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Last Updated on January 14, 2021

How to Stay Motivated If You Don’t Really Like Your Job

How to Stay Motivated If You Don’t Really Like Your Job

Most people have had jobs that didn’t excite or interest them. You might even be in a job right now that makes you feel completely unmotivated. However, for whatever reason, you need to stick with it. In that case, it’s important to learn how to stay motivated, even in less-than-perfect conditions.

Work is a huge part of our lives, so it’s important that we make it meaningful and aim it toward our passion and purpose. Even if you’re in a job that you don’t really like, it’s possible to find ways to keep improving.

Here are 10 ways to stay motivated at a job you don’t love.

1. Figure out Why You Aren’t Motivated

Do you know exactly why you are not motivated? This should be the first thing that you do. Figuring out why you aren’t motivated will give you insight into exactly what you don’t like about your job.

You may find that you like your job but don’t like working for your critical boss. Or perhaps your interests have changed over time and you don’t like the area you’re in anymore. Or maybe you love to socialize, but you’re working in a cubicle where you rarely interact with your coworkers.

Whatever the situation, try to pinpoint exactly what it is that’s bringing down your energy levels. This will help you as you learn how to stay motivated and reach your goals in the long-term.

2. Leave Your Stress at Work

This can mean multiple things. Do not bring work home if you don’t need to. If your work is what is causing you stress, then you should try to leave it completely at work at all costs, if possible.

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This also means that you shouldn’t let a bad day at work make you feel miserable at home, as well. Try to keep work and home completely separate so that you can enjoy your free time.

This may mean creating a routine for when you get home to help you disconnect from the work day you just had. Maybe you go for a short walk, sit outside and eat a snack, or read a chapter of that new book you just bought. Whatever it is, it needs to be something that pulls your mind into the present moment and away from what happened during the day.

This will help you create a work-life balance that will help up your motivation in life in general.

3. Stay Positive

If you have a negative attitude about your job, then it will probably make it difficult to learn how to stay motivated. You need to try to think as positively as you can, and have a good outlook about the tasks that you are doing.

This will, of course, require a shift in thinking. Try to challenge each negative thought you have about a task. For example, if your boss just gave you a huge project that you’re dreading, instead of saying “This is going to be awful,” try telling yourself, “This is going to be a challenge, but it’ll be a great opportunity to learn something.”

If positive thinking is particularly difficult for you, try developing a daily meditation practice. This will help you create space to take in and analyze the negative thoughts you have throughout the day.

4. Lay out an Action Plan

If you don’t plan on staying at the job that you don’t really like, then you should come up with a way to find a better job or at least work on skills that will help you get one. You can start thinking about what your next job will be, how you will get that job, whether you will need schooling, and so on.

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Once you have an idea of what this future goal looks like, enroll in some free online courses, read books from the area, or start browsing job sites to see what’s available. The simple prospect of being able to find work you enjoy more will likely do wonders in lifting your motivation levels.

5. Find Hobbies You Enjoy Outside of Work

Having something that you enjoy outside of work can really make work more enjoyable. Hobbies will allow you to take your mind off of work and truly relax.

Not only is this a great stress reliever after work, but it can help you have something to look forward to throughout the day.

6. Be a Great Worker

Even if you do not like your job, try to do the best you can with the job you have. Focus as best you can on the task at hand. If your boss appreciates your work and praises you, then you will be more likely to feel motivated on a daily basis.

You can also try to help out your coworkers. Feeling altruistic will give you a positivity boost that will help you feel good about what you’re doing.

7. Take a Break When You Need to

Now, this doesn’t mean you should stop being an efficient worker, but you should take a break when you need to. If you have been skipping your lunch break for the past ten years, you’re just hurting yourself. You should take breaks so that you can feel refreshed when you go back to work.

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When you want to know how to stay motivated at work, use your vacation days!

