What to Do When You Hate Your Job

What to Do When You Hate Your JobLet’s face it: not everyone loves their job, and not everyone can do what they love and make a living at it. If there’s no potential for love in what you’re doing, the best you can hope for is that you at least like your job, or don’t mind it.

But when “hate” starts to enter your vocabulary as a way of describing what you’re doing for a living, it’s time to start making some changes. But don’t be too hasty. So many people move from one job they hate to another job they hate because they don’t take the time to sit down and think through their next move. Here are some things to do before handing in your notice.

1. Start to focus on what it is you want, rather than how much you want out. Before you scour the job boards looking for your escape hatch, start by saying, “What I really want is …” and fill in your own blank.

2. Learn, learn, learn. Okay, so the job stinks. Are there things you can learn there that will help you in scouting out your next gig? Can you use this time to beef up the skills section of your resume so that you’re a more attractive candidate? Use every opportunity you can find to better yourself.

3. Make a list of the specific things you dislike about your current job. Don’t be afraid to use these things when seeking out your next position. Even if the next company you work for ends up having many of the same qualities, at least you can say, “When I first interviewed, these are the things I told you I didn’t like.”

4. Defend and protect. This is a tough one, but take a few moments every day before you start work to, as they say on Star Trek, “raise your shields.” Commit to not allowing the things that aggravate you to get through your defenses.

5. Go with your gut. You know when something feels right and when it doesn’t. If you find another opportunity that will allow you to move on, listen to your instincts. Is it really a good fit, or are you allowing the dislike of your current situation to color your opinion?

Once you’ve left — and don’t worry, you will — you’ll move on to bigger and better things and you probably won’t remember what it was about the old job that bothered you so much. Don’t dwell. The rest of your life is ahead of you.

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