Advertising
Advertising

10 Ways to Bide Your Time When You Hate Your Job

10 Ways to Bide Your Time When You Hate Your Job

I’ve talked to so many people lately who absolutely hate their jobs but are staying put because of fears of switching jobs in an unstable economy. While I wouldn’t recommend that anyone remain years in a job he or she dislikes, timing can be very important when changing employers. There is much to be said for a steady income, health insurance benefits, and other necessities. But if you’re in an unpleasant situation, whether it just be a job that doesn’t fit your goals or a boss who is a jerk, you need an action plan to maintain your sanity while waiting for the right time to make your move.

Assess Your Situation

First of all, examine what is wrong with your current situation. This step should come before all others because it will help determine what kind of action you need to take. Ask yourself:

Advertising

  1. Am I in the right career and it’s just this company that is a bad fit for me?
  2. What is my ultimate dream job?

Define Work for Yourself

Someone recently told me, “Well, it’s called work for a reason.” I balked at that statement because I refuse to accept the belief that work is a pejorative. After all, Webster doesn’t define work as “A tedious, miserable task that humans do out of need to support themselves financially, usually with hopes of someday being able to retire and finally enjoy life unless they die of a stress-induced illness before then. See retirement and myocardial infarction.”

Advertising

We’ve all done work, paid or not, that required skill but was enjoyable. While involved in work that suits us, we are immersed in the activity and lose all track of time. Interrupted from the task, we look forward to resuming it later. Occasionally, you’ll hear a story of someone who won the lottery and, when asked whether he’ll quit his job, replies, “No, I’ll probably cut back my hours, but I’ll still work.” Or consider the examples of people who had the option to retire but continued to work due to the sheer enjoyment they received from work. Why should we settle for anything less?

Advertising

Find Your Path

If you know that you’re in the right career but your company is simply a bad fit for you, your task becomes easier. You simply need to examine where things went wrong to see if you can prevent repeating this experience. In retrospect, should you have asked for more – both of the company in terms of pay and benefits, but also of yourself? Did you settle for a job that didn’t fit you because you didn’t believe yourself capable of more? In the interview were there signs that this job wouldn’t be a good match for you, but you decided to overlook them?

If you know you detest your work and will not be happy in a similar job, it’s time to ask yourself what you truly want to do with your life. Let your mind run wild with the possibilities. What would you do if you didn’t place limitations on yourself? What would you do if you really believed in yourself? Would you like to make a living from the activity that you now refer to as a hobby?

