate or bore your audience. That’s a big ask!

Your personality traits can influence the way you communicate with others. For instance, some people get straight to the point and center their arguments around facts and logic; others are cooperative and sensitive to how others feel. Both these approaches are equally valuable but there can be misunderstandings if you don’t understand where the other person is coming from.

Taking a comprehensive personality test can help you understand why you communicate the way you do and where your blind spots are. It can also help you understand other communication styles is so you can tailor your communication to the person you’re dealing with.

After all, connecting with your conversation partner is the hallmark of good communication.

2. Flexibility

Change is an essential part of any business. Companies need employees who are flexible enough to work with new initiatives, open to new ideas, and generally are able to tough it out when things don’t go as planned.

Research has found a link between job performance and flexibility over the long term because there will be times when you have to step outside your routine and rise to fresh challenges that didn’t exist before.

Being flexible doesn’t mean you have to hop into a new task or job role like an expert. Rather, it’s about showing you’re willing to accept new responsibility and learn different things.

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Bosses look for people who are prepared to step outside their comfort zones and are open to alternative solutions when their first idea doesn’t work.

3. Being a Team Player

Working on a team can be challenging but learning to do it well can definitely help you get ahead in your career. Employers look for people who can negotiate, cooperate and manage conflicts with other people to achieve a common goal. That includes the ability to build lasting relationships with customers and clients.

What makes a good team player? Essentially, it’s someone who knows the goal and knows her role. Employers look for evidence that you know your strengths, your responsibilities and how you can best contribute to the team, then put those skills into action by sharing ideas and communicating in a respectful manner. That’s the definition of being a good team player.

This is another area where taking a personality test can help you get ahead. When teams work together, each member brings a unique set of skills and qualities to the group. Research has shown that different combinations of personalities affect how teams collaborate and how productive they are.

Knowing who you are, and how you work on a team, can drive new insights and open the door to better teamwork.

4. Positive Mental Attitude

There are plenty of things you can’t change at work, like the people you work with or the fact that the printer is broken again. The one thing you can change is how much you let these things bother you.

Bosses like people who are calm, rational and upbeat—those who diffuse tensions in the workplace, not get all grouchy and go around slamming doors.

Studies show that people who maintain a sunny disposition have better relationships at work, are happier in their jobs and make better decisions than those who whine and complain. Some suggest that a positive mental attitude can also make you live longer—which means it’s beneficial for every area of your life![1]

It’s not always easy to keep a “glass half full” mentality when work is stressful and the deadlines are piling up. But there are some things you can do to help maintain a positive attitude. Laughing at your unfortunate circumstances keeps the work environment positive, and taking “sanity” breaks can help you keep your cool in high-pressure situations.

Managers look for positive mental attitude in a team member that is ready for a promotion, so it really does pay to keep your cool in challenging situations.

5. A Strong Work Ethic

People with a strong work ethic are committed to the role, persevere when things get tough and are inspired by challenge. These people are ambassadors for the organization, and will always be seen as top talent and ideal candidates.

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If you can exhibit this skill, then expect to be seen as a great candidate, eligible for new opportunities and positions throughout your career.

Since a strong work ethic can mean different things to different people, it helps to show specific examples of your exceptional work ethic during a performance appraisal or interview. For instance, you might talk about:

  • A time when you persisted in the face of challenges and did not shy away from hard work.
  • How you volunteered to help with projects even though these tasks did not form part of your job description.
  • The networking, workplace learning and skills betterment you’ve undertaken, which shows ambition and drive (people with a strong work ethic have those qualities in spades).
  • How you own your mistakes and never, ever point the finger of blame at others.

For help with building a strong work ethic, check out these tips: How to Build a Reliable Work Ethic

6. Public Speaking

Who’s terrified of public speaking? Pretty much everyone, since public speaking is America’s number one fear, ahead of death at number five and loneliness at number seven.

Yet, according to Warren Buffett, mastering this one skill you could increase your personal value by 50 percent.[2] That’s huge!

