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Tips for surviving in a job you hate

By Nancy Nzalambi | October 4th 2020 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

The days at work seem longer, you feel utterly uninspired, the weekends seem too short and you are frustrated. The office is full of unpleasant politics, your skillset is not fully exploited. You give yourself a pep talk every morning to get rid of the inertness that comes with being at the workplace.

You seem okay because you have mastered the art of faking a smile and throwing a series of little lies here and there. You would like to quit and move on to a more fulfilling venture but it’s either the timing isn’t right or you haven’t figured a way out of this limbo.

If this sounds familiar, here are tips to help you stay sane without compromising your job security.

Be authentic with yourself

Work can be frustrating. You may be clearly disinterested in a project but you have to paste a smile and work on it. Inauthenticity is strenuous.

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You always have find means to appear okay.

Bad days happen, but they should never be the way of life at the work place. Be open about your feelings especially to your support system.

Find people with your best interests at heart, so that you do not find yourself worried about consequences of opening up. Be it your spouse or a supportive colleague, let them know that you are not in a happy place.

This will help them understand your choices and maybe offer to help you deal with some of your overwhelming assignments.

It is reassuring when your support system offer a listening ear and better yet when they  solutions to a couple of problems. Share the load with them so that inauthenticity does not eat you from within.

Stop complaining

As much as you may have a strong support system, nobody loves to hear you complain day in day out. It is fun to work in a cohesive workplace but remember that nobody owes you anything. Nobody is compelled to be nice to you all the time.

No matter how uncomfortable this truth is, you will definitely run into annoying bosses and colleagues.

You have to work with them. If the system isn’t working, what can you do about it?

If you feel unmotivated at work, take the lead and make your life a little better. Unfix your gaze from the unsatisfactory work environment and shift your focus to productivity instead. 

Look for new experiences

It can be boring when you work full time in the office with no opportunity to experience exciting projects. When the workplace starts to seem overwhelming, ask for some time off and rejuvenate.

When opportunity arises for training, exhibition, seminars, volunteer to attend on behalf of your department. These opportunities give you options to work outside the office. The exposure will not only give a temporary escape, it will also pump in some fresh ideas.

Connect with the why

Discontent may creep in from time to time. Some projects seem like a nightmare that doesn’t seem to have an ending. Worse is when your tasks are mundane and you really cannot stand your boss. No matter how bad your job is, be sure it contributes to something in the world. Look at the bigger picture. It is not all worthless. Ask yourself why you are working in the first place.

Remind yourself why you are where you are. What impact do you make? If you get to make someone’s life better, motivate yourself to keep at it until you find an opportunity with bigger wings.

Focus on your superpower

When you feel like your skills are underutilised, pick on a skill and spare time to develop it. If you are interested in statistics, take an online course to orient yourself with the various statistical tools and software to help become excellent at it. If data visualisation is your thing, become the company’s go-to-guy when a presenter is needed.

It is so refreshing when you expose your hidden talents to full use even in areas you feel under used.

Additionally, should you change your job in future, you will have added value to yourself to bargain a way better pay grade.

Work on something new at home

Start a hobby, do some gardening or embark on a new exercise routine. It may not seem comfortable to leave your job immediately but your overall life does not need to feel the pinch.

This would be a good time to work on that side hustle you have been dreaming about. A project outside work could work wonders for your motivation.

Most side hustles grow to become the main hustle with time. Instead of making a reactive shift, gradually grow your income generating projects and expand their boundaries.


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