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Career Advice

5 Ways to Survive a Job (You Think) You Hate

By Krisha Maclang on November 17, 2015

So you landed the job you’ve been working so hard to get for a long time. Unfortunately, it only takes you weeks, or even days, into the position hating it with every fiber of your being. It could be because of a variety of reasons: a slave driver boss, the job description not matching your actual work, or gossiping colleagues. Whatever it is, it’s driving you to consider quitting your job rather much earlier than you planned.

While we encourage our readers to pursue meaningful and satisfying work, we also think that quitting your job prematurely isn’t a good idea. You need to earn money to survive in this world, after all. At the same time, it won’t look to great on your resume if you were only at your job for a couple of weeks. Sometimes, hating your job is only a result of a rough patch in your career, so maybe quitting right away isn’t the appropriate solution in the long run.

So what can you do to survive, and maybe even thrive, at a job you hate while you're discerning whether to stay or go?

Be positive

This may sound a bit trite, but having the right mindset about your job will help you. If the first thought in your mind when you wake up in the morning is, “This job sucks. This day sucks,” then chances are your day will suck. If you tackle your workday with a nega outlook then all the things that are going wrong will stick out like a sore thumb.

Begin by thinking about all the good things you have going for you right now. First of all, you have a job. Do you know how many Filipinos are unemployed or underemployed? You managed to land a pretty good job so you should be thankful for that. Do you have awesome team members? That’s wonderful. Getting along well with your team is a necessary factor for success at your job. Does your job have a clear career path marked out for you? Great, it means your company is looking out for your future as a professional. If this is your first job, just think of it as a stepping stone to a bright career ahead.

It can be easy to fall into the trap of nitpicking your job, especially at the early stages. It’s easy to find all the awful things about it, but if you look very closely, good things might be all around you. You just need to take a second look.

Find something you like about the job

It can be a bit draining to work at a job that leaves you feeling like you’re constantly doing chores the whole day. When you don’t like what you’re doing, it will naturally feel like everything is exhausting you or that you’re not growing as a person. But let’s try switching things up a bit. Instead of focusing on the things you don’t like about your job, what are the things you like about your job?

If you find yourself liking the creative aspects of your job, maybe you can ask your supervisor to let you work on more creative projects. Devoting your attention to tasks that matter to you will give you that little kick you need to keep doing a good job at work.

Can’t find anything you like right now? Try going through other tasks that your department handles. If you like working on events, you can volunteer to work on the next company event or to do something related to the event. You not only find a reason to stay with your company, but also get the added bonus of learning a new skill and loving what you’re doing.

Sometimes awesome things don’t just fall on your lap. You have to go out and find them and make them work for you.

Get a life outside of work

Sometimes the only thing that can get you out of your career rut is to build a fulfilling life outside of your job. You’re not always going to get everything right at the same time. Sometimes you’ll have an amazing career while your personal life is a little boring, while there are times that you’ll have a flourishing social life but your job is a little lacking.

We’ve covered it a few times here on the blog, but we’ll say it again: find a passion project. Your passion projects can be anything from watercolor painting to rock climbing. You can continue doing your usual hobbies or start something completely new and interesting. Whatever it is, passion projects can bring you great things. It can lead you to hone new skills, get you physically fit, develop new friendships and maybe even let you find the next step in your career.

There are times when your job isn’t going to make you happy 100% of the time, and that’s okay. The key in surviving those phases is to realize that there are other things in your life aside from your job that can give you a meaningful life.

Reward yourself

Nothing can be a worse combination than a high-stress work environment and a job you hate. It’s already exhausting enough to be doing work that you don’t really like but if the job regularly stresses you out, it’s understandable if you end up hating it.

If quitting your job isn’t an option, then maybe taking a quick break can be a better option. If you’ve been working hard and producing great work despite hating your job, then consider rewarding yourself for a job well done.

It can be anything: from a spending the weekend at a far-flung place with no communication at work or maybe you can buy yourself that smartphone you’ve been eyeing for the past few months. You can also just set aside a day just for treating yourself to your favorite things like that spa you’ve always wanted to visit and trying that new restaurant everyone has been raving about.

Everyone has had to do work that they hate from time to time. It helps a lot to create a reward system for yourself and to remind yourself that sometimes a little positive motivation helps in pulling yourself through rough patches.

Talk to the appropriate people

It may be very clear to you that you hate your job or your colleagues’ behavior, but it’s possible that the people concerned have no idea that you’re having a hard time dealing with work. More often than not, the solution to your problem can be found through the help of your co-workers.

Finding your job monotonous and can’t see anything else to make it fun? Talk to your boss about giving you different tasks or maybe even transferring you to a department that is more suited to your job path. Do you feel a little lonely at work because everyone else has a work barkada and you don’t? Try and befriend the newbie in the office and you might find yourself a new office buddy.

If you’re suffering at work, don’t go through it alone. You can find support and help from your co-workers. They’re not just there to check if you produce your best work. They also want to see you do well and be happy with what you’re doing.

Filing for resignation because of a job you hate should only happen when you feel like you have done everything to make your current job work. Working a job you hate is never at the very top of people’s wish list but it happens to everyone once in a while. Hang in there and find try to find joy in the little things at work and outside of work.

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