Updated: Aug 21, 2020
Dealing with a job you hate is not easy. When I first moved to New York, I knew I would need to expand my digital advertising knowledge to truly make it in the industry. I applied to a company that was a leader in the industry and specifically known for professional development and career expansion.
While the job ultimately helped me expand my knowledge and network, it was stifling, with no clear career path, and lacked competent leadership. What I thought was my dream job quickly turned into my worst nightmare.
Staying motivated and continuing to do my best work in a job that I disliked was challenging. If you find yourself facing these challenges in your current position, here are five tips to help keep you motivated until you find a more fulfilling (or tolerable) job.
Focus on the Positive
What is one positive about your current job? Maybe it is the location, vacation policy, or your one co-worker. When you feel like you can muster no more strength, focus on it to find some energy.
Seek Out Work That Interests You
Have you always wanted to be more involved in event planning, training, or social media marketing? Talk to your manager or HR department to see if there is an opportunity for you to get involved in a project that interests you.
Working on a project aligned with your interests can help increase your overall mood while benefiting your career. Successfully executing a side project also persuade your employer to create a job that better utilizes your skills - most managers want to keep good employees and be open to expanding job responsibilities or workload to retain valuable employees.
Learn A New Skill
If your current company offers professional development training or allows you to expense training courses, try learning a new skill. A new skill will not only help boost your mood, but improve your employability.
During my unmotivated time at work, I signed up for General Assembly free training workshops before ultimately taking a Data Analytics class. The classes helped me discover new and more exciting opportunities in my industry and my role and helped me become more attractive to future employers.
Also, joining the classes introduced me to people who were enthusiastic about their work and provide a different perspective on why I disliked my job.
Set Boundaries - Do the Bare Minimum
Do not overwork yourself at a job you hate or feel unmotivated - this will do more harm than good. This may lead to further resentment and burnout at work.
Do the work you are required to do, and when you sign off at the end of the day, do not bring your work home with you. Devote this time to learn more about what you want in the next role and find a new job that you enjoy.
Find Motivation and Happiness Outside of Work
The unfortunate reality is you will not always like your job. However, you can find happiness outside of your career, where you have more control over your activities.
What was the last activity that made you feel happy or at ease? Was it cooking, gardening, running, or writing? Focus on these and if you can incorporate elements of that activity into your work.
The happier and more fulfilled you are in your personal life outside of work, the less you will dread heading to the office.
Additional Considerations: If your job is impacting your health, quitting your job may be the best option.
A job that affects your health—causing severe anxiety, panic attacks, or depression—is not worth the paycheck. It is also something you should consider discussing with a professional, such as a therapist, mentor, or life coach.