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15 Ways You Can Enjoy The Job You Hate

15 Ways You Can Enjoy The Job You Hate

If you’re that person who has never had a less-than-ideal job, then I salute you for being the luckiest person on earth. Pretty much everyone has had a job that they hated at least once in their life, whether they be a teenager, young adult or even a baby boomer.

Sometimes, however, the job you hate can be turned into the job you tolerate, if you handle it the right way. Here are some simple ways to do just that.

1. Take Pride in Your Work Space.

Whether your space is a laptop-friendly desk or behind a cash register, make cleanliness and organization a priority for where you spend the majority of your time. It can actually be fun to work when your space is an extension of your personality, giving you a comfortable place to concentrate and perform. Doing this will also keep you from losing important things (like money).

2. Talk to Your Boss Regularly.

Your boss may not be the nicest person in the world, but most people who are in charge tend to have a decent level of passion for the place they work in. When we work somewhere that is draining us, it can be refreshing for us to sit down with our boss and hear his perspective on how things are going. It may even inspire you to improve your own responsibilities, and the initiative won’t go unnoticed.

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3. Do Something You Love While You’re Not Working.

For most of you reading this, you’re probably not doing the job you see yourself doing in 10 years. Your passions may lie elsewhere, and that’s a big reason why we sometimes have trouble enjoying a job that isn’t going anywhere for us. That’s why it’s important to always fuel your interests on the side. This can be a hobby, sport, activity or even side business that is related to what you ultimately want to do. Who knows? This could be a stepping stone to starting your own business.

4. Set Goals That Are Within Your Control.

Be realistic about your personal situation and what is necessary for moving forward. The job you hate right now might be a necessity for what lies ahead, but it’s important to make sure that you’re not taking shortcuts. Instead of trying to “wow” your boss with tough promises to keep, stick to working hard and accomplishing what’s in your power to perform. Doing this consistently is vastly more impressive.

5. Bring Snacks For Your Coworkers.

This is especially crucial if you are one of my coworkers. It should go without saying that being kind to others will make you (and them) happier, and if you’re working somewhere that always seems to have an air of negativity, then simple gestures like this will go a long way.

6. Show Up To Work Consistently Early.

Yes, I know that I said earlier to set goals that you can control, but that doesn’t make this tip any less useful for making your job more tolerable. It seems counter-intuitive (why would I want to spend more time in a place I hate?), but the truth is that this habit will set a good pace for your shift and give you momentum. Plus, it’s one of the easiest ways for you to stand out in the eyes of your superiors, leading to possible promotion opportunities.

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7. Take Pride In How You Look.

Clothes make the man/woman, as they say. Dressing to impress is one of the best ways to build confidence at work, which leads to a smoother workday. If you show up to work looking disheveled and tired, then you may just end up feeling disheveled and tired.

8. Look Out For The Newer Employees.

You probably remember how confusing and disorienting it was to start a new job you know nothing about. Pay it forward by helping new coworkers find their place and learn. This is a great way for you to feel good about the job you have and what you’ve learned there so far.

9. Learn As Much As Possible.

Speaking of learning, one of the best ways to break the monotony of your job is by training yourself to do more than what is required of you. For some jobs, this is actually the only way for you to get promoted at all, as it is the type of ambition that supervisors are looking for.

10. Talk To Your Coworkers About Something Besides How Much You Hate Work.

Break room conversations have this nasty tendency to turn into “Who can complain the most?” contests. The problem is that complaining does nothing to improve your job, and it will barely even make you feel better. Plus, most coworkers don’t want to hear you complain anyway (and the other way around). Take a break from work and its problems when you’re with your coworkers, and talk about something that will actually make you happy.

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11. Come Up With Ideas To Make The Company Better.

If there is something that you feel could be improved or fixed at work, come up with the solutions yourself. Also, you may have a great idea that will go over well with your boss. It definitely doesn’t hurt to show an attitude of problem-solving, and this is a great way to make real changes to a work environment that might not be working. Just make sure to always be polite and respectful when presenting your opinions.

