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Last Updated on January 11, 2021

What to Do When You Hate Your Job (for Both Who Choose to Stay and Quit)

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What to Do When You Hate Your Job (for Both Who Choose to Stay and Quit)

If you hate your job, you’re not alone.

A recent U.K. study found that 60 percent of employees were unhappy in their current positions.[1] Whether you have a boss who always reprimands you or a job so dull that you’d rather watch paint dry, being miserable at work is an incredibly frustrating situation.

Is there any way to escape this daily torment?

If you’ve already reached the stage of saying “I hate my job!” then you’ve taken an important first step towards freedom. Admitting that your work is a nightmare means that you’re ready (and hopefully willing) to take action to change your circumstances. As you’ll see shortly, there are several solutions that can help bring your work life into a happier realm.

Before we get started let me suggest that you put aside any preconceived notions of what you might do. Instead, keep your options open and wait until you are drawn to a solution that offers the best results for you.

I hate my job! Give me some solutions to fix this.

Fortunately there are a number of solutions to help you escape from your joyless work situation. We’ll divide these solutions into two categories. The first one will cover solutions that help you stay in your current job but improve your circumstances. The second category will offer you solutions for quitting your job and moving to new pastures.

You hate your job but due to financial burdens or lack of other job offers you’re forced to stay where you are.

Try these five solutions:

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1. Be grateful for having a job.

However much you hate your job, just think of the millions of unemployed people who are desperate to find work. While your job may be far from perfect, it’s still a job. It pays you a wage and offers you a chance to contribute to society.

2. Be honest with your boss.

It may be hard to discuss with your boss the reasons why you hate your job, but it can be worth it. When confronted with facts such as: “My duties lack variety” or “I never get sent on training courses,” many bosses will take note of these remarks. If they want to keep you then there is a good chance they will take action to make your working life more acceptable to you. If your problem is with your boss, still find a way to talk to him or her about the issues. Open, non-hostile dialogue can resolve most problems.

3. Inject fun into your work.

You may work on a factory line or as a data entry clerk in an office. On the surface these jobs might appear as dull as dishwater. However, if you go to work with an expectation of having fun, you’ll be amazed by the results. Ways of adding fun to your work day include spending breaks with upbeat colleagues, singing at work, exchanging jokes with co-workers, and understanding that being professional does not mean you always need to be serious.

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4. Customize your work space.

If your company is dragging you down and slowly drowning your hopes and dreams, you need to take immediate action. One of the best things to do is to take control of your personal working environment. For example, if you work in an office make sure your desk and drawers are clean and tidy. Then introduce some character and inspiration to your desk space by adding an ornate plant and/or adding a picture of a loved one. Small changes like these can make a big difference.

5. Take control through goal setting.

Goal setting is a powerful and proven technique for boosting results. Your employer is likely to have organizational goals, but there is nothing to stop you from creating your own goals as well. If you’re on good terms with your boss, explain to him or her that you’re planning on setting goals to help you develop your job and to benefit the organization. If you’ve stopped speaking to your boss (it happens!), then you can still set goals that are within your control. For instance, you can decide to arrive early to work each morning to tackle the daily backlog of emails.

You hate your job, and you need to quit now!

Try these five solutions:

1. Take a vacation.

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A vacation does not need to be an expensive trip to the Caribbean. Use any vacation time you may have saved up to give you breathing space to take stock of your life, and time and energy to focus on your future. It can be time off of work to spend job-hunting and going to interviews, or with friends and family who can give valuable advice. With time to think, you can decide if you really want to quit your job and if so, what your next steps will be.

2. Be prepared.

If you’ve decided to definitely quit your job, it’s best to be adequately prepared. This will mean either having sufficient savings to live on for a period of time or having another job to go to. Update your resume, give your present employer a decent notice period, and leave on the best terms possible.

3. Move sideways.

If your work problem is related to your manager or team members, you may not need to leave your current employer. Instead, you could choose to apply for other positions within your organization. A new manager and a new team could be just what you need to break free from the “I hate my job!” trap.

4. Turn your skills into a freelance career.

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Do you love your work but hate your work environment? If so, you could be a good candidate for freelancing. Let’s say that you work as a personal assistant. It’s the role in which you’ve always excelled, but right now you have an obnoxious boss. Why not take your skills to the marketplace and see if you can secure well-paid contract work? You could also consider offering your services as a “virtual assistant.”

5. Don’t look back.

If you’ve chosen to quit your job then go for it! Once you’ve informed your employer, and agreed on an exit date, put the rest of your energy and focus on what you want to do next. Sometimes people decide to leave a job, but get emotionally caught up with worrying about things such as missing their colleagues and stressing over the future. Don’t let this happen to you. Keep your eyes firmly on a brighter working future.

A job that you dislike can make your life a living hell. The secret to freedom is to act. You must decide whether to quit your job or stay where you are. Whatever your decision, improve your situation. Any of the recommendations above is far better than doing nothing and wallowing in misery year after year. Hating your job can be just what you need to motivate you to a new and more successful life. Act now!