10 Ways to Bide Your Time

  1. Ramp up your networking. Join LinkedIn and Plaxo, and ask for recommendations from current and past coworkers. Use Twitter to update the world on your current projects as well as network with other like-minded individuals. Look for local networking groups, and start attending them.
  2. Prepare for success. Consider registering a web site in your name. You can then create a professional-sounding email address that will encourage people to visit your web site. Get a professional photograph taken. This is for your web site, your advertising, or anything else that you will be doing to promote your image as a serious professional. Order your own business cards in your name with your web site and business number. Basic business cards can be obtained for a very reasonable rate at Vistaprint. If you don’t want your cell phone ringing with business calls at work, consider a SkypeIn number, which will cost you just $60 a year.
  3. Expand your skill set. If you’re in the right career, critically examine where you may be lacking in experience or qualifications. If you’re weak at giving presentations, now is the time to join Toastmasters. This will improve your public speaking ability and eventually add solid achievements to your resume. Upgrade your credentials. Is there a certification of some sort that you can achieve? Perhaps it is time to consider finishing your MBA.
  4. Start thinking of yourself as who you want to become. Rather than being a banker who paints as a hobby, you are an artist who supplements your income with your banking job. This inner psychology is very important to realizing your dream. If you always think of your dream as something you’ll be doing in the future, there’s a good chance it will always remain in the future. Claim it as your reality now, and that will encourage you to take action. If you’re in the habit of thinking it and believing it, doing it becomes much easier.
  5. Do something to earn money outside of your current job. Consider consulting or selling your creations. Having an outside income helps take the sting out of a miserable work situation. Working in a job that is a bad fit can be a demoralizing experience. Earning a second income is a consistent reminder that you are able to earn money apart from your main source of income. You may eventually find that you can turn your secondary income into a full-time business.
  6. Post a visible reminder that this job is only temporary. When I once worked in a job I hated, I helped bide my time by hanging a reminder on my bulletin board that said, “This is only temporary. De-invest.” Now this was a home office, so I had freedom over my environment. However, I would suggest you post something at work that will symbolize this concept for you. It could be a phrase like this abbreviated in a way that only you will understand. For example, if you want to become a novelist, post an image of your dream home office or the front cover of a book. Make sure this is in a location where you will see it frequently; every time those stressful moments at work arise, you’ll have this reminder: This is only temporary. I will not be doing this forever.
  7. Get busy in your off-work time. There are two halves to achieving a new reality: You must have time to dream, and you must take action. Give yourself time for creative visualization daily. Note ideas that come, and keep a record of these. Make a rule that you spend X amount of time daily taking action on your dreams. Artists produce artwork. Writers write. If you are not taking action, you will not achieve your dream.
  8. View your current job as paid practice for your future dream job. Even in a miserable job, you have a wealth of opportunities to polish your skills. Have a boss who’s a hothead? This is your time to get paid to practice dealing with difficult people. Read about neurolinguistic programming (NLP), and give it a try. Find ways to streamline the processes at work. How can you be more efficient in dealing with email and phone messages? How can you better manage your time? Build good habits now that you will take with you when you leave.
  9. Maintain a satisfactory job performance, but de-invest emotionally. This one takes practice, and meditation helps with this. Keep in mind that this job is temporary, so it is not worth your losing sleep over. Practice not engaging with people who try to push your buttons. Think of yourself as working for yourself, not for the company. Do your best to stay below the radar by making sure you are performing satisfactorily, but as much as possible, reduce work-related activities that consume your energy but have little to no return on investment.
  10. Get a life outside of work. This is vital to biding your time in a job you hate. When you have an active social life outside of the office, it becomes so much easier to tolerate mundane or stressful work. A balanced life helps to keep things in perspective.

Employing all of these techniques will help reduce stress while you wait until the appropriate time to change jobs. By taking these steps you retain your sense of dignity and worth as well as prepare for success in your future work.

Resources

Advertising

More by this author

Overcoming The Pain Of A Breakup: 3 Suggestions Based On Science Quit Your Job If You Don’t Like It, No Matter What What Highly Successful People Do Every Day To Perform At Their Best How to Plan Your Life Goals and Actually Achieve Them in 7 Simple Steps Seven Budget-Friendly Things to do in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Trending in Work

1 The Key to Finding Job Satisfaction and Having a Successful Career 2 How to Be a Successful Businessman (The Complete Guide) 3 10 Essential Career Change Questions To Ask Yourself This Year 4 How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work 5 The Art of Building Relationships You Need to Succeed in Your Career

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on January 14, 2019

The Key to Finding Job Satisfaction and Having a Successful Career

The Key to Finding Job Satisfaction and Having a Successful Career

Regardless of whether you hold an entry-level administration role or regularly travel to the ends of the Earth as a hot-shot senior executive, you can still find yourself harboring an emptiness… a feeling that something is missing. A popular assumption that experiencing job satisfaction and a successful career should be underpinned by a well-rounded suite of tangible benefits, no longer holds true for many of us.

We’d never deny health care benefits, appropriate and fair remuneration, bonuses and travel perks in a job package. However, even if served to us on a silver platter, those features can only satiate us to a certain point.

You might wonder what governs entrepreneurs and start-up business owners to quit their lucrative jobs, essentially look the gift horse in the mouth and kiss such benefits goodbye! There can be an irresistible pull to mastermind a business with products and/or services that serve the greater good of community wider than that constituting their daily existence.

Even with research showing entrepreneurship to pose greater threats to their mental and physical health, this unique breed of individuals choose to go against the grain in chasing their dreams of being their own boss. Why? Why would anyone risk this type of career suicide?

Whether you’re an employee, have recently taken the leap to being a business owner or been in business for a while, the commonality is a congenital condition we all share as human beings; to feel a sense of purpose, value and contribution to our community. Despite it being harder to find this for ourselves in today’s world, these approaches will help you achieve ultimate satisfaction through the twists, turns and joyrides that are essential features of shaping a successful career.

