Everyone knows what it’s like to work at a crappy job that you hate. Whether it’s your boss, your coworkers, you customers, the work itself, the schedule or all of the above — working at a job you hate can really suck the life right out of you.
As much as you’d love to just quit and get another job, that’s easier said than done. The economy is in a tough spot right now, and a lot of people are out there looking for work. Even having a college degree doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get a job out of college, as many grads-turned-baristas can confirm.
Sometimes, the best you can do is to just stick it out, try to reframe the way you look at your job and just make the most of it. Here are four ways to make your job suck less.
1. Take Pride in Yourself and in Your Work
First of all, nobody can take away your happiness without your permission. It might seem like it’s impossible to feel joyful while working at your job, but it’s really up to you to decide how you feel about your work and the environment in which you do it.
A good starting point is to simply take pride in the work that you do. Whatever your job duties are this week, perform them to the very best of your ability. Even if nobody else seems to recognize your contribution, at least you’ll know that you did high-quality work and didn’t cut any corners.
It actually feels pretty good. You should try it.
2. Appreciate the Value Your Company Delivers
There might be a million things wrong with your job and with your company, but you have to admit that your customers seem to be getting some value out of the products and services that you provide — otherwise they wouldn’t keep coming back to buy more of your goods.
Try to appreciate your job and the fact that you are contributing to others in some way. Perhaps your products make their lives a little easier or better. And not only are you providing value to your customers, you’re contributing to your company too. By adding to the success of the company, you’re helping yourself and your coworkers make a living, provide for their families and contribute to their communities.
3. Try to Get a Promotion and Advance Your Career
You could also challenge yourself by trying to move up in the company. Ask your manager or an HR representative about advancement opportunities. If it’s a large company, there might also be opportunities to move laterally within the company, perhaps by transferring to another department or another location.
Maybe a simple change of scenery will make all the difference in the world? And if you do manage to get a promotion, the extra pay and responsibilities might totally change your outlook on this gig.
4. Start Applying for Other Jobs
But if all else fails, one last way you can be happier is by applying for other jobs. Look up a service that provides resume writing for executives and polish up your resume. Then start submitting and setting up interviews on your days off or when you’re feeling a little — cough, cough — under the weather.
Knowing that your days in that place are numbered just might put a grin on your face as you whittle away the hours at your desk.
Life is too short to waste your days at a job that you hate. And while sometimes there really is no option than to bug out and look for work elsewhere, sometimes just altering your mindset can make a huge difference in the way you feel about your job. Try some of these tips to help you get a little more enjoyment out of work. It might not make a difference immediately, but with some effort you just might learn to enjoy your job after all.