12.  Have Fun With Your Coworkers.

As long as it doesn’t interfere with your productivity, playing games and having inside jokes with coworkers is a great way to keep up your morale during a stressful day. In fact, I’ve had plenty of bosses who get this and encourage short games to clear everyone’s head.

13. Start a Gratitude Journal.

You don’t have to show this to anyone, but it’s good to keep a record of the positive memories and milestones you’ve made at your job. Additionally, this can take the form of a social media group you have online where you can post pictures of good times you’ve had with your coworkers.

14. Take Breaks.

This is easy advice to follow for most of you, but it’s also important for you to be good at taking breaks. What I mean is that we sometimes come back from our breaks feeling less than refreshed. To avoid this, try getting fresh air and some quick exercise instead of eating junk food and staring at your phone.

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15. Be Grateful That You Have a Job.

Always remember that some people would beg to have your job, so don’t take it for granted. Sure, it may not be perfect or what you want to do for the rest of your life, but focus on what you can do in the present to make your job matter.

You May Also Want to Read: 20 Things You Need To Stop Doing In Your 20s.

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

If you’re going to spend 1/3 of our life at work, you should enjoy it, right?

Trust me, I know that’s easier said than done. Difficult coworkers, less-than-desirable tasks, or even just being in the wrong position can all lead to a lack of enjoyment and fulfillment in your work.

But what if I told you it doesn’t have to be this way? Or better yet, if you struggle with all of the above (and then some), what if I told you that enjoying your work and finding fulfillment regardless of those obstacles is possible?

Don’t believe me? I don’t blame you because I was there too. Before implementing the tips below, I struggled to get through each day, much less find real fulfillment, in the office. Now, even after the toughest days on the job, I still come away with feelings of pride, accomplishment, and fulfillment. The best news is, so can you.

If you’re ready to make those hours count and find happiness and fulfillment in the office, then read on to find out how to be happy at work and find fulfillment in your career:

1. Discover the root(s) of the problem

For this first step, we’ll need to think back to 8th-grade physics (humor me). We all know Newton’s 3rd law, “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” When you think about it, the same can be said outside of physics, and we see this law play out in our daily lives, day after day.

Simply put, all the issues we deal with in the office (and life in general) affect us in a noticeable way.

If you’re appreciated at work, like the work you do and receive frequent praise, promotions, or raises, then this will probably have an altogether positive effect on your life in the office.

But what if we reverse this? What if you feel under appreciated, get passed up for promotions, or get denied raises? This is sure to affect the way you feel at work on a negative level.

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So, before you can implement the steps of feeling happy and fulfilled at work, we first have to discover the reasons why you don’t feel that way already.

Think about it, write a list, or make a mental note. Run through all the reasons you’re dissatisfied in the office, and don’t hold back. Knowing the exact obstacles you’re facing will make overcoming them that much easier.

In fact, as a side-challenge to this article, I recommend picking the top three reasons contributing to your dissatisfaction at work and using the following tips to tackle them.

2. Practice gratitude for an instant uplift

Did you know the simple act of feeling grateful can increase your happiness and make you more fulfilled at work?[1]

Well, it’s true, and it’s scientifically proven.

Dr. Lisa Firestone notes that practicing gratitude “reminds us of what we lacked in the past.” Meaning, it serves as both a boost to happiness and a bit of a wake-up call that things have been or could be, much worse.

Trying to conjure up feelings of gratitude can seem almost impossible when your work situation seems bleak, but hear me out: There are incredibly easy ways to get started and it doesn’t involve trying to “force” yourself to feel grateful about things that stress you out.

For an instant pick-me-up, try this:

Find a loose piece of paper, a blank sticky note, or anything you can write on, be it physical or digital. List just three things that you are absolutely without-a-doubt thankful for in your life.

Now here’s the trick: Don’t just list what you’re grateful for, you have to list why you’re grateful for them, too.