Reference

More by this author

Craig J Todd

UK Writer who loves to use the power of words to inspire and motivate.

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Last Updated on September 5, 2021

How To Be Proactive At Work: 7 Habits To Build

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How To Be Proactive At Work: 7 Habits To Build

I don’t know about you, but it was nearly impossible for me to be proactive at work last year.

Every week, I would map out my game plan and color-coded my calendar. But when I tried to set things in motion, I faced ten-foot barriers that would force me to change direction. I’d have to reschedule meetings, push deadlines back, and reorganize my life because of all the twists and turns. Pivoting became my life, and it was taking over every part of it.

When I think back to 2020, it was like trying to survive the Tour de France blindfolded. By the end of the year, I was worn out, and I was in no mood to organize my 2021 goals. Being proactive was the furthest from my mind. In many ways, I didn’t even want to dream about new projects.

When January 1st entered the scene, I crawled back under my covers and hoped for the best—or at least a year that would be more predictable with less pivoting.

You want to be hopeful for this year, but a part of you is afraid of another year filled with more barriers and you’re tired of trying to survive the chaos. You’re not alone.

Over 100,000 businesses have permanently shut their doors because of Covid-19.[1] Start-Ups aren’t getting a second chance.[2] And according to Pew Research, one in four adults still have a hard time finding money to pay their bills.[3]

This reality is not the most inspiring for those of us who are business leaders. If anything, it feels like the grim reaper is right around the corner to destroy our dreams and add us to the rising number of failed companies.

Being proactive is one of the most challenging things to muster right now. But it is one of the most imperative traits that we need to embrace.

But first, let’s be clear, what does being proactive mean?

Defining the Term “Proactive” In-Depth

The word proactive often floats around the workplace, usually by well-meaning managers asking employees or their team to, “Be more proactive!” But have you ever stopped to think about what that actually means?

The dictionary definition of proactive is, “acting in anticipation of future problems, needs, or changes.”

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Being proactive is about dealing with any obstacles or challenges before they even happen. Simply put, a proactive person plans ahead.

For example, you’re buying an older home. The seller tells you that it has a sturdy foundation and an engineer confirms it. Most people would be satisfied with this answer.

A proactive person, however, would think beyond what’s presented and look into any potential issues. They may ask questions like, “How long is the lifespan of the foundation?”, “Is it earthquake ready?”, or “Does insurance cover the foundation?”

Depending on the answers, proactive people would respond accordingly and put safeguards in place to avoid these problems or minimise its impact. While it seems like a lot of resources and effort are spent at the beginning, it can actually lessen your stress and save you time and effort because you’re either preventing a problem or already have a solution at hand when the challenge arises.

This doesn’t mean that proactive people never have to put out fires on occasion. However, when you have a proactive mindset, most of the issues that come up seemingly out of left field are already something you’ve considered. And this makes you better equipped to handle situations calmly and enact a solution.

If you want your business to succeed this year, you need to be proactive at work. Situations around the world are constantly changing and you never know what the next month, year or even hour might bring and how it would affect your work. Planning ahead and preparing for the future is incredibly vital in our current climate.

Proactivity vs Reactivity

We can’t discuss proactivity without exploring the other side of the coin: Reactivity.

Being reactive is the complete opposite of being proactive. A reactive person doesn’t feel the need to address a problem until it’s already occurred. They simply react to a situation because it’s already there.

Spontaneity and the ability to address problems as they arise is important in leadership, and in life. After all, we cannot predict the future no matter how hard we try. But oftentimes reactive people encounter problems because they refuse to take action even though there have been warning signs of imminent trouble.

Reactivity also comes from a place of panic. Because you have not thought or planned ahead, you react instantaneously. You may not offer the best solution because you haven’t had time to fully review the situation, and maybe even create more problems.

It won’t be easy, but it will be a lot easier with the following practical habits that I’ve put together for you. These tools will make all the difference for you and your organization.

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7 Practical Habits to Turn Reactivity into Proactivity

Even proactive people can exhibit reactive behavior. No one is perfect and the corporate and business world can be unpredictable. But you can turn things around and be proactive even when you have not anticipated challenges that face you. Here are some tips:

1. Don’t Be Busy

Repeat after me: only do what is necessary—no more and no less.

If you’re anything like me, as soon as January 1st comes along, you cram in all your five-year goals into one packed year. You love seeing your schedule filled. But being busy isn’t the same as being productive. Being proactive requires you to take a step back, reevaluate your priorities, and actually take things off of your plate before adding new goals.

The brain is not designed to always operate at full capacity twenty-four hours a day.[4] It needs a break. If we’re constantly immersing ourselves throughout the day with frivolous tasks, then we don’t have time to concentrate on our goals.

This year, I’m taking a break from the chaos and learning to do fewer tasks with more investment.

