Jul 20 2012

How to Deal With a Job You Hate

This post was inspired by Wesley Wiley’s What To Do When You Hate Your Job
article over at Debt To Life (if you get the chance you should definitely check it out.)


This started out as a comment on his post, but then it kept growing and growing, so I decided I should probably just post my own article. After all, I’ve been suffering from lack of inspiration lately. And when inspiration strikes, one should take full advantage of it.

A few years ago I landed a decent job that I really enjoyed, and  was very good at. As time progressed, my aptitude for the work helped me work my way up into a supervisory position rather quickly. The only problem was that by that time, I no longer enjoyed my job.

I think this is a type of scenario that a lot of people have when it comes to their jobs. They start a new job and really enjoy it to begin with, but as time passes, they start to hate it more and more. But what causes people to go from loving their job to hating it? I can’t speak for everyone, but I know that for myself it was because of listening to other coworkers complain about the company. Those types of conversations are easy to get caught up in because the new employee wants to mingle and make friends at their new job.

When you get caught up in that kind of negative talk, you start having negative thoughts. What a man takes in is what is going to come out of him. Negativity in = negativity out. In other words: as you sow so shall you reap. The more you engage in that kind of talk with others, the more you are going to look for things to complain about and the more it is going to affect your attitude toward your job. Once you get to this point, it is near impossible to revive the way you previously felt about your job. You can do it however, but it can be rather difficult.

The key to it is to learn to be thankful and choose a positive attitude. Every emotion we have is a choice: we may not be able to control the initial reaction, but we can make the choice as to whether or not we allow that emotion to stay. So adopting a positive attitude can make all the difference in the world.

I like to remind myself  of the Bible verse that says “In every thing give thanks.” It’s really easy to start getting a bad attitude about your job, especially when something bad happens at work. Now, I’m not saying to be happy that your boss chewed you out, or that you had to deal with an angry customer who yelled at you over something that had nothing to do with you. No, what I am saying is to remain grateful in spite of those circumstances. Choose a better outlook. Try and think of the situation from a different perspective. For example: in the case of the angry customer, if you realize that the customer is not actually angry at you, but rather the company or business you are working for, it makes it a lot easier to deal with being yelled at. When you get chewed out by your boss, instead of getting angry at him/her, you could view it as a learning opportunity that will help you perform your job even better.

Being thankful even amongst negative circumstances can help you to remain positive. Lets not forget that God/fate/the universe (or who/whatever else you want to give credit to) is the one who puts these opportunities for employment in front of us. And if we complain too much about the blessings we receive, they  could just as easily be taken away. Keep in mind that the job you are complaining about right now likely pays many times more than most people in the world make. Statistically speaking, you are very fortunate to have the job that you do. It pays your bills and affords you the food you take for granted,  and provides a roof over your head. Try being homeless and starving for awhile, it might change your outlook. It did for me.

A good practice to develop (especially if you enjoy your job) is to avoid getting into conversations with coworkers who only want to complain about their job all the time. It’s contagious, and it will only be a matter of time before you start to hate your job as well.

If you have a terrible job that you just absolutely cannot stand, the solution is simple: quit. There is nothing forcing you to stay at your job but you. Not being able to find a job that pays as well as the current one is often a big problem for people looking to change careers. However, the extra money is not worth the amount of stress your job is putting on you. Stress can literally take years off of your lifespan, so in essence your job is stealing time from you that you are not getting paid for. Think of it this way: if you make $20,000 a year at your current job, then just one year of your lifespan being lost due to the effects stress is causing you to lose $20,000 you could have earned that year. It’s better to be at a lower paying job that you actually enjoy, than it is to work a job that constantly wears away at you. If you need to make more money, then do what my brother did: start your own business. As I mentioned in The 1% are Not Your Problem: You are, my brother was getting bogged down with bills, and the amount of money he was making couldn’t keep him above water. So he went and got licensed by the state as a contractor. It only cost him something like $500, and now he contracts himself to his previous employer for more than four times what he made before.

One thing to consider before quitting your job, is whether you are only unhappy with this job, or if you have hated every job you’ve worked. Be truthful to yourself. If your answer is the latter, then the problem isn’t the employers you’ve worked for: the problem lies with you. Until you can learn to change your attitude, changing jobs likely won’t help, even if you go into business for yourself.


Please share your thoughts with us. What are some of the things that cause you to be negative about your work situation? What are some of the things that you do to remain positive about your job?

1 comment

  1. Lisa

    1-don’t listen to complainers…choose to be positive every day
    2-quit if you don’t like it

    Love it Shaun!!

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