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For example, simply saying “I’m grateful for my kids” will probably make you feel good, sure, but what if we could amplify the warm, fuzzy feeling into real, lasting motivation?

Instead, write the reason you’re so thankful for your children. Is it because they make you laugh and forget about other stressors? Or maybe they help to remind you of why you go to work every day in the first place?

Whatever your reasons may be, jot them down and keep your list somewhere you can see it while you work. A quick glance at your gratitude list throughout the day can provide powerful, positive motivation to keep going.

Bonus:

If you can find just three things to be thankful for that specifically relate to your job, and list why those things make you grateful, your list can also help you find fulfillment in your work itself which can give you an even bigger boost of positivity throughout the day.

3. Take meaningful time for yourself

We all know creating a strong work-life balance can be crucial to feeling satisfied in our jobs, but rarely do we ever address how we’re spending our time outside of work.

Many of us survive a 9-hour work day and commute home only to find ourselves busy with our personal to-do lists, running a household, and taking care of a child (or 2 or 3, and so on).

If you spend all your time working, whether in the office or within your household, you’re going to feel drained at some point. This is why setting meaningful time for yourself every day is highly important.

Look, I get it: I don’t know anyone in the working world who can shun all responsibility for a 3-movie marathon or happy hour with friends whenever they feel like it. But finding time for yourself, be it just 30 minutes to an hour, can really make a difference in how you feel at work.

This works because you’ll have time to actually relax and let the day’s stress melt away while you enjoy something just for you. The to-do lists and stressors will still be there after you’re refreshed and ready to tackle them.

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No time for me-time? Try this:

If you have a busy household, you’ll need to capitalize on a block of time you know will be completely uninterrupted. The easiest way to do this: try waking up 30 minutes to an hour earlier than usual (or push bedtime back an hour if you’re a night owl, like me) and take time to do something you enjoy.

This could be reading with a cup of tea, catching up on Facebook, spending time on a passion project—anything! As long as it’s meaningful to you, it works!

Bonus:

Starting your day with meaningful time for yourself can set you up to have a positive mood that lasts well into office hours, and having your me-time in the evening can give you something positive to look forward to during the day.

4. Get productive and feel accomplished

Don’t you just love the feeling of checking the last item off of a hefty to-do list? That’s because self-motivation can be a huge driver of positivity and success.

When we accomplish something, no matter how small, it makes us feel good, plain and simple. Applying this tactic to your daily work can be the motivator you need to find fulfillment during the daily office grind.

While there are tons of steps to get more done at work, I’ll share my personal favorite: Prioritizing.

Now, many people handle prioritizing differently. Some like to tackle the little tasks first so they can spend focused time on the big to-dos. Others like to knock out the big items first and get to the smaller ones when they can.

No matter which camp you’re in, you may be missing one crucial step: Time management.

So how’s this work? When you factor in the amount of time your priorities will take, it can transform your productivity ten-fold.

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Say you have three top priorities for the day. You might jump into the smaller ones or the bigger ones depending on your preferred method, and then find yourself out of time and bringing work home with you at the end of the day.

This is prevented when you factor in time. Knowing how long each item will take, or deliberately setting specific blocks of time for your priorities can help you accomplish more in the same 8-9 (or 12) hours that you typically spend at work.

Try this:

Take a look at your priorities and consider how long they should take. Pop into your Google calendar (or Filofax, whatever works for you) and schedule time to work on your priority items around any important meetings or events of the day.

The most important thing to remember is to stick to your dedicated time.

Often, when we know exactly how long we have to work on something (and honor this time limit), we’re motivated to get more done on time to avoid taking work home at the end of the day.

The bottom line

There’s no need to waste 1/3 of our lives feeling unsatisfied at work. Luckily, you now have the tools to get started, take back your time, and become happy and fulfilled at work again.

The only question is — which tip will you try first?

Featured photo credit: Ellyot via unsplash.com

Reference

[1]Psychology Today: The Healing Power of Gratitude

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