How to Deal with a Job You Don’t Like

by Jeremy Anderberg on December 10, 2013 · 90 comments

in Money & Career


While in an ideal world, we’d all have our dream jobs at every period in our lives, the reality is that everyone will go through periods of not enjoying their work. Whether it’s right out of college and you just need to pay the bills, or you’re 20 years into a career and finally realizing it’s not for you, it’ll happen to all of us. If you’re unhappy with your current job, you should be making moves that will get you to a place and position you’d rather be. But in the meantime, you don’t have to approach each day as if it were the Bataan Death March. Below, I suggest some tips that will help you cope with a less-than-ideal job. In trying them, you may even find yourself enjoying and engaging more with your work.

First and foremost, you may need an attitude adjustment. Do you feel like you’re doing work that’s “beneath” you? Or perhaps you dislike your boss, so you’re sticking it to him by doing shoddy work. There’s a saying: “How you do anything is how you do everything.” If you’re not doing your best work, for whatever reason, it’s likely that other areas of your life aren’t getting your best work either. Good habits are formed in the things we don’t like to do, but do anyway because that’s how you become a reliable man. When you start trying your hardest to do the best work you can, you may come to enjoy your work more, because it’s almost certain that you’ll feel better about yourself and more fulfilled in what you’re doing.

Negotiate changes. An unhappy employee isn’t good for anyone. Believe it or not, your boss and coworkers don’t want you unhappy, because it affects the bottom line. You may have this sense that your boss is willfully making your life hell, and while that’s certainly possible, it’s not likely. It’s more likely that you have different personalities, or that they simply don’t know your frustrations.

Are you overworked? Underchallenged? Unhappy with the pay? One of your first steps should be to set up a meeting with your boss or supervisor and just be honest about how you feel in a professional and civil manner. Maybe you’re just bored at work because you aren’t being challenged enough, so you play computer games half the day. Ask for some more responsibility. Or maybe you have too much responsibility — while there are times where overtime is a necessary evil, it’s not sustainable. Be honest about the amount of work that you can handle. If you write off the possibility of negotiating changes at work, and just assume that your boss is tyrannical, you’re only adding to your problem.

Other things you can negotiate include working from home one day a week, being more flexible with hours (shifting your work day by an hour or two every once in a while), even requesting to transfer departments if you think your gifts and passions would be better suited elsewhere.

Set small goals for yourself. If you’re bored or not challenged at work, set small “quality” goals for yourself. At the end of each project, ask yourself, “Is the best work I can do?” If it’s not, get back to it. Make it a goal to finish a big project a day early. Or maybe you’ll come in under budget. You will not only attract the positive attention of those around you, but you’ll feel better about the work you’re doing.

Do one small act every day to get you to your dream job. If you’re unhappy at work, you probably have some idea of what you’d rather be doing. If you’re in a situation that can’t be remedied and you know that someday you’ll want to be doing something different, take one small step every day to get yourself to your dream job. Do you need to go back to school for something? Read about what the requirements may be, or even start working on an application for that program. If you dream about starting your own business, get one of the zillion books out there on the topic and read a chapter every day. If nothing else, take 15 minutes to jot down ideas and what next steps may be. Doing this will help you see that your current situation is temporary.

Think about what your current job can lead to. Related to the above is to think about the possibilities that your current job offers. Even if you don’t like it, and plan on moving on, it’s not a waste. No matter what, you’re getting experience doing something. How can that experience be leveraged for further opportunities? Before joining the AoM team last January, I was relatively unhappy with my job. But, I had a great schedule, which left me time to work on my freelance, which led to this job that I now love. So even though my previous job didn’t directly lead to this one, it afforded me the opportunity to get here.

Find something you enjoy at work. Unless you’re a complete Mr. Scrooge, there’s probably something you can find to enjoy about your workday. Cling to that. It gives you something to look forward to. Even if it’s just lunch, you can know that there’s one part of your day that’s enjoyable.

This concept can also apply to the work itself. Now there’s certain jobs where this may not be possible, but if you can, volunteer for a project you’d enjoy. If you’re in marketing, volunteer to do some social media or video projects. If you’re in sales, come up with a list of clients you’d really enjoy pitching to. If you can inject something you’ll enjoy into your work, you’ll find your day much easier (and more pleasant) to get through.

Give yourself something to look forward to at the end of the day or week. Along with giving yourself something to look forward to during work, do the same with the end of your day. Allow yourself some small reward after working. For me at my previous job, it was the chance to have 45 relatively quiet minutes on the bus with a book in hand. I relished that time, because for me, reading let me wind down from the stress of work. Grab a coffee from your favorite shop on your way home (or make a cup when you get home). Go out to eat on Friday night to celebrate making it through another week. Some small reward can make the worst of tasks manageable.

Gravitate to and collaborate with the people you like. Even if you don’t like your job, take the time to cultivate relationships with the people you like at your workplace. You don’t have to be best friends, but having a work buddy is important. If you can shoot the breeze over morning breaks or lunch time or even drinks after work, you’ll be a much happier fellow. Even better is if you can collaborate with them on projects — even if they’re in a different department. Be creative and find ways to make sure you aren’t going through the whole day utterly alone.