Think of it this way. Planning takes time. It’s like painting an apartment. Before you can add color to the drab walls of your living room, you have to plan and prep the area. The same is true for being proactive at work.

2. Stop Trying to Run Everyone’s Race

If you want to direct the narrative of your life, you need to take a step back and get rid of the clutter. Figure out what you can delegate and then, focus your energy away from the distractions. Not every email needs a reply, and not every job is right for you.

Shakespeare said it best,[5]

“To thine own self be true.”

These six words need to become your mantra.

If you want to reach your goals this year and be proactive, you need to walk forward with laser focus. If you compare yourself or your business to the next big thing, you won’t contribute anything except a lesser copy of yourself and your organization.

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Part of being proactive is being creative. You have to be able to see the different angles and nuances in a situation or project in order to anticipate potential issues and come up with creative solutions. If you’re constantly looking over someone else’s work, you’re not focusing on what’s in front of you. And you could end up missing a lot of obstacles that you could’ve avoided if you were paying attention.

Stop looking around. Your purpose is not to run the race of someone else. If you want to be proactive at work, you need to stop comparing yourself to your neighbor and stick to running your own race. It’s the only way that you’ll win.

3. Make “Essentialism” Your 2021 Word

When you’re figuring out your 2021 goals, take time to weigh the cost. Ask yourself if it’s worth the investment. Being proactive means that you take into consideration all the variables before cementing your goals.

Before you map out your plan or get crazy with those highlighters, ask yourself these two questions:

  • Will this goal help create balance in my life?
  • Will this goal produce a return on investment?

If you can answer a resounding “yes” to both of these questions, then take these ideas and write them down on a piece of paper.

After you’ve compiled a list of 15 to 20 ideas, take a new sheet of paper and break it into two columns. The first section should contain a list of goals that take priority. These ideas would fall under the umbrella of being trend-related and financially profitable.

The second section should contain a list of goals that will increase your social proof and promote your priority goals. This column drives traffic and promotes awareness of your business and your product.

After you’ve compiled this list, break it in half and cut it down to three goals in each section. Three is the perfect number because it gives you leeway to pivot and bend if you need to make changes throughout the process.

The two excellent tools that have helped me develop a schedule of essentialism are Hilary Rushford’s Elegant Excellence Journal[6] and Jill Konrath’s book, “More Sales. Less Time.

Both of these tools have helped me focus on what’s important, make the best decisions for my business, and make a profit without sacrificing my health.

4. Order the Same Latte

When you look at the greats in the business world, they all encompass one thing: simplicity.

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If you minimize your choices and stick to the basics, you’ll have the ability to save time and focus your energy on decisions that require your creativity. Keeping up with the latest fashion trends not only sacrifices your time but also sacrifices your budget.

Remember, it’s not about looking successful. It’s about making choices that give you the ability to be successful.

Here are four things that you can do to save time to make you more proactive at work:

  • Buy multiples of the same outfit and mix and match throughout the week.
  • Order the same drink each day from the same coffee shop.
  • Prepare meals at the beginning of the week for lunch and dinner.
  • Set your alarm for the same time each morning, including weekends.

5. Don’t Pressure Yourself to Respond Immediately

It’s okay to be surprised or be blindsided. Sometimes things just happen that is out of your control. What you are in control of, however, is your reaction. There’s nothing wrong with not having a solution or response at hand. It’s okay to take a step back and think about it first before responding.

6. Put a Pin on It

If you find yourself being unable to come up with a good solution, you can put a pin on it. You may want to address another matter first, one you already know how to deal with. It may give you inspiration and confidence when you come back to your other issues. Unless of course the imminent problem is fire outside your door.

7. Prioritize What’s Important

The thing with problems that come up suddenly, is that they may have already caused damage you can’t reverse. You have to learn to accept the situation and instead of trying to solve the unsolvable, prioritize what’s important, see what you can salvage and take note of lessons that will help you in the future.

It’s impossible to be proactive if you feel rushed. But if you follow the above tips, you’ll gain more time in your schedule and have more energy to lead your business and operate with a well-organized game plan.

Final Thoughts

I think the majority of us are tired of feeling like we’re contestants in Survivor. After all, who wants to be filmed while living in the woods and surviving off of bugs and tree bark?

All kidding aside. This past year has been challenging. But we can learn a lot from these past twelve months.

If you want to be proactive, simplify your schedule, focus on your path, only take what you need, and be purposeful with your time and energy. Being proactive is not about filling up your schedule. It’s about creating balance in your life.

I know it seems daunting right now, and many of us are still trying to figure out how to pay this month’s rent with spare change from the couch. But if you take the time to prepare and figure out what’s a priority this year, you’ll not only meet your goals, you’ll enjoy the journey.

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You have all the tools you need to be proactive at work. Now, go map out your 2021 goals for the year!

More Tips on How to Be Proactive

Featured photo credit: Campaign Creators via unsplash.com

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