Personal Development

7 Ways To Find Meaning In A Job You Hate

Not everyone loves the job that pays their bills. Despite this, there are ways to find happiness and meaning with what we do, even if it’s far from what we really want.

While some people are blessed to have a job they love, others are less fortunate. Many people have jobs that they dislike and don’t enjoy. Some even feel trapped, but have grown too comfortable to find a way out.

Others think that they have no choice but to stay because they have families to support or debts to pay.

If you identify with this, know that there are ways to make the most of the job you have now while waiting to land the career you’ve always wished for.

1. Evaluate your reasons for staying

Pretty designer thinking at her desk in her office

Evaluate your reasons for staying in a job that you don’t like. Is it because of the medical benefits your employer provides? Is it to support yourself and pay off student loans?

Is it because you’ve developed strong bonds with the people you work with, and you’re afraid you won’t work with people like them in your next job?

Our reasons may vary, but one thing remains the same for us all: we stay for a reason and that reason gives us a higher purpose in life. This higher purpose can help you to rise above all the ill feelings you have for your job and find happiness.

You just have to shift your focus from how you feel about your job to why you’re staying in your job.

2. Create joy in your workplace

If you’re struggling to find happiness in your job, create it. Spend time with the coworkers who you look up to and enjoy having a conversation with. Grab lunch or coffee during your break. If your company supports a charity, volunteer!

If you’re not particularly outgoing, take something to work that makes you happy. For example, bring a picture of your loved ones and display it where it’s visible. This way, you can look at it during the bad times and return to your source of joy.

Do this every day and you’ll soon forget your dissatisfaction; instead, you’ll savor every moment of your job, despite how you feel about it.

3. Start a gratitude journal

Young woman writes to diary on a white table

Even on the worst days, it’s impossible not to have at least one thing you’re thankful for. Jot down these things and think about them throughout your day at work. Force yourself to see these things every day until your brain gets used to doing it.

If you don’t feel like writing, create a personal file on your phone or laptop where you can type in all the things you’re thankful for each day. This way, you won’t forget the good things that happen even at a job you hate.

4. Encourage a coworker every day

You may not be the only one in your workplace who hates their job. Yes, the reasons may vary, but the feelings you share are a great way to connect to each other. With that said, find a coworker who is equally dissatisfied or frustrated in their work.

During a break, start a conversation and offer some encouragement. Make sure you let your coworker know that you feel stuck, too, but you are still positive. Your coworker will definitely be encouraged.

If you do this consistently, you’ll start to feel like you have more purpose in your own job. This can motivate you each day because you know it’s not just the job waiting for you, but colleagues who need your encouraging words.

5. Do random acts of kindness

Regardless of the industry you’re in, employees need to feel they matter and are valued. Establish a good relationship with your colleagues by doing random acts of kindness. Offer words of encouragement as mentioned above, share your lunch, or buy coffee and snacks.

The unexpected gesture is sure to touch them. When you see them thankful, you’ll begin to realize that, no matter how awful you think the job is and how much you can hate it for many reasons, you have coworkers to share the challenges, pain and struggles with.

6. Invest in yourself

Fashion students working as a team at the college

Your company may offer free programs for employees to develop their skills. This is a great opportunity for you to grow without spending a dime. Make the most of such opportunities so that you can learn new skills.

You never know when there may be a better position that requires these newly acquired skills.

7. Start freelancing on the side

If, even after trying the tips mentioned above, you still hate the job you do each day, it’s a sign that you need to work on an escape plan. Depending on your skills, you can start doing freelance work on the side.

If you have skills in web design, graphic design, software development or writing, you’ll be amazed at how many people need your services. You can start earning on the side to start; when you have enough clients to work full-time, you can leave your job.

Hating your job is a choice. If it’s the choice you make every day, you’ll end up feeling bad until you quit—possibly before establishing your back up plan. However, if you practice the tips and strategies above consistently, you’ll find meaning in a job that neither interests nor challenges you.

You’ll also succeed in making a difference in the lives of your coworkers and, in turn, your life. When you do, you’ll find that you don’t hate your job as much and you’re more content while holding out for your dream job.

Are you working a job you hate? What tips can you offer our readers to help them get through their struggles at work each day? Share your thoughts in the comments.

About the author

Maine Belonio

Maine Belonio is a twenty-something mom and writer who has a penchant for coffee, long distance running, Tolkien, Switchfoot, and Jesus.

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