Decorate your space. This might sound like a superficial solution, but there’s been plenty of research showing just how much a workspace environment can affect your mood and level of job satisfaction. The first part of this entails being physically comfortable in your space and having the right equipment/materials to do your job. How is your chair? Your desk? Do you have enough room to do what you need to do? Do you have all the right software? If any of these things are an issue, bring it up. Again, it’s likely that your boss just doesn’t know it’s a problem.

The second part of this may be even more important, however, and that entails simply the pleasantness of the space. If you’re in a barren cubicle with gray walls and a gray desk and a gray computer, it can be pretty depressing. Put up a calendar that features your favorite hot rods, get some pictures of your family and friends up on your desk…find a way to make the space really yours. Even something as simple as seeing a smiling face in a photo can motivate you to do your best work and remind you who you’re doing the work for.

Be intentional about refreshing. We tend to think of work as just one aspect of our life. The reality, though, is that everything else we do affects our work. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, you’ll be extra cranky for that morning meeting. If you aren’t eating well and aren’t exercising, you’ll feel sluggish all day, which makes anything worse, let alone a full workday you already don’t enjoy.

Treat your work as holistically as you can. Eating well, exercising, and getting enough sleep will significantly increase your energy, and also your ability to take each new day by the horns.

In addition to that, make sure you get refreshed at work. Take a 15-minute break in the morning and afternoon. Take your full lunch break when you can; sometimes you won’t be able to, but you can even take charge of that every once in a while. Instead of sitting at your desk with your lunch, where you can be asked to work on something, take a walk outside for 30 minutes or bring a book to a coffee shop close by. Physically getting away (and being active) will refresh your brain for another few hours of work.

Have a sounding board/confidant. If you’re frustrated at work, keeping it bottled in will only make things worse. With your boss and coworkers, you need to professional and courteous in bringing up workplace problems. It’s also important, though, to just have someone you can vent to. Whether it’s a spouse, girlfriend, or college buddy, being able to say, “Ya know, today was a crappy day at work,” can ease your burden. This can be a little tricky, as you can’t really be public about it, and you definitely don’t want your sounding board to be a coworker, even if they’re a good friend. Also make sure to balance out work complaints with good things happening in your life. You don’t want your spouse or friends to be on the receiving end of constant negativity. While you certainly want to find the best in everything you do, it’s also okay and important to be honest about how you’re feeling at work.

Keep a gratitude journal. If you’re having a hard time finding those positives to balance out the negative, start keeping a gratitude journal. This can take a couple different forms. You could write out one thing each day that you’re thankful for about your job specifically. It can be something about the work itself, or something that’s a consequence of your work. For example, my being able to read on the bus before and after work each day was a definite point of gratitude. Not every job would have afforded that. I was also grateful for being fairly independent in my work, even if I didn’t love what I was doing. I’ll bet that you can find one thing each day you’re thankful for, even if it’s the same thing most days.

You can also do a gratitude journal that’s just for life in general. If you’re thankful for the truly important things in life — your health, your family, your home, the fact that you have a job at all — you’re more likely to see a crappy workday in a better light. Being more thankful all around will ensure that the things you don’t enjoy don’t take over your life.

While you likely won’t be able to implement all of these, working on a few of them will make your workday more tolerable, and perhaps you’ll come to even enjoy the work you’re doing. If nothing else, you’ll know that you’re doing the best work you can, and your character will thank you.

Please don’t give me your sob story or your complaints in the comments. Instead, tell me what you’re going to do to take charge of your workday and make it better. 

{ 90 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Matt December 10, 2013 at 6:51 pm

I work in a factory, and I used to absolutely hate it. I was depressed, tired, and unhappy all the time. I’ve changed my attitude towards it, and that’s helped majorly. Another one of the things I’ve done recently is take on more responsibility, in an effort to show my supervisor that I have ambition and want to move up.

2 Bryan J. December 10, 2013 at 7:06 pm

All of these points are valid; and most in my current job situation have been and are continually used. However, I know that not everything will, nor can help for certain jobs with bosses whom aren’t right for their given position(s).

Attitude and work-ethic is everything; but sometimes bringing issues, suggestions or changes up to management do not permit anything to be done where I work at. Sometimes, we’re in situations where “the wrong people in the right positions” do absolutely nothing to promote positive changes for how work issues are handled or are going day to day. There are times when there is nothing that can be done, and it can affect my attitude, greatly! This is not the job where I want to stay at, but I’m putting in those extra hours when available to get myself into my own business and create the next chapter in life.

3 Michael December 10, 2013 at 7:36 pm

I work in a coffee shop at night, and really don’t like my job. But what makes me deal with it is having a life.

I have a plan for the future, I have goals, and with it, I can put a meaning to my current job. I know my job has a clear purpose, it’s temporarily, and it will help me achieve something better.

I view it as building your own house. Maybe you don’t like to do, say, the plumbery. But who cares: you’re going to have your own house in the future, it’s worth it.

I also take one thing I dislike about my job, and turned it into something I love by making full use of it. The job is boring as there’s not much people, so I use my time at work for other projects, such as writing or learning a new language. So now, work has become an excuse to enjoy those moments.