1. Search for Opportunities That Feed Your Passion, Not Temporary Excitement

Even though well-intended, the ‘feel good now’ compass that career coaches and consultants often recommend you use to create career satisfaction can actually do you more harm than good. Excitement is transient. It doesn’t last. Passion is the compass you need.

Passion and excitement are two different things. The resounding career legacy that still draws you to turn up on the job regardless of the sunshine or storm that awaits you…that’s passion. It’s like a mental and/or emotional itch you can’t shrug off. Staying attuned to that calling will breed success for you sooner or later. Patience is key.

You’re also likely to have more than one key passion. Beware of getting caught in the notion you have to find your one true purpose. In fact, run immediately from any coach who tells you there is only one. There isn’t.

Advertising

Your passion is a journey that can take multiple forms so forget thinking there is the single dream job out there that will give you satisfaction in every way you can imagine. It simply doesn’t exist.

Consider embracing different roles and projects to help you fuel your passion or fuel your pursuits in finding it. Job satisfaction and your career success will be all the more sweeter from a wider range of enriching experiences.

2. Don’t Position Job and Career Satisfaction Assessments as Pivotal Guides to Your Success

Despite their popular use for vocational guidance, assessment tools such as Gallup’s Clifton Strengths and the Myers Briggs Type Indicator have come under fire[1] as being limited to the amount of true value and direction they can offer partakers.[2] These and many other guidance assessment tools (e.g. VIA Character Strengths , DISC ) are self-report questionnaires that don’t have normative population data against which to compare your results.

Simply remember these tools help you develop a stronger sense of what you identify as strengths and weaknesses within yourself, not in comparison with other people. They will still add insight around what sorts of career opportunities, tasks and projects are going to light your fire, what ones are going to extinguish it and what will prod and keep the coals steadily smoldering.

3. Be Clear on Your Personal Values, Ethics and Principles and Choose Relationships That Support You Honoring Them

Teamwork, collaboration, open communication and trust are commonplace for any flourishing work environment. However, whether or not your personal values can be honored in your work can make or break your job satisfaction.

How committed do you want to be to an organization that expects an average of 10 unpaid overtime hours every week under the guise of ‘reasonable overtime’? Are you willing to accept their construing this expectation as ‘strong commitment’ at the expense of your partner and children waiting at home for you? What are your boundaries concerning when you clock on to their time and when you clock off to yours?

Being very in tune with what your personal values, principles and ethics are will bid you well in the job satisfaction stakes. Spending time to reflect on experiences and working relationships you’ve had – the good, the bad and the ugly – will help you make well-informed searches and grounded decisions that will propel your career success.

Finding and nurturing relationships with associates and colleagues who share similar values doesn’t just make your day-to-day pursuits more enjoyable. You become fortunate to work with like-minded people who will support, understand and appreciate you like a second family.

Advertising

Being able to honor your personal values in your work means you will still be able to sleep at night when you have to tread where others fear to, and make extremely difficult decisions others would never ever dream of having to make as you forge success in your career.

4. Be Clear on Your Own Definition of What Having a Successful Career Means for You

It’s tempting to get caught up in the ideals and projections of success expressed by those we love, admire and respect. Underneath, we all want on some level to belong to a successful club of some sort.

With research reporting how much money we feel we need to be truly happy,[3] many of us try to subscribe to the notion that having the car of our dreams or taking a European holiday annually will not bring us happiness. The truth, however, for many of us is these tangible rewards are congratulatory reminders of our persistent efforts to chase our career pursuits.

If those are things you aspire to, don’t let anyone steal your desire and want to feel deserving of these things, that those are some parameters by which you define your career success.

Despite consistently being the top revenue earner for two years running, you may not wish to become the sales manager. You may not wish to step out into running your own business even though you consistently excel as an employee, delighting clients and repeatedly receiving glowing testimonials.

Your definition of career success might be enjoying the predictability of a regular workplace routine. You get to leave – without feeling guilty – at the same time each day, love the people you work with and get to spend a good, uninterrupted amount of work-stress free quality time with your family. That picture is also blissful job satisfaction and complete career success.