    Also, a recent study showed that “more than half of Americans (55%) are still not using all their paid time off”[1]. If you’ve earned vacation days, use them! That free time with your family (or alone) will give you the necessary space to relax and unwind. You’ll also be able to look forward to these blocks of time[2] throughout the year, which should do something to boost your motivation.

    8. Look Forward to Something

    I’m sure there is some reason why you can’t leave your current job. You need to think about your end goal and why you currently are where you are. Maybe you are working in this current position so that you can possibly one day get a promotion.

    Maybe you are working this less-than-motivating position because you need to pay for your college degree. In that case, you need to think about how great it will feel when you finally graduate from college.

    Whatever the reason, keep a written reminder in sight at all times to help you remember why you’re doing the job you’re doing. With that visual, you can learn how to stay motivated and set goals, even when the work is less-than-ideal.

    9. Ask for New Responsibilities

    If you’re bored with the monotony of doing the same tasks each day, go to your boss and ask if there are any new responsibilities they would be willing to give you. Perhaps they’re looking for help on a project in an area that interests you. You won’t know if you don’t ask!

    Alternatively, you can ask your boss to inform you if any other positions come up within the company. With time, you may come across an opportunity to move into something you enjoy more.

    10. Dress Like You Are Still Motivated

    It can be easy to start “letting go” and not caring about your appearance when you feel unmotivated. However, don’t adopt this mindset. Make sure that you are still dressing the part and that you still feel confident with the way that you present yourself.

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    One study, described by The New York Times, explained that “If you wear a white coat that you believe belongs to a doctor, your ability to pay attention increases sharply. But if you wear the same white coat believing it belongs to a painter, you will show no such improvement”[3].

    These results belong to a field known as embodied cognition, which says that the way we think and process information is directly related to our physical appearance. So why is this important for your job?

    If you dress well and feel confident with the clothes you wear, you’re more likely to perform better, feel better, and achieve your goals.

    Final Thoughts

    Everyone experiences days at work when they feel unmotivated, but if it’s happening every day, it’s time to take a good look at your work life. It’s possible to learn how to stay motivated, even at a job you don’t really like.

    If you find that these things still aren’t working and that you are only growing more resentful of your job, it may be time to take the required steps to find a job that will make you happier.

    More on How to Stay Motivated at Work

    Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] U.S. Travel Association: PAID TIME OFF TRENDS IN THE U.S.
    [2] The Balance Careers: Vacation Time and Pay For Employees
    [3] The New York Times: Mind Games: Sometimes a White Coat Isn’t Just a White Coat

    More by this author

    Michelle Schroeder

    Michelle is a personal finance expert. She earns $1 million per year while sailing.

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    Published on May 4, 2021

    50 Words of Encouragement for Moving Forward

    50 Words of Encouragement for Moving Forward

    Do you know how there are saying or words of encouragement that you remember and use all the time? Some came from a loved one, some bring you comfort, and others stick with you from your past and possibly hold you stuck.

    These are the words of encouragement that come to mind when you need them most to remind you that:

    • You’ve got this.
    • You can overcome any obstacle.
    • Nothing will stop you.
    • No matter what you need, you will find the solutions.
    • What you really want in life, you can have it. Honestly, you can have it.

    Look for the quotes that resonate with you, and write them somewhere prominent in your life. Look for simple solutions and strategies because they are the ones that have the biggest impact. There is a reason why some of the great ideas from the ancients are still the most used and adaptable to 21st-century living—because they work.

    Quotes that inspire need to be easy to remember, connect with you on a personal level, and fire up your passion, enthusiasm, and goals in life.

    50 Quotes and Words of Encouragement for Moving Forward

    Here are 50 quotes and words of encouragement to keep you inspired and motivated.

    1.

      2.“For what reasons can it not be you?”

      3. Ditch the guilt. Guilt is one emotion that never leads to good things. Remove the guilt and you can move on.

      4. At this moment in time, you are everything you need to be everything you want to be.

      5. The day you realize how amazing you are is the day the world had better stand back.

      6. You need to know on a good day how to look after yourself and your success on a bad day. How will you ensure you take action on this advice?