4 Doug December 10, 2013 at 8:44 pm

Meaning this with all seriousness, how do you differentiate this from just being lazy? Granted, I’m in college, but I hate doing everything I’m doing now, but it’s to help me get to where I want to get to later on…

5 Eric December 10, 2013 at 10:12 pm

Thank you! Great tips.

6 Daniel Rojas December 10, 2013 at 10:13 pm

Great Article with a very hot topic that nobody writes about.
Good suggestions. I will try to create the Job I like meanwhile I work hard for it.
Thank you

7 JJ Nunnemacher December 10, 2013 at 10:14 pm

All good points for a white collar job, but for us blue collar boys, not necessarily applicable. I’ve run my end of the shop for 10 years. When you’re 22 and making 70k things are good, but commission rate is an entirely different animal… when you hit the top of what you can produce , you’re not gonna get any faster or work any harder as your age. Assuming you knew what you were doing and gave it your all from the get go… Take a good hard look at what you’re going to be capable of at 60, for the guys my age (32) can you still be as productive as you are now? Not everyone makes it to management. You’re never too old to go back to school, and trust me, you’ll be much wiser than the kids sitting next to you… Life experience is worth its weight in gold!

8 Chris December 10, 2013 at 10:24 pm

I work i a call center so I have the unfortunate privilege of dealing with those people who just want to make a bad day worse by making your job harder through any means necessary. But, every now and then I get a customer that is the angelic definition of ideal and sometimes they are so nice that I just want to cry on their shoulders. It is those customers that keep me working my twelve-to-eight.

9 Nick Schneider December 10, 2013 at 10:39 pm

I don’t necessarily hate my current job, but a lot of this resonates with my current employment. Personally, I try to focus on what parts of my jobs will help me overall in the future. I’m currently working on data entry, which is monotonous and boring. Since I have ADHD, I focus on how this type of job helps train myself on focusing on a single single task for a long period, and applying the training towards using self discipline rather than drugs to overcome my disorder.

10 Matt B. December 10, 2013 at 10:50 pm

Well this was timely.

Just today I was given the contract to renew or not renew my job for another year. As much as I like my students, the admin is an absolute mess at my school. A part of me wants to keep doing my bit and doing it well and I don’t like the prospect of possible future unemployment but the way teachers are treated is very totalitarian. What to do, what to do?

11 dylan December 10, 2013 at 11:09 pm

Thats a damn good attitude to have there Nick.

12 Rupert December 10, 2013 at 11:24 pm

I love that quote: “Good habits are formed in the things we don’t like to do, but do anyway because that’s how you become a reliable man”. It can be applied to every single adult responsability I can think of. There’s a turning point in every person’s life where they have to start doing unpleasant things not because something forces them to, but out of their own free will because it’s their responsability. Some people never take that turn, and they make crappy adults as a result.

As an example, I’m currently living with two roomates, one of which is a complete slob. The other guy and I however share a similar “A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do” mentality, so when it comes to cleaning our shared apartment, we just kick our own butts whenever it’s our turn. When it’s the slob’s turn, though, I might as well forget about it and do it myself. He just puts it off until I have to sit him down at the kitchen table and bust out the “serious discussion” theatrics about how his refusal to tackle his chores is disrespectful to everyone in the apartment. He’s 26, and every time I do this he tries to explain to me that he hates cleaning so much, he just can’t get motivated – or worst, he complains that reminding him of his chores just worsen the odds he’ll actually do them because it makes him even more reluctant.

What he clearly doesn’t get is that I don’t give a flying crap about how he feels about his chores: he has to do them, period. I can’t help but think that if he has this mentality in his private life, he must act the same at work or with his girlfriend. I know for sure I wouldn’t give an important position to a person who can’t be trusted to mop the floor every now and then.

Anyway, I hope for his own sake that he’ll eventually learn to become a more reliable man.

13 Dr Boatman December 11, 2013 at 12:02 am

Breaking in the morning and afternoon is a great idea. I like to try and get outside just for a minute or two. After sitting at a computer all day, it’s amazing how refreshing different (i.e. not fluorescent) lighting and a non-temperature controlled environment can be. In this same vein, I also highly endorse eating lunch out of the office.

14 RB December 11, 2013 at 1:57 am

The funny thing is that we’re so accustomed to the idea that we can change jobs with relative ease. Our grandfathers didn’t have that option – if you were an accountant, a postman or a king, THAT was your job and you did until you keeled over.
If you can be thankful for nothing else in your job, be thankful for that!

15 Josh December 11, 2013 at 2:46 am

Wow, thank you so much for posting this. I am currently deployed in Afghanistan, and just yesterday had some serious fallout with my significant other who told me that I was bringing her down by always complaining about my job. Definitely trying to fix it

16 Joshua F. December 11, 2013 at 4:22 am

Good morning,

I must say this is a fantastic article. I am a 24 yr old and I just went through this job I couldn’t stand phase. It’s no fun experiencing that, but through focus and determination I have a successful mindset. Currently standing in the unemployment line I am look rigorously for work. There are times where I get down on myself a lot. Now I aim to keep a gratitude journal and look forward to starting it here. My first entry in my journal; I am so very thankful to have finally found the drive to push me to seek what I need to speak up to those of authority. Because they are unable to fix what they do not know is wrong.

