Making The Best Of An Imperfect Situation
We get it: plenty of you are not happy with your jobs: with the duties, the salaries, the hours, your coworkers, your bosses, or maybe all of those. Jobs that bring little satisfaction can be draining and demoralizing, but often folks have to keep at them because they bring home a much needed pay check.
Still, there are tactics you can employ to feel better about your employment situation. These strategies help you cope, get through your day and feel less stressed by the end of it. Give one — or all — of them a try, and we guarantee that, while you may never love your job, you will deal with it a whole lot better.
1) Take pride in your work environment, and your appearance. You can’t control the office decor, perhaps, but you can control the way you and your work space look. Make sure your desk is clean, tidy and well organized, and that you are, too! Even if your job demands that you wear a uniform, it’s important to keep it clean and pressed so you feel good about how you present yourself to the world. If you can wear “street clothes” to work, choose the proper attire; a suit, if need be, or a pair of dress slacks and an unfussy jacket and blouse. Nothing says “professional” like the right clothing, and even if you hate your job, you don’t want your outfit to telegraph that to outsiders, and certainly not to your coworkers and bosses.
2) Love your off hours activities: The last thing you should do at the end of your work day is an activity you don’t absolutely love. Of course, we all have chores that need dealing with — grocery shopping, bill paying, etc. — but when it comes to your leisure time, choose wisely. Do something physical, if you can, like hiking or yoga or cycling, because that will rev up your endorphins and improve your mood. Exercise gets rid of stress, and helps put you in the right frame of mind for the following work day. Exercising before work is even better, as you’re upbeat the minute you get to work, but we realize that’s not possible for everyone. The important thing here is finding something you really enjoy and sticking with it, at least three times a week.
3) Make the most of family and friends time. Don’t just gather in front of the television and computer screens after supper — gather in a family or living room and talk. Bring in the kids and your spouse, and dedicate at least an hour to family time. Staying current by really talking helps you remember why it is you’re doing this job you hate — because your family needs you, and the all important income you earn. Bringing friends into that helps too, and when social distancing policies relax around the globe eventually, you can get back to having those get-togethers with people you care about.
4) Your job isn’t all that defines you. Life is made up of many aspects, and your job is only a fraction of it. Who are you, really? A mother, a sister, an aunt, a grandmother…. you define yourself in many ways apart from your job title. It’s important to note that your job is a means to an end, a way of supporting yourself while, perhaps, you write that novel or launch a side business. Write down what matters to you most, and we bet your job comes far down the list.
There are other strategies you can use, like taking a new employee under your wing and showing them the ropes, which is satisfying and might even bring rewards when your boss notices the initiative you’ve taken. If you’re truly unhappy, start applying for jobs elsewhere. Just be sure your lack of enjoyment at work doesn’t show, or you’ll never get the reference and positive feedback you need your boss to pass along to a potential new employer. No matter how much you hate your job, find something about it that is positive, and focus on that. Then sooner, rather than later, move on to a more satisfying position, because life is too short to spend it being miserable at work.