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How to cope when you hate your job

Unfortunately, whether it is due to the economy, just starting out in a field, or inability to find the right career, many people find themselves stuck in jobs they do not enjoy. It could be work you are not passionate about, a boss that holds you back, or uncaring co-workers that make the job unbearable. The bottom line is, it is tough to be in an environment you dislike for 40 hours a week. That is a big chunk of your life, and the unhappiness you feel at work may be spilling over to other areas of your life, including your relationships. Here are eight tips for getting through the workday and keeping your job separate from your personal life.

  1. Leave work at work. You spend eight hours a day at work, which is 1/3 of your entire day, so it is understandable that you want to talk about your frustrations. However if you think about it, talking about how much you hate your job outside of work is just giving more time to that part of your life that you don’t like, instead of giving more time to enjoying things outside of work. In addition, complaining to your partner or friends affects them too- they want you to be happy and it can be difficult to hear that you are suffering and there is nothing they can do to change that.
  2. Ask people to listen rather than giving suggestions. I’m sure you have thought of every way possible to get out of your current job situation, and you don’t need people in your life trying to give you advice. If you do talk to your partner or friends about your plight, ask them to kindly just listen to your feelings rather than trying to give tips.
  3. Focus on aspects of your job that you do like. Can you work from home? Do you get to wear clothes that you like to work? Have a coworker you really like? Odds are your job isn’t ALL bad, and you can find some small pockets of goodness to enjoy even if overall your job is a drag.
  4. Maintain hope for the future. Try to do something each week that will bring you closer to getting a job that you love. Look up schools for the degree you are interested in getting, contact friends in the field you want to get into, or send in job applications to more promising positions.
  5. Find other parts of your life that you feel successful in, and focus on those. Working at a job you hate can decimate your self-esteem. It is important to recognize the great qualities you possess and the successes that you have achieved in life in order to keep yourself going. Do you consider yourself a great friend? Do you have a happy, loving marriage? Perhaps you run marathons or volunteer at the local homeless shelter. There are many ways to achieve “success” in life that do not have to do with your job or money.
  6. Take care of yourself. Make sure that you are getting enough sleep, eating healthy, and working out. Feeling tired, sick or out of shape can make an already tough workday feel even harder. You need to set yourself up to have the best day possible, and that starts with treating your body right.
  7. Vent. Sometimes it can feel good to just get all the negativity your job brings into your life out. However, as stated before, it can be damaging to your relationships to constantly vent to a partner or friend. There are other ways to vent, such as on a message board like “offmychest” on Reddit, or writing in a journal. Remember that although co-workers may share your same sentiments, it is usually not good to vent in an environment where what you’ve said may get back to your boss.
  8. Seek therapy or life coaching. A therapist can be a neutral third party to vent to, and who can also help you get your life on track. Call our office today to schedule an appointment with a professional.

Author: Grace Norberg, AMFT

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