Sorry for this “sob story” but that’s my two cents.

Also if at all possible I feel it could be interesting to read one of your writings on tough times. Quitting a job and finding the determination to chase new aspirations.

17 Omar December 11, 2013 at 6:27 am

True story…when I was about 17 I quit/got fired from a job at a department store because the manager wanted me to work Monday morning, as opposed to my normal evening shift, since it was a holiday and I would be off from school. He wanted me in early to help unload a merchandise truck (I worked in the stockroom). Since I didn’t have a car, I had to call my mom to pick me up. Needless to say, when my dad got home from his job (he was a truck driver), he wasn’t pleased. He said ‘let’s go’, drove me back to the store, marched me in to see the manager, made me apologize and ask for my job back. You know where I was Monday morning? Unloading a truck.

18 Daublin December 11, 2013 at 7:24 am

All good advice. The attitude adjustment is especially important in the college-for-everyone movement going on right now; just because you got high marks in your Ivy League basket weaving class doesn’t mean you are actually all that important to society.

The holistic viewpoint is also important. A previous article talked about intentional building of family traditions. You build traditions around your work, too. What do you *want* your daily routine to be like? How can you make it fit in with your overall life so that you aren’t just a sourpuss all the time? It’s worth deliberate effort.

The second-worst jobs I’ve had and heard of have to do with being forced to do something wrong. There’s something soul-crushing about learning a craft and then being forced to do it badly, up to and including watching major company initiatives predictably fail.

The top-tier worst jobs, though, have to do with other people. Either coworkers or clients. Clients, you ask? Well, there are many sh!$ jobs where you are the person stuck with telling clients bad news. You’re taking time from them for some form of annoying cold call, you’re taking money from them, or you’re telling them they aren’t going to get money from you. Doing that all day is a real test of fortitude.

19 Joe December 11, 2013 at 7:25 am

It’s nice reading this article because it reminds me of my attitude to work. I have been working as a dishwasher in a restaurant for two years, but every time I go to work I show up with a ‘ready-to-go’ attitude. I think it’s because when I got the job I had a period of unemployment, and I was just so happy that I approached work in that manner.

Anyway when I am at my station I just want to be the fastest and cleanest around so I challenge myself to get x done before y time. I love it when I see everything in order and cleanly. The physical result of my work gives me a lot of satisfaction, and that shows because my colleagues appreciate it.

20 Jon December 11, 2013 at 7:38 am

I’ve been in that very situation, Rupert. I love the line about trusting someone if they can mop a floor now and then. That is a great sentiment not just in this context, but in everything. Lots of rich management-types out there who may have worked their way up to their position, but really should try to get in and do a little grunt work sometimes to show they’re part of the team and that they got their position by doing those things better than most.

21 Joe December 11, 2013 at 7:43 am

I’m in IT and am making a move to full-time movie producer, not quite there yet but it’s a light at the end of the tunnel(and it’s not a train). That’s what keeps me motivated to do the monotonous job day in and day out, with all of the political garbage that goes along with a big corporation. Back to being self-employed :)

22 George December 11, 2013 at 7:57 am

Good article, just wish I would have had it earlier in the year.

I left a job (in May) I had for 14 years to pursue a new opportunity, but am not sure I made the right decision. At the time I was so miserable, my wife was about to leave, so I felt I needed to make a change. I don’t believe I would have been in the right frame of mind to really understand what this article was saying, but I think there comes a time when you need to try something new and take a risk.

That being said, this new job has given me perspective which I didn’t have for the past few years. For me another change is in the cards, but at least I’m not getting home and treating everyone around me like crap.

23 Jacob December 11, 2013 at 7:58 am

I’ve recently converted my desk at work to a standing work station. I can say that it has helped my focus/productivity and also gives me more energy throughout the day. If you haven’t tried standing while working you should give it a shot. I created my standing station with just a couple of large cardboard boxes!

24 Abe December 11, 2013 at 8:04 am

While some of this advice is comforting, other parts are suicide. There are a great many work environments out there where you will be quickly replaced if you indicate any dissatisfaction with your job. It’s a warning sign that you might be about to quit. This is just one guy’s opinion, but in my experience being honest about not liking your job is to single yourself out as a problem.

25 Leo December 11, 2013 at 8:10 am

Dear folks,
Why spend all that extra energy into one of your last days on Earth, and every man should make the most of every day as if his last, into being a negative and infectious wart? Why not instead be grateful you can work, have food on the table, and a means to see the sunrise? Not everyday will be perfect, but if you try you can spend it perfectly.

26 Steve December 11, 2013 at 8:11 am

I had a boss that use to say “it is not doing what you like to do but liking what you have to do that mikes life enjoyable.”

27 Tyson Pursley December 11, 2013 at 9:05 am

This article was just what I needed. Here is what I’m going to do
Step 1: like Matt said, take more responceability for my environment.

Step 2: Start that journal of gratitude. I’m going to take a few minutes each morning and write something I am grateful for.

