Jun 292008
 

You spend at least eight hours a day at work; when you hate your job, it feels like 80! Life is too short to spend working in a job you hate. These tips for turning your career around will change your perspective, and maybe even help you love Monday morning…

If you can’t stand your job, you have two choices: 1) create a better working environment; or 2) quit and get a new job.

These tips focus on the first option: creating a better workplace or working environment. If that doesn’t appeal to you, read Happier Than a Billionaire: Quitting My Job, Moving to Costa Rica, and Living the Zero Hour Work Week. Nadine’s hilarious account of living in overseas will help you see the possibilities of changing your life when you hate your job…

Before the tips, a quip:

“The secret for joy in work is contained in one word: excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it,” said Pearl Buck.

It’s difficult to be excellent at work if you hate your job. So, take control. Use these tips to create a better place to work — and even get yourself into a job you like.

When You Hate Your Job – 8 Ways to Turn Your Career Around

Creating a better working environment doesn’t seem like the obvious solution when you hate your job, but trust me…these tips will help you get ahead at work. The sooner you get ahead – which includes achieving your career goals – the sooner you can find a job you actually like — or even love.

So, use these workplace tips to turn “I hate my job” to “I love my job”! Or, at least “I can stand going to work now…”

If you want to resign but can’t, read How to Quit Your Job When You’re Scared.

Pull your own weight in the office

“Working well with others goes far beyond likeability,” writes Julie Morgenstern in Making Work Work: New Strategies for Surviving and Thriving at the Office. “It’s about creating a pleasant, cooperative, energetic environment that ensures everyone gets the work done.”

Working well with your coworkers will improve your work environment — and it’s something you have total control over! Morgenstern says working well with coworkers means being available, reliable, adaptable, respectful, clear, and fair. I know how hard this is when you’re hating your job between gritted teeth, but it’s important.

Write thank-you notes to your coworkers (yes, even the ones you hate)

When you receive a gift from a colleague – whether it’s a stock tip or a baby gift – write a little thank you note. It’s a classy touch that people remember. Even the smallest of positive exchanges makes your work environment better, which will help increase your job security. To make your coworker relationships even better, learn how to negotiate conflict at work.

Don’t date your colleagues

Getting involved with a colleague is – usually – just setting yourself up for trouble. Of course, you won’t know what kind of trouble until you’re already drowning in it, such as stalking behavior (yours or theirs), sabotage at work (yours or theirs), or jealous partners (yours or theirs). Plus, it’s just not a professional way to make your work environment better…so go somewhere else for your lovin’!

Be flexible with change at work

One of the most noteworthy compliments I received from a boss is that I adapt well to change. She loved that. Change is difficult, but since it’s inevitable, your best bet is to roll with it. Plus, changing the way you do things is very healthy for your brain. If you can adapt easily to change, you’ll create a better work environment, improve your relationship with your boss and coworkers, and be more likely to achieve your career goals. And one of those career goals may be not hating your job!

Be sincere with your coworkers

You’re giving off positive energy when you sincerely thank an assistant, make eye contact with a bicycle messenger, and treat a stranger with respect. The more positive vibes you emit, the more positive ripples will return to you. Treating people with respect is an effective way to create a better work environment and achieve your career goals.

If you have your job because your coworkers complain about you, read When Your Coworkers Complain About What You Wear to Work.

Treat everyone equally – from the CEO to the cleaning staff

Have you ever let a stranger take the taxi cab or held the door for an older person walking an inch a minute? You’re being nice. The power of nice erupts when that stranger is the president of a company you’re wooing or the elderly woman sits on the board of your organization. Getting along with people at work goes beyond your behavior in the office.

Pretend to love your job, and focus on the future

The bike messenger could be training to be an investment broker, the secretary studying law, or the assistant being groomed for a promotion. Being nice to a “nobody” could translate to winning a client’s account or getting a stock tip. When you treat everyone with respect and kindness you’re not creating a better working environment, you’re setting yourself up for a better career. Like any investment, getting along with people at work could pay off big-time in the long term — or within days. If you pretend you don’t hate your job, you’ll seem nicer and friendlier, which could pay off in the long run.

Are you angling for a promotion? Read Why Doing a Good Job Won’t Get You Ahead at Work.

