David has over 15 years of supervisory experience and has extensive knowledge of how to handle personnel issues across many areas.
How to Survive a Job You Hate
It's not uncommon to find yourself in a job you are not thrilled working in. In fact, it wouldn't be a surprise if you hated that job and it made your life miserable.
But like most people, you have to have that job in order to survive. Fortunately, they are things you can do to endure your job until you can find yourself in a better situation.
This article will cover various tips I have discovered to help me endure a job I did not like, as well as some of my experiences and how I handled them.
Negative Effects Working a Job You Hate
Cost yourself a promotion
15 Tips for Surviving in a Job You Hate
Below are some tips I can offer on how to survive working in a job you do not like. Some may apply to your job; some may not. Each situation is unique.
- Find out what the problem is with your job, and fix it. Most people hate their job because they don't like how things are done. Instead of complaining about it and making yourself miserable, find solutions to the problem. If you are able to help fix issues in the office, you will find your job more enjoyable. If people find they hate their job, it's usually because of something directly in the office.
- Interact with your co-workers more. As the old adage says, you spend more time with your co-workers than your family. If you want to learn to enjoy your job, then get along and try to develop a positive rapport with those you work with. If you can have a good time while working with others, then it'll make the day go by faster and make the job a lot more bearable.
- Act positive in the workplace. Have a smile on your face, say good morning, etc. Just as a negative attitude is infectious, a positive attitude can be just as infectious. If your co-workers, supervisors, and customers see you happy, they, in turn, will act happy.
- Take full advantage of your breaks. When you go on your break, walk away from your office as much as you can. This will give you a chance to take a breather. Go out to lunch, take a walk, or read a book. This will allow you to relax at certain points throughout the day.
- Talk to your boss. If you have a sympathetic supervisor, then go to them and tell them how you feel. Don't just blurt out that you hate the job that you are in. Just state you are unsatisfied with your current assignment and want to see how you can improve it.
- Challenge yourself. If you see a project come up that will take a lot of time and effort, then volunteer for it. The extra challenge might help you grow as an employee and help you enjoy your job more if you are doing something critical for the office.
- Personalize the workplace. If you have an office or cubical, then personalize it. Put plants on your desk, pictures, items from your home, etc., all around. Even if you are at work, you will feel comforted that your work area is personalized just for you.
- Realize that others may have it worse off than you. More than likely, there are worse jobs out there than your own. So you may have it lucky compared to others. Or, there could be those out there that can't even find a job. In that case, you should be thankful you have a job, even if it's one you hate.
- Enjoy your off time. If you have a rough job and hate going into the office each day, then make the most of your time off. Go out with friends, see family, and take vacations. Giving yourself a reward of personal enjoyment can push you through the worst of times at your job.
- Go back to school. If you don't want to work at a job you don't like forever, then go back to school to learn something else. A change in career, while drastic, can be a positive step in the right direction to find yourself a new job.
- Realize there is a reason why you need the job. If you have a family at home to support, as well as bills, etc., then you need that job to survive. That thought alone should push you through the day.
- Analyze what else could be bothering you. What if you are having problems at home? What if you are having money problems? That is sure to carry over to your job. You may not hate your job at all, but other factors are causing you to feel like you hate your job. You may even be placing the blame on it.
- Just walk away. If something is done in the office that is making you upset, then just walk away and cool off. While being upset about something is acceptable, you don't want to make it worse by venting about it openly. So take a short walk to cool off and compose yourself.
- Work towards a promotion. You may find that you hate your job because you are bored. If you aren't challenged, you will find yourself bored with the tedium. If you work hard for a promotion with more challenges, you may start to enjoy your job again.
- Look for another job. A job search may be in order if you are unhappy in your current job. You should be discreet about it so as not to make waves in your current job and make things worse. But it could be time for you to move on to a job that would be more to your liking.
My Experiences on Surviving Jobs I Hated
I have held a couple of jobs I hated. One so much so that it made me sick on an almost daily basis. Below are a few of my experiences.
- I was working at a call center, and the job made me physically ill on a daily basis. Customers would call in with issues about their service, needed to transfer their service, and so on. Our job was to help them, but primarily, it was to sell them products. The customers hated this, and it made me sick to my stomach when I had to do it. So how did I solve this issue? I got fired. My work performance deteriorated so much that it caused my termination.
- I was promoted, but my promotion resulted in me working the graveyard shift. I didn't handle the graveyard shift very well. I didn't sleep enough, and all of my energy went to work and nothing else. I tried to survive but simply couldn't. So I transferred to another office that had different work hours for me. It greatly improved the situation for me.
- My boss made a decision I didn't agree with. With the decision that was made, it was going to make work a lot harder in the office. I wasn't happy at all, in fact, I hated my job a lot, and it was showing. I was scheduled to take a few days off the following week, but I decided to take the entire week off. This gave me more time to calm down from the situation and go back to work feeling good.
- My boss hated her job, so it affected me. My boss walked into the office in a very bad mood because she was unhappy at work. This instantly rubbed off on me, and I fell into a bad mood. If your boss hates their job, then that may rub off on you as well.
Hate Your Job? Then Quit!
If you find you hate your job so much that the above tips won't work, then just quit your job. It may seem drastic, but there are many things you can do once you quit your job. You can be a stay-at-home parent, become self-employed, hunt for a new job, or even write a book! Only you can figure out when enough is enough.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2013 David Livermore
StephenCooksey from Phoenix on April 13, 2020:
This is an amazing article that covered every circumstance of the office that every single employee face. Thanks, for sharing this article with us.
Jeff Poirrier from Washington on May 19, 2013:
Nice article. It might be worth mentioning that it is difficult to obtain unemployment if you quit your job, unless you can prove that you quit for moral reasons or to prevent abuse, etc.,
Jessica Peri from United States on April 20, 2013:
I love the advice you give here, as well as the video you included. Voted up and useful.
Kristen Mazzola from South Florida on April 16, 2013:
Great advice! I really needed to read this hub! Thanks for sharing it...Voted up!
David Livermore (author) from Bakersfield, California, United States on April 07, 2013:
That call center was the worst job I have ever had. Horrible experience. But I learned a lot from it too. Thanks, and I hope these tips help you in the future.
Jenna Estefan from Seattle, WA on April 07, 2013:
Wow, I really like that you shared your personal experiences. I could not work in a call center! I worked in a couple of different jobs with the same position, just in different companies. One job I really loved and the other I could not stand. I quickly learned that the people you work for (and with) can have a huge impact on how much you like, or dislike, your job. Thanks for all the great tips!
David Livermore (author) from Bakersfield, California, United States on April 06, 2013:
Agreed! And I hope some of these tips help you out, and hope you find something better in the future.
Linda Chechar from Arizona on April 06, 2013:
I'm in a job right now that I'm not terribly fond of. It is a part-time, low pay job and I really have to force myself to put on a happy face. However, your advice about interacting with fellow employees is a good one. If you have good relations with the people you work with, it makes the time there more enjoyable. These are great tips for many of us out there in the workforce these days. Greatly appreciated! :)
Abhijeet Ganguly from Brampton, Ontario, Canada on April 06, 2013:
Nice article...really informative..