Thanks a lot, your article really helped

28 Chris December 11, 2013 at 9:09 am

Great article. Another thing I do to try and help lift my spirits while dealing with a job I loathe is to listen to music (specifically some Irish / folk for some reason). Music helps me get through the day always has, and I’ve been lucky to have jobs that allowed me to listen through out the day.

29 Phillip December 11, 2013 at 9:31 am

I have a job that pays the bills, and allows my wife to stay home with the baby, but I hate the work. This article is inspiring, and has encouraged me to adjust my outlook. I’m at the bottom of the ladder, but the experience I’m gaining about the inner-workings of my profession is invaluable.

30 Josh December 11, 2013 at 9:42 am

Nice post.
If I’ve had a frustrating day at work i usually write things down on a piece of paper to let go off it from my….more often than not it helps :)

31 Mike Jones December 11, 2013 at 10:05 am

Great points! I have found the attitude adjustment to be what helped me deal with a job I had been struggling with. I work in security and it has got to be one of the most difficult jobs I have ever held. When I’m not forcing a smile through questions like “why didn’t you go to school, ” (which I did) I’m normally on the receiving end of someone’s wrath for enforcing building policies. It will come to no surprise that started to hate my job and it started to show. Eventually my bad attitude caught up with me, and I was given an ultimatum, find a new attitude or find a new job. For all my trying nothing ever seemed to work out. I had gone to film school and have felt that the creative side I developed was dwindling to nothing. I decided that I needed something in my off time to give me the satisfaction I was not getting at work. I started submitting my photographs to local magazines and soon found myself contributing on a regular basis. I started telling coworkers about what I was doing. Word spread and I was recently asked by the head of Curriculum Development to submit resume. I am amazed at how little changed in my actual work day, but how much better it seemed when I got my attitude in check Now with any luck I may finally get a job that meets my needs.

32 Alex December 11, 2013 at 10:16 am

In the Software Engineering profession, it goes like this:

1. Find a new job.
2. GTFO.
3. Repeat every 1 to 2 years.

We can all benefit from your advice.

33 Andrew December 11, 2013 at 10:24 am

I work at a grocery store as a cashier. It’s about as “entry level” as you can, get, considering that for most people in town it is their first job. Mind you, it isnt my first job. I have a bachelors degree, I’ve worked retail before, and was a substitute teacher for a year.

I don’t really know what I want to do, but I do know I don’t want to do this. There is no room for advancement. That isn’t pessimistic; that’s just how the place works. And I wouldn’t WANT to advance. It’s not worth the effort, not for the pay they offer.

It can be pretty hard to drag myself to work, considering this is nowhere near where I intended to be post-college. It’s tough to maintain a good attitude. But hey, after being unemployed for a year, it is nice to have some income at least. Maybe I’ll eventually find a job that is less soul-sucking. Until then, it is just something that needs to be endured.

34 Gary December 11, 2013 at 10:49 am

One of the best ways to deal with a job you hate is to leave it, and move on. I know that jobs are hard to find, but NO job is worth your physical or mental health.

I sympathize with the teacher who has an awful admin. So did I. Totalitarian and even uncivil. At least he got nice kids, something to center you and keep you motivated. But if you get the troubled kids all the time, the job becomes very stressful. I’m 6’5″, so they used me as a security guard and my classroom as a warehouse for the tough ones. Just like Fred Gwynne, I was typecast into one role. But I wanted to be a teacher, not a cop.

Why do people assume management always behaves wisely and maturely?? When I asked asked politely as I could if my turn to do some teaching would ever come, I got screamed at. When there is no light at the end of the tunnel, there’s nothing to strive for and keep your heart in your work.

Fortunately, I had saved my money when I was younger, so I took an early retirement. Best thing I ever did.

35 Bo December 11, 2013 at 10:58 am

I read this and felt like my dad or best friend had sat me down and gave me a gut check. Thanks, I really needed that. It is exactly why I keep coming back, keep up the good work.

36 jason b December 11, 2013 at 11:01 am

Thanks for the great article. I’m with Phillip – I, too, am feeling stuck in a job right now that I knew would be an in-betweener until I can get back to the kind of work which I feel I was made for. The attitude piece is essential, and having a confidant to vent with is also great – it helps a lot when you can talk to someone else who gets it. We have to be careful with that, though, because “venting” is healthy and helpful, but just complaining or talking [badly] about a boss can make my attitude worse.
I would also add “having hobbies,” which you alluded to, as helping to make life better when the job stinks. And finally, knowing that enduring an undesirable job to support my wife and son make it more than just a “job,” it’s an essential role I play for their sake. Reminding myself of that makes a huge difference in my attitude.
Thanks for a great post and a great website. Keep it up.

37 Mike V December 11, 2013 at 12:15 pm

Great article. I can relate to this in a big way, as several years ago I went from the industrial radiography field making $2K+ per week, to working in a deli for about $9/hr. (Partially due to the economic issues of 2008, and partially due to my own youthful ego and the bad decisions that come with it). I absolutely despised my low-paying job; I felt that it was pointless, needlessly tedious, and far below me, but I had to pay the bills.
What finally helped me get off my high horse was cultivating friendships with my coworkers, even if they were people that I didn’t particularly care for. Just having people to talk to, joke with, or debate various topics made the day go by faster than if I had just sat there stewing in my own unhappiness. I also kept telling myself, “Someone has to do this, and right now, it’s me…but that won’t always be the case.” I took pride in my work, making it my goal to have people notice how thoroughly and skillfully I did my job (which they did). Did it lead to a promotion or raise? No. But two years later, I finally secured a better job. Never underestimate the power of a good attitude at work, and the good references that come with it.

