If you’re that person who has never had a less-than-ideal job, then I salute you for being the luckiest person on earth. Pretty much everyone has had a job that they hated at least once in their life, whether they be a teenager, young adult or even a baby boomer.
Sometimes, however, the job you hate can be turned into the job you tolerate, if you handle it the right way. Here are some simple ways to do just that.
1. Take Pride in Your Work Space.
Whether your space is a laptop-friendly desk or behind a cash register, make cleanliness and organization a priority for where you spend the majority of your time. It can actually be fun to work when your space is an extension of your personality, giving you a comfortable place to concentrate and perform. Doing this will also keep you from losing important things (like money).
2. Talk to Your Boss Regularly.
Your boss may not be the nicest person in the world, but most people who are in charge tend to have a decent level of passion for the place they work in. When we work somewhere that is draining us, it can be refreshing for us to sit down with our boss and hear his perspective on how things are going. It may even inspire you to improve your own responsibilities, and the initiative won’t go unnoticed.
3. Do Something You Love While You’re Not Working.
For most of you reading this, you’re probably not doing the job you see yourself doing in 10 years. Your passions may lie elsewhere, and that’s a big reason why we sometimes have trouble enjoying a job that isn’t going anywhere for us. That’s why it’s important to always fuel your interests on the side. This can be a hobby, sport, activity or even side business that is related to what you ultimately want to do. Who knows? This could be a stepping stone to starting your own business.
4. Set Goals That Are Within Your Control.
Be realistic about your personal situation and what is necessary for moving forward. The job you hate right now might be a necessity for what lies ahead, but it’s important to make sure that you’re not taking shortcuts. Instead of trying to “wow” your boss with tough promises to keep, stick to working hard and accomplishing what’s in your power to perform. Doing this consistently is vastly more impressive.
5. Bring Snacks For Your Coworkers.
This is especially crucial if you are one of my coworkers. It should go without saying that being kind to others will make you (and them) happier, and if you’re working somewhere that always seems to have an air of negativity, then simple gestures like this will go a long way.
6. Show Up To Work Consistently Early.
Yes, I know that I said earlier to set goals that you can control, but that doesn’t make this tip any less useful for making your job more tolerable. It seems counter-intuitive (why would I want to spend more time in a place I hate?), but the truth is that this habit will set a good pace for your shift and give you momentum. Plus, it’s one of the easiest ways for you to stand out in the eyes of your superiors, leading to possible promotion opportunities.
7. Take Pride In How You Look.
Clothes make the man/woman, as they say. Dressing to impress is one of the best ways to build confidence at work, which leads to a smoother workday. If you show up to work looking disheveled and tired, then you may just end up feeling disheveled and tired.
8. Look Out For The Newer Employees.
You probably remember how confusing and disorienting it was to start a new job you know nothing about. Pay it forward by helping new coworkers find their place and learn. This is a great way for you to feel good about the job you have and what you’ve learned there so far.
9. Learn As Much As Possible.
Speaking of learning, one of the best ways to break the monotony of your job is by training yourself to do more than what is required of you. For some jobs, this is actually the only way for you to get promoted at all, as it is the type of ambition that supervisors are looking for.
10. Talk To Your Coworkers About Something Besides How Much You Hate Work.
Break room conversations have this nasty tendency to turn into “Who can complain the most?” contests. The problem is that complaining does nothing to improve your job, and it will barely even make you feel better. Plus, most coworkers don’t want to hear you complain anyway (and the other way around). Take a break from work and its problems when you’re with your coworkers, and talk about something that will actually make you happy.
11. Come Up With Ideas To Make The Company Better.
If there is something that you feel could be improved or fixed at work, come up with the solutions yourself. Also, you may have a great idea that will go over well with your boss. It definitely doesn’t hurt to show an attitude of problem-solving, and this is a great way to make real changes to a work environment that might not be working. Just make sure to always be polite and respectful when presenting your opinions.
12. Have Fun With Your Coworkers.
As long as it doesn’t interfere with your productivity, playing games and having inside jokes with coworkers is a great way to keep up your morale during a stressful day. In fact, I’ve had plenty of bosses who get this and encourage short games to clear everyone’s head.
13. Start a Gratitude Journal.
You don’t have to show this to anyone, but it’s good to keep a record of the positive memories and milestones you’ve made at your job. Additionally, this can take the form of a social media group you have online where you can post pictures of good times you’ve had with your coworkers.
14. Take Breaks.
This is easy advice to follow for most of you, but it’s also important for you to be good at taking breaks. What I mean is that we sometimes come back from our breaks feeling less than refreshed. To avoid this, try getting fresh air and some quick exercise instead of eating junk food and staring at your phone.
15. Be Grateful That You Have a Job.
Always remember that some people would beg to have your job, so don’t take it for granted. Sure, it may not be perfect or what you want to do for the rest of your life, but focus on what you can do in the present to make your job matter.