If you’re not natural at public speaking, you’re in good company. Buffett had to work hard to overcome his stage fright and once dropped out of a public-speaking course before it started—because he was afraid of public speaking! He eventually realized that he needed to build up his confidence by just doing it; over and over in front of small groups.

For a more structured approach, Toastmasters International teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a variety of pathways. Membership of this non-profit looks good on your resume but the real payoff will come when you can put your newfound skills to use on the job or in the interview room.

Or, you can check out this advice: The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience

7. Integrity

From a manager’s point of view, the two integrity skills that will set you apart are:

  • Always doing what you say you will do
  • Owning an error instead of minimizing or hiding it

…even when no one is around to check up on you.

There are lots of people who have climbed the ladder without scruples, but they are not the people who others trust, respect and support when promotion time comes around.

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Behaving with integrity is a safe and consistent way to enhance your reputation and achieve your professional goals.

8. Managing Your Time

Phone calls, texts, Slack pings, meetings, huddles, side projects, multitasking—we are busier today than any generation before us. There’s no denying the workplace is an incredibly distracting place to be.

A lot of us have traded effectiveness for busyness which we wear as a badge of honor, both as a proxy for productivity and to show our value to the company. But what bosses want, what they really, really want, is someone who actually gets stuff done on time.

Time management is not merely the art of being on time, but of managing your time so you focus on the projects that really matter and add value to the business. This means prioritizing well, sticking to schedules, delegating, and not getting distracted by tasks that are easier to perform or less important. It means planning ahead and learning when it’s appropriate to say no.

Time management can be a tough skill to maintain, but not a difficult one to pick up. Monitor your actions for a few days—how long do your tasks take to finish? What’s interrupting you? What causes you to lose focus? Once you have the answers to these questions, you can set a schedule for yourself to make sure you’re spending your time wisely and this valuable asset is never wasted.

These 20 Quick Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity are also great to try.

9. Assertiveness

In any workplace, you typically will find people with the following conflict styles:

  • Passive: Those who go out of their way to avoid conflict.
  • Passive-aggressive: Those who express their negative feelings through actions rather than words.
  • Aggressive: Those who respond to conflict in a hostile and rude manner. These people get their opinion heard but they won’t make any friends in the process.
  • Assertive: People who stick up for their rights while still respecting the rights of others.

Managers look for assertiveness above all other styles because it allows decisions to be made without conflict or alienating people.

How do you use this information for yourself?

It starts with understanding your personality so you can anticipate how you will react when conflict arises and address your own shortcomings. Then, you can start influencing the team for top results, and securing your own career advancement in the process.

Learn how to be assertive and gain respect:

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How to Be Assertive and Stand up for Yourself the Smart Way

10. Creative Thinking

LinkedIn recently analyzed over 50,000 skills that employers search for when looking for candidates to find out what skills are currently in demand.[3] Taking the number-one slot on the 2019 soft skills list was creativity: the ability to solve problems and think outside the box.

Creativity is about bringing fresh, and sometimes unorthodox, ideas to the table. This helps companies to innovate, and companies that do not innovate will not survive very long.

How do you showcase your creative thinking skills? The golden rule is to participate.

Be brave and share your ideas during group brainstorming sessions. Volunteer to run a society, networking event or recruitment drive. Ask “what if” questions: “What if we add this information to the client welcome pack?” “What if we eliminate step 3 from the process?”

These activities demonstrate that you’re prepared to go beyond “business as usual” towards creative problem solving—an ability that will serve you every day, all throughout your career.

You can learn to unleash your creativity power:

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

Final Thoughts

The good news? Every item on this soft skills list can be learned. Although you may feel lacking in certain areas, taking an inventory of your strengths and weaknesses will allow you to focus in on the areas that you’ll benefit from developing.

So take an inventory of your personality, skills, and talents. This will give you a baseline for your communication style, attitude to change, conscientiousness and more. You can then identify your weak areas and develop strategies for improving your team-building, assertiveness and conflict skills.

The better news? The effort is worth it. Developing your soft skills opens the door to a new job or a promotion, and helps you succeed once you get there.

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Featured photo credit: Rachael Gorjestani via unsplash.com

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