38 porkchop December 11, 2013 at 12:25 pm

not sure where I heard it but it goes something like: So you hate your job? There’s a support group for that! It’s called ‘everyone’ and we meet at the bar.
other useful bits of information I’ve heard include…
1) Nothing important happens at work, work just pays the bills.
2) Occasionally bring treats for no reason other than treats were available for the bringing.
3) Put the most massive unabridged dictionary possible on your desk and read from it. When you finish it you will have read every book ever written but not necessarily in the right order.
4) Don’t take your job too seriously, ‘They’ obviously don’t take you seriously or else they’d get you a better your job.

39 Axel December 11, 2013 at 12:29 pm

Thank you! So many advice, and so smart with that.

40 Tom December 11, 2013 at 12:31 pm

Great suggestions. the one i most recommend is sorting out your diet and exercising, thats what helped me. i worked as a chef, which is a horrid place to be if you dont like what you do. long hours, split shifts, all weekend work and 1 day off here and there. cooking all these amazing meals (even if i do say so myself) then going home drained and eating something on toast and sleeping. miserable times.
i remember the first thing i learned when i started a real job, my boss pulled me to one side and said “tom, you spend more time with your work colleagues than you do with family and friends combined, come out with us more” even out on lunch, whatever it is just throw yourself in and get involved

41 Richie December 11, 2013 at 12:44 pm

Great article. In the past, when I’ve been stuck in a job I hated, I would try to learn something new during my time off. In the evenings, I would put in the time to learn a new skill or gain a new knowledge that could be used to land my next job. It’s difficult to do but not impossible. There are many resources out there, including free courses online.

42 Rob December 11, 2013 at 1:56 pm

One of the guys that reports to me makes my life absolutely miserable. So I fired him yesterday. Of course it added to my work load until I replace him but today is so much better.

43 puru December 11, 2013 at 2:18 pm

Persist until skill and/or passion develops.

44 Ben Harman December 11, 2013 at 2:22 pm

I have been in education for 16 years. I have known for at least the last four years that I need to change my career. In the meantime I have done all of these things…they help but sometimes you come to the point that you realize that you really need to “get the balls” to make a complete change. I have been working hard for the last year and half with the CEO of the YMCA to create a full-time position for me. We are meeting Friday to finalize it. Sometimes if you can’t find your dream job you can find the opportunity to create your dream job.

45 John December 11, 2013 at 2:37 pm

I work with kids at a mental health facility. Today was one of those days where Murphy’s Law took over and had everyone (especially me) reconsidering jobs. I really needed this article today. Thank you.

46 CAWL December 11, 2013 at 4:18 pm

My lesson plan book is all in the bright sharpie pens. It may look like it belongs to a 5th grade girl, but I don’t care. The color coding is therapeutic .
In my classroom setting we have one day where we just play “learning” games instead of nose to the grindstone…
As a school collective we do treats on Fridays( everyone takes turns). Not only do we get food at break, people like to one up each other….so it’s not just donuts…last week it was baked potatoes with a fixings bar.

47 Xenos December 11, 2013 at 6:40 pm

I needed this…

I’ve got to say, I’m not 100% thrilled with my job-don’t get me wrong, the work is VERY rewarding, but the upper management… Suffice to they may understand the MONEY end of things, but they don’t understand the BUSINESS end (I know that sounds convoluted, but trust me, it’s the case).

The best part about my job is I’m rarely in direct contact with MOST of the upper brass-just one fella. That’s great. But the ISSUE is, after nearly three years of being there, and working my proverbial rear end off (and the evaluations show that, as well), I am still stuck at part time, and I have yet to see ONE CENT of a raise.

This frustrates me. I’ve voiced my concern to my direct supervisor, but it gets me nowhere.

I AM taking steps to solve the problem, but rather unfortunately, the job economy in my local area is somewhat… Well, suffice to say it’s not great.

But this article gives me some hope. And it reminded me that I’m doing right in continuing to give my best work, despite the lack of recognition from up top.

48 Nathan December 11, 2013 at 7:15 pm

All good advice. As we’re all sharing, I’m currently in a soul-sucking position as a liaison to a DoD office that spends most of it’s time advocating for a clear chain of command. I know, you’d think the military would have chain of command down, but no, it’s a bureaucratic morass. I’ve been there for two years listening to in-fighting about who works for who, and who’s in the way, etc, etc… the actual mission takes up maybe 1% of the time spent. (After a job that was 90% mission focused, it’s a real, well, soul-sucking experience.) It has really given me a strong distaste for any future in staff in the military or business. But, this being the service, I’m stuck until this tour is over. At least I’m overpaid and have good benefits. (Not that we’re all overpaid, some jobs are underpaid, but officers are frequently overpaid for what we do, there’s just too many of us.)

