How to Become a Better Employee Even When You Hate Your Job
If you’re unhappy with your current job, join the club: According to a new study from Gallup, 70 percent of U.S. workers either hate their job or are completely disengaged from it. Many people experience unhappiness with their job at some point in their careers, but the current economy has convinced many workers to hold on to their job and its steady paycheck — even if the going is tough.
No one wants to be unhappy at work, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create some positives from your situation. When the going gets tough, there are still benefits to be found from your experience. Hopefully, the future brings a better opportunity, and you can carry those newfound strengths into your career’s next chapter.
Buckling Down in the Face of Adversity
No matter how difficult or unpleasant a job may be, it still comes with responsibilities. The ability to fulfill those duties despite the surrounding negativity and friction can be a testament to your work ethic. Many employers seek workers with a demonstrated ability to work under pressure, and doing your job under the oppressive reign of a supervisor can certainly qualify as pressure.
Besides, the decision to hold onto your job — as opposed to quitting — implies that you’re willing to put up with the situation and get your job done. Focus on finding methods of better managing this workplace adversity, whether it’s avoiding sources of conflict, changing how you engage potential flare-ups, or even talking with HR to try and reach some sort of working compromise. Even if you ultimately leave your job, you can be proud of the efforts you made — and prospective employers will be glad to hear you gave it a shot.
Reducing Your Interactions with Negative Influences
A great deal of workplace conflict and tension stems from the human relationships forged in the context of work. Even if you are unhappy with your situation, there’s a chance you’re feeding into the negativity by engaging unhealthy elements. For example, negative relationships, conflicts with your boss, water cooler gossip and other bad influences can be a breeding ground for further friction and conflict. Identify these relationships and minimize their role in your work day. Opt instead to engage co-workers that bring a healthier attitude to the day. You may see the quality of your experience improve.
Keeping Sight of Your Motivations
Nobody works just for fun, especially in a position they hate. If you are continuing to go to work, there’s probably a reason. Keeping sight of these motivations can help you stay at your job and get through the work day. Whether it’s bills, a family to support or even career aspirations that would be set back by quitting, hold on to these motivations when work becomes a struggle. They can carry you through the tough times and protect you from making any regrettable mistakes.
Managing Your Home Life/Heavy Work Demands
One of the top ways workers get disgruntled with their jobs is by being overworked. Whether it’s late nights, weekends or work-related travel, extra time spent on the job can make it tougher to manage your home life. If you can’t simply dedicate more time away from the office, focus on techniques to ease the stress at home while helping everyone else better adapt to your situation.
For example, plan out meals ahead of time and have eating options ready in the event you’re unable to make it home for dinner. Install pet doors or use pet sanitary pads to address pet relief needs when you leave the home for long stretches of time. If you have kids, talk to friends and family about emergency plans to look after your kids if you’re delayed unexpectedly from coming home. It’s not an ideal situation, but if you plan for the worst you’ll suffer much less stress from increased work demands.