      7. Your mind can be a power for your success or power for your failure. Choose wisely the quality of your thoughts. How will you monitor the quality of your thoughts and ensure they work for you?

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      8. Even the long-distance swimmer does not achieve success on their own—who is in your team toward success?

      9. How do you keep going? Look how far you have come. What helped you get this far? Who helped you get this far? How will they feature in the future to ensure you succeed and overcome?

      10. Life is easier with love—swap the word “life” for success, happiness, achieving your goals. Now ask yourself—where do you get your love from? The first place should be you.

      11.

        12. Learn the science of who you are. This is powerful knowledge that will empower you to move forward no matter what you face or want to achieve.

        13. Trying to copy the route to success that someone else took doesn’t guarantee you success. You have to honor your values, beliefs, and experiences.

        14. What you think is possible is absolutely correct. Challenge what you think.

        15. For one month, ask this question every day and score yourself out of 10 (10 being exceptional, 1 being lousy). Write the answer in your phone’s calendar: How successful do I feel? You can swap successful for happy, rich, loved, etc. Notice what affects your score.

        16. Remember that everything changes. The hibernating tree looks dead but will return in the spring rejuvenated. This is essential knowledge for good times and bad. In bad times, it reminds you to keep going, and in good times, it reminds you to be grateful and keep looking to learn and grow. (Just like that tree!)

        17. What’s stopping you? Is it a perception or a fact? Either way, you can do something about it, even if it is just to change the thoughts attached to the thing that is stopping you. Nothing can have power over you unless you let it.

        18. Steer clear of negative people, news, and views. It’s all too easy to get dragged into other people’s negativity. Understand how negative news, views, and people impact you. If you can’t find ways to keep that negativity away, then step away metaphorically and physically. Your success will appreciate it.

        19. The quality of your thoughts and feelings impacts your actions and results. Everything you can see started as a thought. So, when you need encouragement, ask yourself, “are my thoughts enabling me or disabling me?” Are my thoughts “moving me forward or holding me back?”

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        20.

          21. Sad isn’t bad. We get all the emotions, not just the good ones. So, when you feel sad, guilty, lonely, upset, frustrated, angry, mad, don’t push those emotions away. Take yourself through this process:

          1. For what reason am I feeling this?
          2. What does it tell me about my life right now?
          3. What does it tell me about my actions and results right now?
          4. What would I like to feel instead?
          5. What would this do for me?
          6. How will I get myself there?

          Take yourself through the process and own all emotions.

          23. The one thing you can control is what you think.

          24. On this planet, your job is not to fit in. Your job is to shine. Stand out. Speak up, and be the unique individual you are meant to be. It’s the quickest way to lasting success.

          25. Words can only have power if you let them. Good words, bad words. Happy words. Successful words. Which words are you giving the most power to?

          26. If you want to achieve more, you’ve got to assume you are worth it. Are you worth it? (The answer is “Yes, with bells on are you worth it!”) And if you don’t believe this, then what will you do to rocket your confidence?

          27. While many fear failure, it is a gift in disguise. It tells you what not to repeat, it tells you what didn’t work, and it moves you forward to what you want to achieve. Don’t berate and hate your failures. They are driving you forward to your success.

          28. It’s hard to achieve great things if you don’t have a plan. It’s like wanting to go on holiday and just rocking up at the airport on the off chance you can get on a plane going to your dream destination. Plan what you want and create a plan of action to help get you there. It’s easier and faster.

          29. Everyone needs someone in their corner—someone to cheerlead, support, nurture, and wipe your grazed knees and remind you that you can. Who is in your corner? You can add me to that list.

          30. Social media is supposed to be good for you. It’s supposed to connect you to like-minded people, inspire you, motivate you, and make you laugh, feel connected, and loved like you are part of something truly special. If it doesn’t, start snoozing the haters, step away from the negative groups, and look for the things that inspire you—yes you can include cute funny cat videos!

