Let me make this clear from the outset.
This isn’t a post about how to quit your job or to leave the rat race.
Nope. I can’t tell anyone to do that.
Because, I genuinely believe that if you wanted to quit your job, you would.
You don’t need me to convince you of that.
So, if that is what you are after, feel free to stop reading now……..
Ok, let’s begin.
This post, more realistically, is about what to do if you’re in a job you dislike — or actively hate — but can’t move on!
Maybe you need to pay the rent or the mortgage and you’ve sent out endless CVs and haven’t so much as got an interview.
Whatever the reason, you’re stuck!
Now, there are ways to make going into work every day more palatable.
Yes, you read it correctly!
But before we go into the obvious hacks, such as taking your full hour lunch break, or taking frequent trips to the toilet (my favourites might I add) – I am going to talk about the less obvious but vital solutions.
When I was in this position last year before I found the courage to quit, I made a list of all the things I disliked about my job. Let’s just say this took longer than I thought.
If you decide to do something like this, try to do it when you have a little distance, like during annual leave or on a weekend. Don’t cheat and write, “everything.” It may feel that way, but that’s not helpful.
If you hate your manager, write down the things you hate about her. It’s important to separate it out.
It is important to identify the source of your strain with as much clarity as possible.
Then write down all the things you like about your job, and again, “nothing” is not a satisfactory answer.
There’s a reason you got involved with this company, this field, this industry.
Remind yourself of those simple goals, uncomplicated by the things that are bringing you down right now.
Try to find something positive, even if it’s just the location you work in or the view from your window.
For me I loved the people I worked with.
I genuinely had a great team and even better managers. I was fortunate.
For those who want to switch careers, not just get out of that particular job, start focusing on “developing skills rather than serving time.”
What can you learn that you can put on your CV?
I know when I had it in mind to leave my job, I started putting myself forward for opportunities to organise events and give presentations in front of more senior colleagues. I did this because I knew this is something that would definitely benefit me in the future.
So, if your company offers education benefits, use them to make yourself marketable!
My company paid for me to complete Prince 2 (a project management certification). Hard, but useful!
And yes, I can hear the groans out there.
I know people who have been networking and applying for jobs for a year or more in the hope of moving on.
No one said it would be easy or quick, especially for those who have been in the same job for a long time.
Whilst you were in that job – the market has changed, the way you sell yourself to employers has become tougher – it takes time and practice to upsell yourself!
One trouble in many jobs is that workers feel underappreciated or completely unappreciated. This has never been a problem of mine – because to be honest I genuinely don’t care as much in regard to praise.
I know when I have done a good job and when I have done a shit job! But, it is a problem for some people so I wanted to add this in.
So what can you do, if this is you?
Look outside your job for positive feedback.
Can your family and friends supply it?
Perhaps volunteering can give you some sense of purpose if you can’t get it from your workplace.
They say misery loves company, but it is important to not set that tone in the office especially if you in a certain position at the company.
I was looked at as a ‘role-model’ and so therefore I ‘had’ to pretend that things didn’t bother me as much as they did.
In fact, the day I handed in my resignation, my manager was shocked. She didn’t see it coming at all. My colleagues and stakeholders were the same.
I had to remain professional.
I still had a reputation to keep and I wasn’t quitting because of them, hence there was no reason for me keep complaining to people that wouldn’t understand my reasoning anyway. So I never let on I wasn’t happy.
So, be aware of self-sabotage. Sloppy performance, talking back to co-workers or managers or showing up late — that’s what people do when they are unhappy at work. And it can get you fired.
As much as you hate your job, no one wants to be fired. It’s embarrassing.
There are times, of course, when you have to leave your job before you have another lined up, especially if it’s making you physically or emotionally ill.
I know this isn’t ideal as the uncertainty is uncomfortable, but for me having quit and forging my own path, it’s far better than the certainty of that job!
But remember, just because you’re unhappy in your current job doesn’t mean the next one will be perfect.
Let me know if these tips are useful to those of you who know how it feels to hate your job, especially with it being Monday and everything 🙂
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