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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

Think Your Work Sucks? 7 Ways to Deal with It

Think Your Work Sucks? 7 Ways to Deal with It

Society as a whole is gradually becoming more open to the concept of seeking out work that you truly enjoy and embracing those opportunities but, for many, work sucks; it may be a place of dissatisfaction rather than one of pure joy.

This can be due to any number of reasons. Perhaps you are in a position solely for the money rather than for the work that you are doing on a daily basis. Maybe you are in an entry-level position that serves as a placeholder until you can get the job that you want. You may even be in a job simply because it was the only option available to you in the moment.

Regardless of why you are in a job you may not be in love with, the truth is that this position is going to remain your reality until you are able to carve another path for yourself.

Ultimately, it is up to you to shape your reality. Would you prefer to show up to work every day with a negative attitude or be present each day with a positive one?

If you have chosen the latter option, here are 7 ways that you can deal with your work situation and change the course of your professional outlook.

1. Figure out Where the Source of Discontent Is Coming From

A lot of people can say that they are not in love with their jobs but not a lot of people can truly tell you why they are unhappy in detail. The problem with this is that you may only be unhappy with a couple of things but, since you are choosing to say that you are unhappy with your job as a whole, you could be missing out on the wonderful parts of your position that make it worthwhile.

Take some time to sit down and hash out where this discontent is coming from. Are you unhappy with the amount of money you are making? Are there people in your workplace who are making your professional life miserable? Are you spending too much time getting to and from your workplace? Are you working too much and are able to properly take care of yourself and other aspects of your life?

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Whatever the issue may be, it is important to take note of these problems as this will help you determine where you are not satisfied in your job, and will give you something to work off of so that you don’t blame your job as a whole for your dissatisfaction. [1]

2. Focus on the Positive Aspects of Your Job

No matter how bleak your current outlook of your job is, the truth is that there are always positive aspects to every professional role, even if you have to look a little bit harder to find them.

These positives can be found in almost any part of the workday and it is up to you to frame them the right way so that you can look forward to them rather than dread them. Some positive aspects may include…

  • A long lunch break and several small breaks that give you time to re-energize.
  • Being close to your house so that you don’t have to stress about extensive travel in the mornings or evenings.
  • A larger salary that allows you to lead the lifestyle you want.
  • Positive employees who pump you up and make you feel ready to tackle the workday.
  • Being able to indirectly help people through the job or service that you are performing.

Although these examples may or may not apply to your own professional life, they serve as a reminder that you can always find great parts of your job if you are looking for them.

Once you find the parts that make you happy, make sure to focus on those throughout your work day to improve your mood and your overall take on work.

3. Discover a Greater Purpose in Your Job

A job is never just a job. Is a job a service that is performed so as to achieve a certain purpose for other people who are willing to pay for it. This means that whatever you are doing is helping someone else with their own needs and to help them improve their own quality of life.

That’s not to say that every job holds the same level of quality in terms of purpose but, your work does matter and it does contribute to something. If you are having trouble finding what this something is, consider the purpose of the company that you work with.

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Perhaps you work for a fast food establishment and you are not able to see your immediate impact based on your role. If this is the case, for example, you could choose to take a look at some of the impact your organization is making and frame it in such a way that your work is helping them to reach those goals.

Purpose allows people to feel more motivated and positive about going to work. There is always an underlying purpose to what it is you’re doing. Find it and work with that purpose in mind!

4. Make the Rest of Your Life More Enjoyable

If you are relatively unhappy with your life and you are going into a job each day that you don’t necessarily enjoy either, your move and your perspective on life isn’t going to improve any time soon. Remaining miserable with your life conditions is no way to live.

While you may not be able to change your situation, you are in control of your life and your attitude. You can make adjustments in your personal life that will help to make your work life more bearable.

Think about what it is that you want out of life and what you can do to increase your current quality of life. Are there goals that you want to reach? Are there things that you want to do more of that you haven’t been pursuing lately? More often than not, our professional life can shift our focus away from our personal lives and, we will lose track of fulfillment in this area.

Changing the way that you live your life can greatly improve your mindset towards your current work situation.[2]

5. Learn More About What You Would Like to Be Doing

People will often think about the fact that they would rather not be doing their jobs but, they don’t often think about what they would be doing instead. If you don’t like your job, it can be proactive to learn more about what your alternative career path would look like.

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If you weren’t working this job, what would your new and improved job look like? What would your position be? What responsibilities would you have? What impact would you make? How much money would you be making? Why would you want this job over your previous one and how it would it improve your current situation?

Don’t just fantasize about your current situation. Figure out what you would rather be doing so that you can take your first step towards a new life when the opportunity presents itself.

6. Create a Plan That Will Help You Reach Your New Career Goals

If you do have a better career path in mind and you simply need to get out of your job and into one that you would prefer, you will need to create a plan that you can work towards regularly — one that will be successful in landing you that new professional role.

Based on the questions you asked yourself in the previous point, find out what it will take to reach the career of your dreams. Do you need any further education to get there? Are there any requirements that you have to meet beforehand? What obstacles do you need to clear along the way?

Take a look at this guide and get more inspirations about how to set carer goals: How to Set Ambitious and Achievable Career Goals (With Examples)

Your plan will vary widely depending upon the difference between your dream job and your current position but, you will get there in time if you work towards these goals every day and take the necessary steps needed to make the transition seamless.

Figure out what you need to do, make a plan and a timeline, and crush your goals!

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7. Take Control of Your Work in the Meantime

Part of making your work suck less is learning the art of acceptance. You cannot change everything about your job overnight and, you need to accept that you will be in your current position until you are able to shift into a position that you truly enjoy.

However, this does not mean that you can’t make your current job more easily acceptable at the moment. Take control of the situation and take control of your work while you still have the job that you are in. Whether this means making the changes in the things you do not like (if you can) or taking control of the work that you are given, changes can be made to better suit your needs.

Get organized, grab your job by the horns, and guide it towards a better tomorrow. After all, this is your reality!

The Bottom Line

While your job cannot change at a moment’s notice, your outlook can and the most valuable tool you have at your disposal is yourself. Use that mighty brain to your advantage and cultivate a better mindset as you plan for the future that you want, rather than choosing to remain negative about your work life.

More Tips for Finding Fulfillment at Work

Featured photo credit: Helloquence via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Jo Green Coaching: What to Do When Work Sucks
[2] The Art of Charm: What to Do When Your Job Sucks

More by this author

Dylan Buckley

Dylan is Lifehack's Motivation Expert specializing in self-development, with extensive experience working for life coaches and startups.

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

Perceptual Barrier

The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

Attitudinal Barrier

Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

Language Barrier

This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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Emotional Barrier

Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

Cultural Barrier

Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

Gender Barrier

Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

Reference

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