If you're currently in a job you hate, your day might start with long suffering groans and end with a permanent scowl that takes you all the way back home. And who wants that? Instead of dealing with it, try to turn the job you hate into a job you love. While some aspects of your job have turned into long-suffering tasks and to-do lists, there was a reason you originally took the position. Whether it was because it let you join your industry, gave you an outlet for creativity, or promised to help you learn and grow, at one point in time it held a lot of promise and kept you enthusiastic. So before you up and quit, take some time to see if you could relight that spark back.
Sometimes all it takes is a couple of tweaks. For example, you can always meet with your boss to see if you could expand your job description, or you could make on effort to really bond with the people on your team. Other times it might just take you tapping into your enthusiasm or focusing on the purpose of your work rather than the to-do lists. The point is, though, that it's possible. Below are 11 ways to like the job you hate.
1. Change Your Job Description
Is there something about your job you really hate, or something that you wish was in your realm of work? Organize a meeting with your boss and pitch the idea to them - chances are they'd totally go for it. Business writer Deborah Jacobs from Forbes recommended, "Talk to your boss about altering your workload or the kind of work you currently do. Whether you’re overworked and overwhelmed, or completely unchallenged, your boss will understand that you will never be as productive as you could be unless something gives." Instead of thinking of quitting, first try and change the situation you're in! It's worth a shot.
2. Get Chummy With Your Boss
When you start having eye twitching thoughts about your position at your work, try changing your perspective by getting chatty with your boss. Lifestyle writer Jon Negroni from Lifehack explained, "Your boss may not be the nicest person in the world, but most people who are in charge tend to have a decent level of passion for the place they work in. When we work somewhere that is draining us, it can be refreshing for us to sit down with our boss and hear his perspective on how things are going." Hearing about the work you're doing from a different, more invested perspective can help motivate you to see it as a worthwhile pursuit. Who knows? A tiny bit of that enthusiasm can rub off on you.
3. Focus On What You Enjoy
It's time to reshift the narrative inside your head: Rather than just griping over the things you hate, focus on what you like instead. Lifestyle writer Alyssa Raiola from self-development site The Greatist suggested, "Rather than making blanket statements about hating work, get more specific: 'I really don't like all the politics in the office, but the people in my department are pretty cool.' A positive attitude goes a long way." By focusing on the positives, you can get into the habit of noticing them more and more.
4. Focus On The Purpose Of Your Job, And Not The To-Do Lists
Say you're a writer: A lot of your workday has to do with research, emails, interviews, and edits. If you do it for long enough and get sucked into the never ending to-do list, you might lose some of that sparkle you first had when you first tried for the job. In order to get it back, every day cave out some time to focus on the purpose of your job, and not the to-do lists that revolve around it. Business writer Laura Vanderkam from entrepreneur site Fast Company explained, "If you feel you’re not spending enough time actually reveling in that bigger purpose, try not returning emails for a few hours and see what happens." If the housekeeping stuff is what's making you crazy, do less of it.
5. Collab With People That Inspire You
Work immediately becomes more amazing when you get to work on a project with someone that you find inspiring and motivating, so try and keep those that you have synergy with close. Jacobs offered, "If you already know which people you enjoy working with and work well with, find more opportunities to collaborate with them. Internally this could mean asking permission to work on your next presentation with someone you know you have good chemistry with." Collabing with people that bring out your best ideas and that make you excited about the topic at hand can relight your interest in your work.
6. Learn As Much As Humanly Possible
Maybe the reason you hate your job is because you're bored with it. In order to give yourself more of a challenge (and to take advantage of the situation you're in) stretch yourself to learn as much about your industry as possible. Negroni recommended, "Speaking of learning, one of the best ways to break the monotony of your job is by training yourself to do more than what is required of you." Those skills will definitely come in handy when it's annual review time, and learning to do things that are higher level than you are might make you realize you actually love your industry, just need to move up higher in it.
7. Ask For Projects
Maybe the issue is that the work you have on your plate right now just isn't satisfying. To remedy that, ask one of your higher ups if you could spearhead a project that either lets you flex your creativity or the skills you're a champ at. Raiola suggested, "We know, who wants to add more to their plate? But hear us out: Your new task could be a creative project or something extracurricular." Whether it's sinking your teeth into research or rehashing the organization system in your department, taking charge of something new can refresh your interest.
8. Keep Tabs On Your Field
This isn't only so you're up to speed with what's happening in your industry, but by staying relevant with news you can also be ready to nip up cool opportunities or become motivated by someone who's knocking it out of the park at their own job. Personal finance writer Kerry Hannon from Forbes explained, "If you become complacent about trends, you’ll get left behind. Then, when new and interesting opportunities do arise at work, you might not be nimble enough to grab them." Stay up to date and not only will you get brain storms, motivation, and enthusiasm, but you also might stumble across an opportunity.
9. Tap Enthusiasm From Your Hobbies
Think of how passionate you are when it comes to your hobbies: Chances are you spend hours researching and practicing to become better at them, which is a valuable commitment. Business writer Minda Zetlin from entrepreneur site Inc offered, "Most of us are willing to spend many, many hours on our hobbies and we may eat, breathe, and live sports data, or hiking, or scrapbooking, or whatever it is we love. " Now channel that same intensity (keep in focus how it feels to be driven and obsessed with it,) and try to apply it to your own work. Thinking of that enthusiasm will help motivate you to replicate it in the office.
10. Keep A List Of Your Wins
Chances are your job isn't all bad. In order to put that into perspective, start keeping a gratitude journal to keep track of all the amazing things you've done and got to contribute to because of your position. Negroni offered, "You don’t have to show this to anyone, but it’s good to keep a record of the positive memories and milestones you’ve made at your job." Seeing them all in one place might help you realize things you've over looked with your grumbling.
11. Start Loving The People
The environment at work has a big stake in whether or not we like our jobs, so make an effort to enjoy the people you work with. Zetlin recommended "Think about organizing a happy hour, outing, or amateur sports team, he advises. The more you get to know the people in your company, the likelier you are to find some whose company you truly enjoy." Take an active role in getting to know your department and becoming chummy with them, and coming into work every day just might get better.
Work isn't always fun, but it doesn't have to be a nightmare, either. Focus on the positives and work at feeling happier, and you might be surprised how quickly you start to look on the bright side.