Ditch the negativity at work – even if you hate your job

Negative vibes, complaints, gossip, and comments definitely don’t create a better work environment. Negativity spreads like wildfire, infecting not just your work life but your home life too. To improve workplace communication, get and stay positive. Be real, but make sure your positive comments outnumber your negative comments by 10:1.

The source of the last four tips is from The Power of Nice: How to Conquer the Business World With Kindness by Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval.

Would a pay raise help you stop hating your job? Read How to Negotiate a Salary Increase.

Will these tips help when you’re pulling your hair out and saying, “I hate my job”? Comments welcome below.

  9 Responses to “When You Hate Your Job – 8 Ways to Turn Your Career Around”

  1. Thanks for your comments, Bob. You’re right – there are things you can’t control, such as your work environment.

    I think the best thing to do when you hate your job is to quit, and get a new one. But that’s easier said than done. My husband struggles with his job, but he can’t just quit because of our hefty mortgage! And I earn half of what he does.

    So….finding ways to stop hating your job may be easier than creating a whole new career.

  2. I’m sorry, but these tips will not be helpful to the vast majority of people. Creating a better work environment might help, but most of the time that is something that lies outside of your control. A more reasonable work load, less overtime, better treatment from your superiors, etc. are all things that would lead to a better work environment. Unfortunately, these are all things that are out of your direct control, no matter how many thank you letters you write.

  3. I’m not sure how work uniforms help create a better work environment….is it similar to students wearing a school uniform? But, students are young and immature, and employees at work don’t necessarily need a uniform to create a good work environment!

  4. Its such a shame when work places dont seem to be operated fairly and that bosses or supervisors appear to have their favourites, work uniforms and tunics play an important part of helping you to fit in, some bosses seem to take some sort of satisfaction out of making people feel small and undervalued

  5. Dear Sunshine,

    I’m sorry to hear that work is such a struggle — it sounds like reverse discrimination!

    One possibility is to talk to her; ask her if you’ve offended her in any way, or if there’s anything you can do to increase your chances of getting a uniform. This might be a better way to improve your work environment than reporting her or having her investigated!

    If you do decide to go over her head, I urge to to EXPECT that she’ll find out. Things like this aren’t often kept quiet for long, and you don’t know what her relationship is like with her manager. If she and her manager get along well, then you might find yourself out of a job.

    If you believe she should be investigated for employee discrimination or poor management practices, then I absolutely think you should do it. Just don’t expect it to change nothing…because all actions have reactions! You may not be able to enjoy the best of all worlds: keeping your job, getting your uniform, and reporting her successfully.

    Good luck — and maybe you want to dust off your resume, and start sending it out again? It might be a good backup plan….because working at a place that you don’t like is a sad way to spend your days!

    Laurie
    .-= Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen´s last blog post blog ..Help Sticking to Your Budget – 5 Steps to Achieving Financial Freedom =-.

  6. I’ve been on the job for 2 1/2 mths. There were 6 new people hired after me,all have their uniforms. I went to the manager and said when will or can I pick up my uniform and she told me NO flat out. I know she have her little favorites and and that great but when it comes to employees of a different race (diverse) she purposely sabatage their training to find any small reason to fire. I’ve had a person that works closely with her come back and tell me these things. She has all the hispanics as her people to get her info about all the employees and if they feel like they don’t like you then she will fire you cut & dry. I’m a white woman and Ican’t really say anything in fear of I will lose my job. I think our supervisor should be investigated and fired for the practices and illegal firing that she has done. How do I go over her head and try to have her investigated w\out puttuing my self in the potential spot of being fired. How do I help the employees have her investigated w\out all the employees including myself being fired for asking or wanting to know. There has to be a way. Do I go over her head ot her supervisor or the person over her supervisor? @ lost fo words.

  7. Thanks for your comment, Tanmoy. If you’re in Human Resources, then I bet you have your own set of effective tips for a better work environment! You could probably write your own article :-)

  8. Thank U so much for this value added advice

    Tanmoy
    HR MGR
    Mehar Enterprises

  9. Thank you so much for your kind words about The Power of Nice. We’re always glad to hear such positive feedback and to see that our philosophy resonates with others.

    Stay nice!

    Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval

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