          31. Action! The key to success is knowing when to take action and when to stop.

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          32. When someone tells you that one book changed their life, that doesn’t mean it will work for you. If it doesn’t work for you, you did not fail, the book failed. The book was the wrong book for you. Don’t stop reading. Just look for the right fit for you.

          33. Just as all people are different with different beliefs and aspirations, so is the journey to success and progress different for all. Expecting to move forward and get what you want by copying others is not the same as looking up to the right role models.

          34. Your success, happiness, and progress in life are not dependent on luck. It is dependent on self-belief. Check your levels.

          35. It is not beneficial to apologize for what you need in life. It takes away its value to you. If you need it, own it!

          35. It’s a good idea to know the difference between enjoying the breeze and being pushed around by life.

          36. Motivation. If you are needing some, don’t look for it on a bad day. Look for it on a good day. Music, aromas, people, environments, photos, even fairy lights, and dancing can be the key to kick you back into action and results.

          37. Black and white. Nothing in life is black and white and yet people want things to be like this—to be “yes” or “no.” Final. Getting what you want in life rarely is so finite. You need to be able to accept a bit of grey area in life to get more of what you want. Being someone reliant on absolutes makes it so much harder.

          38. The racing driver does not concentrate on the brick wall at the side of the road as they race at 100+ miles per hour. They concentrate on the bend, the next bend, the finish line, and success. If you don’t want to hit the wall, concentrate on the track.

          39.

            40. Choosing to stop thinking about something because it upsets you, infuriates you, or angers you doesn’t mean your brain is not trying to process how you feel. You need to make space to process those negatives so that you are back in the flow and doing what you excel at.

            41. Being reactive instead of proactive stops you from moving forward. What needs to change?

            42. Is your fundamental desire for what you want rooted in love? If it is not, question how powerful your motivation is.

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            43. When you really need motivation and encouragement and want to reach out to others, did you know that helping others also helps you? Altruism is a fast way to feeling good and doing good and it, in turn, helps you to feel motivated, too.

            44. Think back to a time that you overcome adversity, achieved something big, or kept going when you really didn’t want to. What skills do you notice? What were you telling yourself? What did you learn about who you are? How will you use that knowledge moving forward?

            45. “Don’t,” “Won’t,” and “Can’t” all have power. One holds power over you, one is neutral, and one takes ownership. Which one are you using? Can you tell the difference?

            46. Whoever said words had no power had never met a powerful coach! Words can be the building blocks to overcoming anything and getting what you want in life. So, what words are you allowing in your head? How do you word your goals and ambitions?

            47. Feel the fear and do it anyway. Is that a good idea with a starving tiger in the same room? Will you stick around and have a chat about how you wish to overcome the fear of the tiger or will you take action? Move so far away from your fear that it doesn’t exist? And get an expert to help you deal with the tiger? Analogies like this help you see how fear is allowed to stick around and how to get rid of it permanently.

            48. Believing that “it is what it is” is a great way to stay stuck. If you choose to believe there is a better way, you will find it.

            49. Being honest about what you face is not moaning, it’s reaching out. If people see this as moaning, they are the wrong people to be turning to. Maybe it’s time to upgrade your network of friends, colleagues, and people you can trust.

            50. Look in the mirror, who do you see? Someone you love or someone you loathe? Both will impact your success.

            So, What Now?

            Now that you’ve read 50 quotes and words of encouragement, which ones got you thinking and which ones can’t you remember reading? Some will really resonate with you and make you question how you think and how you act. Take just three minutes to decide which words of encouragement are going to be your mantra for the coming week.

            Take the time at the end of the week to review and reflect. Did you see any improvement? Did you really remember to hold on to this quote with the power to encourage you forward to great things?

            If not, stop in your tracks and consider how much you believe in yourself. The most powerful words in the world can’t work on the person who already believes that they are good enough, capable, or have failed.

            More Words of Encouragement

            Featured photo credit: Prateek Katyal via unsplash.com

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