I’ve applied many of these tips to stay motivated. A couple I would add, both based on the idea of not focusing on your own misery, but on others:

(1) Find people in your organization who need help you can provide. There is probably someone who can use your help for something meaningful, even if it’s just helping clean up at the end of the day, carrying a load from the warehouse, or tracking down a contact.

(2) Find some way to give back, volunteer, or serve on the outside. For example, tutor at a local school, help at a soup kitchen or deliver meals on wheels, or work with your church. Like the above, it gives you something to look forward to, and gets you out of your own misery to help others get out of theirs.

49 Danny December 12, 2013 at 1:57 am

A temporary solution is to see the bright side and make the best out of things. A permanent solution is find out what works for you and do more of that. Always challenge yourself!

50 MP December 12, 2013 at 4:59 am

I am in government work now, and couldn’t be happier.

After working 7 years as a manager in the private sector for a couple big companies, I couldn’t stand it anymore. 60-hour weeks, decreasing benefits, calls at night, corporate bureaucracy, scarce time off, no training, worthless business initiatives to comply with, and the constant headache of managing people and having to account for their every step, I applied for government work and got in. It took awhile, but I’ll tell you what: all federal holidays off, plenty of vacation time, generous benefits, meaningful training, no weekend work, 8-hour days, and a larger purpose than making money for some corporation are qualities hard to beat in a job. And, it’s far and away the most interesting job that I’ve ever had.

There are downsides of course – funding, furloughs, shutdowns, etc. But don’t think corporate America can’t do the same things to you.

Don’t be fooled by the hard-nosed, Ayn Rand capitalist types who think there’s no higher good than making money for a company. Do that if you want to work until 7-8 at night and miss dinner with your family. I did that for too long and it wasn’t worth it. Having been on both sides of the employment spectrum, I can say that I’d never return to the private sector again. Just my opinion, though.

51 Marco Dib December 12, 2013 at 7:39 am

This post is classy. It’s based on reality, not on the fantasy that our lives could magically change. An office mate once told me “A crappy job is way better than no job at all,” and he is absolutely right. As men, we cannot afford the pursuit of unachievable dreams and wander from job to job looking for something that maybe we will never find. I absolutely agree with every bit of this article when it says that, even in under harsh times, we may find something to cling on. Sometimes the job you hate sometimes is the one that feeds you, and sometimes you hate it because you simply don’t have a good notion of reality.
Once again, thanks for the article!

52 Rhys Fernandes December 12, 2013 at 12:22 pm

I work at a media monitoring agency and lately work has gotten really monotonously boring.
After reading this article i feel much better and kinda see things in a new light.
Thanks a lot for this article!

53 SoulSearching December 12, 2013 at 1:00 pm

Nice article but the biggest thing I’ve struggled with most of my life is not knowing what I want to do when I grow up. At 45, it sounds sad but I’m one of those personalities that loves tons of different things. Right now I’m pretty burnt, but the gist of your message is golden: find something to be positive about long enough to keep your head above water, but take actions to get out of the water and back in the boat. Thanks for the article!

54 Chris Pelletier December 12, 2013 at 1:42 pm

A lot of people at my job are upset lately, even going so far as to tell the boss how its going to be. I don’t get it. Yeah, things have been tough lately and voicing your concerns is justified (if handled professionally) but one does not tell their boss how its going to be. If you don’t like your job and can’t fix it from your end (via both external and internal measures) then quit and find a new one. Man up people.

55 Ethan December 12, 2013 at 3:43 pm

I really love my job despite getting frustrated with how things are run and dealing with people who think the job is beneath me (I’ll admit being a cleaner was not what I planned to do with my undergraduate degree, but then bills need to be paid). My work ethic plays a huge part, I have always been of the mind that you should do a job well, regardless of what you may feel about the job. It has certainly got me through some tough times this year.

But even though I love my job, the length of the commute combined with the fact that it isn’t financially viable for me to work there means that I am having to seek out a new job. I have no issues with a 50+ hour working week at this point in my life, but not when I lose a further 24 hours a week due to travel and being at work unpaid to make various train connections that allow my bike on-board. When the busiest work periods arrive my life becomes solely work and sleep and even in the quieter periods I have difficulty doing much more than running errands on my days off.

My only issue now is with so many interests I have no real idea what to try and pursue.

56 Puck December 12, 2013 at 8:29 pm

As someone who never really considered any of these issues before (it was just an issue of whether or not I liked going to my current job day in and out), it’s been refreshing to actually try a new attitude with my new job. It is, unfortunately, still in retail, but it’s closer to where I want to be (IT).
I decided that with this job I was going to take everything that they could throw at me and basically just beast out all day every day. I’ve been with the company for three months. I’m employee of the month for the second time in a row, and everyone else in my entire department has been fired- because I’m doing the work of four people, except I’m doing it better than when we had four people.
Oh yeah, and we’re getting in a new batch of people. All of whom will be supervised by me.
Moral of the story: Do your best, because employers will certainly do their worst. Not because they want you to be miserable, but because unreliable people are everywhere, and competent people (or people who, like me, are learning to be more competent) have to pick up the slack.

