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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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Jon Negroni

An author and blogger who shares about lifestyle advice

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Last Updated on August 20, 2019

How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

Career advancement is an enticement that today’s companies use to lure job candidates. But to truly uncover growth opportunities within a company, it’s up to you to take the initiative to move up.

You can’t rely on recruiter promises that your company will largely hire from within. Even assurances you heard from your direct supervisor during the interviewing process may not pan out. But if you begin a job knowing that you’re ultimately responsible for getting yourself noticed, you will be starting one step ahead.

Accomplished entrepreneur and LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman said,

“If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.”

It’s important to recognize that taking charge of your own career advancement, and then mapping out the steps you need to succeed, is key to moving forward on your trajectory.

Make a Point of Positioning Yourself as a Rising Star

As an employee looking for growth opportunities within your current company, you have many avenues to position yourself as a rising star.

As an insider, you’re able to glean insights on company strategies and apply your expertise where it’s most needed. Scout out any skills gaps, then make a point to acquire and apply them. And, when you have creative ideas to offer, make it your mission to gain the ear of those in the organization who can put your ideas to the test.

Valiant shows of commitment and enterprise make managers perk up and take notice, keeping you ahead of both internal and external competitors.

Employ these other useful tips to let your rising star qualities shine:

1. Promote Your Successes to Your Higher-Ups

When your boss casually asks how you’re doing, use this valuable moment to position yourself as indispensable: “I’m floating on clouds because three clients have already commented on how well they like my redesign of the company website.”

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Tell your supervisors about any and all successes. Securing a new contract or signing a new customer should be a cause for celebration. Be sure to let your bosses know.

2. Cultivate Excellent Listening Skills

Listen well, and ask great questions. Realize that people love to talk about themselves.

But if you’re a superb listener, others will confide in you, and you’ll learn from what they share. You may even find out something valuable about your own prospects in the company.

If others view you as even-minded and thoughtful, they’ll respect your ideas and, in turn, listen to what you have to say.

Check out these important listening skills: 13 Powerful Listening Skills to Improve Your Life at Work and at Home

3. Go to All Office Networking Events

Never skip the office Christmas party, your coworker’s retirement party, or any office birthday parties, wedding showers, or congratulatory parties for colleagues.

If others see you as a team player, it will help you rise in your company. These on-site parties will also help you mingle with co-workers whom you might not ordinarily have the chance to see. For special points, help organize one or two of these get-togethers.

Take the Extra Step to Show Your Value to the Company

Managers and HR staff know that it can be less risky – and a lot less costly — to promote from within. As internal staff, you likely have a good grasp of the authority structure and talent pool in the company, and know how to best navigate these networks in achieving both the company’s goals and your own.

The late Nobel-Prize winning economist, Gary Becker, coined the term “firm-specific,” which describes the unique skills required to excel in an individual organization. You, as a current employee, have likely tapped into these specific skills, while external hires may take a year or more to master their nuances.

Know that your experience within the company already provides value, then find ways to add even more value, using these tips:

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4. Show Initiative

Commit yourself to whatever task you’re given, and make a point of going above and beyond.

Position yourself so that you’re ready to take on any growth opportunities that present themselves. If you believe you have skills that have gone untapped, find a manager who will give you a chance to prove your worth.

Accept any stretch assignment that showcases your readiness for advancement. Stay late, and arrive early. Half of getting the best assignments is sticking around long enough to receive them.

5. Set Yourself Apart by Staying up on Everything There Is to Know About Your Company and Its Competitors

Subscribe to and read the online trade journals. Become an active member in your industry’s network of professionals. Go to industry conferences, and learn your competitors’ strategies.

Be the on-the-ground eyes and ears for your organization to stay on top of industry trends.

6. Go to Every Company Meeting Prepared and Ready to Learn

A lot of workers feel meetings are an utter waste of time. They’re not, though, because they provide face-time with higher-ups and those in a position to give you the growth opportunities you need.

Go with the intention of absorbing information and using it to your advantage — including the goals and work styles of your superiors. Respect the agenda, listen more than you speak, and never beleaguer a point.

Accelerate Your Career Growth Opportunities

A recent study found that the five predictors of employees with executive potential were: the right motivation, curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination. These qualities help you stand out, but it’s also important to establish a track record of success and to not appear to be over-reaching in your drive to move up in your company.

Try to see yourself from your boss’s position and evaluate your promote-ability.

Do you display a passion and commitment toward meeting the collective goals of the company? Do you have a motivating influence with team members and show insight and excellence in all your work?

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These qualities will place you front and center when growth opportunities arise.

Use these strategic tips to escalate your opportunities for growth:

7. Find a Mentor

With mentorship programs fast disappearing, this isn’t always easy. But you need to look for someone in the company who has been promoted several times and who also cares about your progress.

Maybe it’s the person who recommended you for the job. Or maybe it’s your direct supervisor. It could even be someone across the hall or in a completely different department.

Talk to her or him about growth opportunities within your company. Maybe she or he can recommend you for a promotion.

Not sure how to find the right mentor? Here’s How to Find a Mentor That Will Help You Succeed.

8. Map out Your Own Growth Opportunity Chart

After you’ve worked at the company for a few months, work out a realistic growth chart for your own development. This should be a reasonable, practical chart — not a pie-in-the-sky wish list of demands.

What’s reasonable? Do you think being promoted within two years is reasonable? What about raises? Try to inform your own growth chart with what you’ve heard about other workers’ raises and promotions.

Once you’ve rigorously charted a realistic path for your personal development within the company, try to talk to your mentor about it.

Keep refining your chart until it seems to work with your skills and proven talents. Then, arrange a time to discuss it with your boss.

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You may want to time the discussion around the time of your performance review. Then your boss can weigh in with what he feels is reasonable, too.

9. Set Your Professional Bar High

Research shows that more than two-thirds of workers are just putting in their time. But through your active engagement in the organization and commitment to giving your best, you can provide the contrast against others giving lackluster performances.

Cultivate the hard skills that keep you on the cutting edge of your profession, while also refining your soft skills. These are the attributes that make you better at embracing diverse perspectives, engendering trust, and harnessing the power of synergy.

Even if you have an unquestionably left-brain career — a financial analyst or biotechnical engineer, for example — you’re always better off when you can form kind, courteous, quality relationships with colleagues.

Let integrity be the cornerstone of all your interactions with clients and co-workers.

The Bottom Line

Growth opportunities are available for those willing to purposely and adeptly manage their own professional growth. As the old adage says,

“Half of life is showing up.”

The other half is sticking around so that when your boss is looking for someone to take on a more significant role, you are among the first who come to mind.

Remember, your career is your business!

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Featured photo credit: Zach Lucero via unsplash.com

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