Here's how to make work more bearable while looking for your next job

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“I’m short-tempered with my husband and kids, have no energy, and no time for myself. I hate my job which means I feel unhappy at work most of the time. Sounds glorious, doesn’t it?” I was talking to a woman who knew she needed something in her life to change but had no idea what that was or where to start. At this point, the only thing she was certain of was that living her life this way for much longer wasn’t a possibility. 

As we continued our conversation I inquired more about her current work situation. She didn’t know it at the time, but I was well aware that nearly all of her problems were coming from feeling trapped in a job she didn’t like.

She went on and on about how she’s in a high-level position for a marketing agency and the pressure is neverending. She couldn’t find any balance between work and home (by the way, this is nonexistent for everyone). “I feel like I’m losing myself and everyone around me,” she said. I could hear the pain and desperation in her voice.

This is one of many stories I’ve heard from women who are unhappy at work and, quite frankly hate their job. Unfortunately, it’s not realistic for many people to quit their job as soon as those feelings of dread begin to approach (and linger). 

So, to help the women out there struggling with the neverending thought of, “I don’t like my job but I don’t know what else to do,” here are a few ways to make work less miserable while you’re searching for what’s next.

[Blockquote] Note: Remaining in a job you hate will never serve you. The tips below are simply tactics to try in the short-term while you take action toward building a work life you love. 

 

Bypass the cover letter

Identify what it is you “hate” about your job. Can any of that be fixed?

Hate your boss?

  • Can you transfer departments?
  • Can you try to mend the relationship?
  • Can you be more proactive in your communication and sharing what you’re doing so you have more autonomy?

Feel like you aren’t doing meaningful work?

  • Can you get creative and find a few ways to feel more fulfilled?
  • Can you ask for a project that fits within something that’s important to you?

Feel overworked and overwhelmed?

  • Can you have an open conversation with your boss about this?
    • Hint: Track everything you do at work for one week. Take that to your boss and discuss how to lessen your workload.
  • Can you start your day with a gratitude practice so you get off on the right foot?

Feel like every day is Groundhog Day?

  • How can you spice up your lunch hour?
  • Can you join a new committee?
  • Ask your boss to add you to a new project that excites you.
  • Shadow someone else if you’re curious what it would be like to do their job.

What can you change in your day-to-day to make going to work less miserable?

  • Can you get yourself more organized so you achieve more in less time?
  • Are there any tasks you can hand off or delegate?
  • Are there spots throughout your day that you’re wasting time or procrastinating? Get that work finished FIRST.
  • Can you meet a friend to walk at lunch or get up and move?
  • Can you make getting different tasks done like a game?
  • Reward yourself when you get a project finished that you weren’t looking forward to.

Oftentimes repairing our outside world requires turning inward. And I’m certainly not suggesting you take on a bunch of blame for the current work situation you’re in (no one needs more guilt these days). I am encouraging you to become self-aware and realize there are certain things you can change. Really take a look at why you’re constantly saying, “I hate my job!” and what is truly making you unhappy at work. Getting to the root of the issue will help tremendously.

The goal is to fix as many of the things that contribute to your hating work as quickly as possible. Remember, you’re not trying to love your current job, but rather make it more bearable until you figure out what your next work situation looks like.

And speaking of your next work situation, it is absolutely possible to feel satisfied and fulfilled in your career. If you’re someone who finds yourself consistently saying “I don’t like my job but I don’t know what else to do,” to those closest to you, it’s time to take a step back. Go back to that inner work we talked about earlier. Get clear on why you want a change and what it could look like for you. Going through this process alone is life-changing. And once you figure it out, being unhappy at work and hating your job will be a thing of the past.


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