Thursday, June 21, 2012

How to Feel Better About a Job You Hate

I think we've probably all had jobs we didn't like. We dreaded going into work, and huddled miserably at our work stations, wondering why everyone else seemed to be OK. Couldn't they see how horrible the place was?
I've certainly had a couple of those jobs in my life. When I was younger, I went home and cried at night, complaining bitterly to anyone who would listen how unhappy I was. 
But as I got a little older and had other jobs, I finally reached the conclusion that while I may not like a job or a company, it didn't have to ruin my life. I had the choice about rather I made myself even more miserable by having a crappy attitude, or learned to re-frame the situation to make it more bearable.
The other thing I learned was that even though I may not be in a dream job, there was something I could learn from the experience. That has helped me cope better when other jobs have come along that I haven't loved. I've learned to take a more positive outlook, no matter the situation. I hope this story I did for Gannett/USA Today will help you do the same:

We often blame our bosses or co-workers or "the company" for troubles at work.
We tell ourselves the reason we don't get what we deserve at work is the fault of someone else.
But is it really? Or are we the ones to blame for our lack of career success?

Research suggests that when we allow our minds to focus on the negative and allow doubts and insecurities to overwhelm positive thoughts, we set ourselves up for results that don't reflect our best work.
survey last year from VitalSmarts found that 97 percent of employees described themselves as having one of these five traits: lacking reliability, making not-my-job comments, procrastinating, resisting change or projecting a negative attitude.
That's why behavioral expert and business adviserBeverly Flaxington says employees need to stop talking about outside career saboteurs and instead focus on the dramatic difference they can make by changing the way they behave and think at work.
"I think many people just get stuck. They think their boss is a jerk, they hate the way their company treats people and they are really just frustrated in their jobs," Flaxington says. "Things are just piling on, and they almost get paralyzed by the situation."
Mired in negativity, workers begin to act out their woe-is-me attitude, she says. They don't make deadlines, they fail to offer new ideas and they have a snarky attitude with colleagues — all behaviors that undermine their ability to be happy at work or get ahead.
"Get out of the victim mode," she says. "There is a lot you can control and influence."
Flaxington, author of Make Your SHIFT: The Five Most Powerful Moves You Can Make to Get Where You Want to Go, (ATA Press, $15.95) says you can break the negativity mode and take a more proactive approach to making work better:
• Write it down. Think about where you want to be in your career, and then give yourself a date to accomplish a goal.
Ask yourself if you're on track to meet that goal based on what you're doing now. If not, what skills do you need to gain, and what may be stopping you from achieving that outcome?
Don't get down if you're in a job that won't move you toward this goal, but keep that written statement in front of you daily so you can stay committed to it.
• Vent. List your gripes.
Write down the things that bug you about your job, things you can't stand or complaints. Now put each of those items into three categories: what is within your control, what you may be able to influence and what is out of your control.
Cross out what you can't control and focus on what you can do with the remaining items. By looking at obstacles in a proactive way — as something you're capable of overcoming — you will feel less negative and stuck.
• Change your communication style. Maybe your boss makes decisions on the fly, but your work style is just the opposite.
Unfortunately, your careful consideration of the pros and cons comes across as procrastination to the boss and maybe even a criticism of his or her fast-action style.
Learn to mirror more of your boss' words, body language and communication style and you soon will find interactions smoother.
• Embrace change. Talk to mentors to get their feedback on how to make some changes.
Study successful people within your organization and think about how you might adopt some of their habits to become more successful, such as volunteering for difficult assignments or coming in early.
Instead of being grumpy about changes, think about how they can make you better because you're learning something new.
• Give 'em a break. Maybe you don't like the boss' management style or the way your co-workers do certain tasks.
That's doesn't make them terrible people. You need to remember they're often doing the best they can.
Approach them with a positive attitude and try to be as helpful as you can.
"I really do believe every day is a new day," Flaxington says. "No matter your age, drop the attitude that you need something outside of yourself to change. Just try some different things and see if they don't make an impact. You have more power than you think you have."


Anonymous said...

You spend more time at your job than with your family! Personally, if I didn't like my job, I would leave. The best niche website I've come across for university academic jobs is - and I would recommend it to everyone.

Not all of us have the privilege to change careers though, so this is great advice for those feeling cornered and stuck at their place of employment.

Keep up the good work

Eric @ I Need Job! said...


Nice article, and I agree with most of what you wrote. Two key things (in my opinion) for dealing with a job you hate are attitude and perspective.

Both are hard to "force", but they are extremely powerful in making you feel better. Having a positive attitude helps almost ANY negative situation, and really helps you see that the situation isn't as bad as you make it out to be in your head.

Perspective comes more with experience - after working a couple jobs I really hated, I was able to appreciate my current job even though I see others who hate it. They don't have the perspective I have, and it makes a big difference.

Just my $.02!

- Eric

CMOE said...

It really helps to refocus your thinking and stop feeling sorry for yourself all the time. I've found that it helps some people to realize that their job is not their whole life, it's simply something that they do and shouldn't affect how they perceive themselves or their lives.

Jim | Jobs in Dubai UAE said...

If you avoid all negative thinking about your job and keep smiling that may help you to be live happy and god may give you better job according to your ability.