5. Identify the Sorts of Challenges and Problems You Want to Learn to Overcome

Standard advice you might receive from a career coach might be to look for opportunities where you get to capitalize on exercising your strengths and career-related activities you enjoy.

However, to become a success at anything involves improvement. To excel at anything often involves stepping outside boundaries and comfort zones where others wouldn’t. This means dedicating focus and attention to things you’re not so good at and things you don’t like.

Advertising

Here’s where working with a coach can be particularly helpful. Map out the experiences that were unsavory in your working history. Were there challenges you opted out of, projects you failed at or toxic relationships that blasted your sense of purpose and self-worth into oblivion? It’s within these experiences that you might just find the most valuable lessons and guiding lights for your trajectory to achieve greater job satisfaction.

If your natural leadership style is to be a collaborator, finding opportunities that require you to apply a more dictatorial style might be needed. Discussing a secondment or short-term project where you get to develop and test your skills can be a step further in earning contention to lead a larger project down the track.

With several of the company’s boldest personality types penciled to roll out the operation, you’ll not only develop skills that earn your right to throw your hat in the ring; those key players have an opportunity to see your competence. You can then work on building relationships with those stakeholders before you need to hit the ground running should you win the lead.

Greater job satisfaction comes with planning and choosing the lessons and opportunities you want to learn, not desperately flailing, floundering and hoping for the best.

6. Keep Reviewing Your Goal Posts and Be Amenable to Change

The word ‘career’ is indicative of a longer-term pathway of change, growth and development. The journey is dynamic.

You will accumulate new skills and let those you no longer need, become rusty. Your intrigue will be stimulated by new experiences, knowledge and people you meet. Your thinking will continue to expand, not shrink. As a result, your goalposts are likely to change.

A major part of enjoying a successful career is not just setting goals effectively, but regularly reviewing and readjusting them where necessary. However, moving the posts or the target still needs to take place by applying the same processes by which you originally created them. The strength of your emotional connection to those revised goals needs to be the same, if not stronger.

By asking yourself the following questions, you can assure your developmental and growth trajectory is still on course:

Advertising

  • Would working toward these goals still allow me to honor my personal values, principles and ethics at the same capacity if not greater?
  • Do the activities I need to undertake to meet these goals honor my highest priorities?
  • Does this feel right for me and those who are nearest and dearest to me?
  • Is this aligned with my passion?
  • Is chasing this goal a right step for me to take now or is this a detour or distraction which could delay my greater plan?

Each of your career goals should have different review periods. Whatever you do, stick to the review schedule you set. It will not only keep you focused but help you see your progress (or lack thereof) and allow you to timely re-chart your course before you get too far down the track. You don’t want to waste time haphazardly heading in the wrong direction.

7. Be Prepared to Let Go

It can be unfathomable to us as to why others risk leaping into the unknown when everything truly appears fine and dandy in the career realm. The company provided stability, recognition, financial success, interesting projects and the promise of a promotion…what was wrong? Why now jump sideways to run a café or train in another field altogether?

Nothing may have been wrong at all. It was all going right. It was just the end of a chapter. Perhaps the yearning for the next step is actually taking a different trajectory entirely. You may want to simply experience a different rhythm. Perhaps it’s time to pursue a different passion.

If you have leaped from employee-land to freelancing or have made the reverse-jump (or you know someone who has), you will have quickly grown a different appreciation for pros and cons each work lifestyle brings. Working for yourself can bring the greater realization of your creativity, whether or not it can be monetized to earn you a living.

When your customers are buying you or a product you designed and fashioned, there is a direct level of appreciation and gratitude that can elevate your confidence in the way you have never experienced as an employee, regardless of your rank.

Similarly, there are times where we need to recognize our business ventures were adventures, not long-term life-changing empires. There are times we need to recognize that time is what provides the clearest limitation of how long we persist for in such pursuits.

We have to recognize the absence of enough financial, mental, emotional and physical breadcrumbs that tells us we’re no longer meant to push in that direction. At least, not for the present time.

The Bottom Line

Above all, keep the momentum. As long as you remain committed to pursuing work opportunities that allow you to honor your highest priorities, the truth of who you are and what you stand for, achieving ultimate job satisfaction and a successful career will never be too far away.

More Resources to Help Advance Your Career

Featured photo credit: Csaba Balazs via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next