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.
I'm glad you're here! My name is Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen; my husband Bruce and I live in Vancouver, BC with our critters. We can't have kids, and are learning to accept whatever life brings - both good and bad. I have an MSW (Master of Social Work) from UBC, and degrees in Education and Psychology. I hope you say hello below - I can't give relationship advice, but writing can bring you clarity and insight.