57 Michael December 12, 2013 at 9:09 pm

I am not happy where I work so I am trying to do some things to improve that. I have spent some time working on my resume’, I started talking to others that are hiring managers or in HR at other companies to see what it is that they are looking for and what they are seeing out there on the market. I am also looking at my friends to see what it is they are doing currently, are there jobs out there, who is hiring and where are they hiring, basically networking with a group of people I trust and can rely on for good information. At work I concentrate on the things I like as they suggested in the article. I am not allowed to leave for lunch nor can I take the time out of work for a lunch so there is no time for a break or any alone time, so there is nothing in that that I can look forward to. I look at the little things that I do that I enjoy and try to stretch them out as long as possible. This way more of my time is spent doing what I like. Looking for a job makes me happy that one day I will be out of there and on to something that I will like better. I also take solace that I am currently working and I am able to pay the bills, if that is the only thing that I can do.

58 TM August December 13, 2013 at 12:57 pm

Good article!
I think I’m going to have to come back to this. I’m starting at a call center in January, coming off of 5 months of unemployment. Right now, I’m just happy to have found something– but I think the daily grind is going to wear that shine off VERY quickly. Especially when nobody will let me forget that this was the best my MSc could find me. (so far.)

59 John December 14, 2013 at 11:19 am

I represent employees in harassment, discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination cases. Most people that call me are surprised to hear that I am not interested in taking their case and that they may be better off working where they are at least until they can find another gig. This post provides some great insight into that. Thanks.

60 Christian D. December 14, 2013 at 7:48 pm

This was surprisingly helpful. I’m in the position where I just feel worn down by the grind. I love the field I work in and even love the place I work but I feel unmotivated.

Maybe I just need a new perspective and new challenges. Thanks!

61 Piper Scott 1949 December 15, 2013 at 5:21 pm

I spent 25 years in the executive search business, and in that time I ran across hundreds of both disgruntled, unhappy employees and equally unhappy employers. If they’d followed some of these tips, the lives of those on both sides would have been better.

I told potential candidates all the time that quitting a job before having a job to go to was what I called Dumb One. Dumb Two was taking a vacation after you’ve done Dumb One. Sometimes you need to grit your teeth, bite your tongue and gut it out. But even when you find something that gives you the freedom to leave, you NEVER bad mouth the old place even if it was worse than the Black Hole of Calcutta since nobody likes a complainer. Discretion is always the better part of valor.

62 Calvin December 15, 2013 at 11:00 pm

Ones attitude can make or break a job. I have worked at a gas station several times. The first time, I complained with my co-workers about the policies of the company, about the customers, etc. And I loathed the job. The second time I worked at a gas station, I had a very different attitude about it: yes, it was not my dream job, but there were perks (such as being able to read a magazine or book or write a bit when it was slow, etc). And I took a much more light-hearted approach to the things (customers, policies, etc) I perceived as ridiculous. The second and third time round proved to actually be (mostly) enjoyable.

Another point I would add to the list is work to be at peace with the people you work with. This does often require one to swallow their pride to both admit when one is wrong and to recognize that we all have our faults and imperfections (your co-worker isn’t the only one with very human faults – you are too!).

63 ManSpirational December 16, 2013 at 12:44 am

For me, it’s the lack of direction that causes me much angst, until I finally realize I actually have lots of freedom. I can design the system how I like, experiment with different ways of doing the same thing, and in general spend lots of time in what Stephen Covey calls Quadrant II activities (reading, learning, reflecting).

64 Jo December 16, 2013 at 9:24 am

QUESTION FOR ANYONE WHO WILL ANSWER: I work in the IT field and I love it. I recently took the next step in my career and graduated from the hands on stuff to an IT Project Manager. I’m not enjoying it. Yes, its more money but I enjoyed the hands on stuff and dealing the the technology on a daily basis. I dont do that anymore but at the same time, taking a step back and maybe earning less money is stupid. ShouldI learn to deal and do something I dont like or take a step back and actually enjoy what I do everyday?

65 Emmanuel M'M December 17, 2013 at 4:51 am

I am planning to start a small business so that I am financially stable by the end of 2014. In that way i will be sure that I am working because I enjoy the job, not in order to earn the paycheck.

I also think it will increase my feelings of self-worth so that I can walk away when the deal is not good enough.

66 AndrewWS December 17, 2013 at 6:18 am

I really wish I could have read or heard this sort of thing back in the 80s when I was a very unhappy civil servant. OK, so there wasn’t enough work and my boss was a jerk, but it was the right sort of work and my attitude towards my colleagues sucked. I was a very foolish young man in those days and had a lot to learn.

67 David Hooper December 18, 2013 at 8:40 pm

I think this is great advice IF you must stay at your job. I think it’s important to remember that you almost ALWAYS have options though and one of those options is to quit and find something better. Not necessarily the easiest thing, but in my opinion, it’s easier than sticking around something that doesn’t work for you. :)

68 KIA December 18, 2013 at 9:54 pm

Life is too short to waste on using coping mechanisms to grit your teeth through unwinnable conflicts. I’m going to call a headhunter. It’s a big world with a lot of opportunity for hard working and talented folks.

69 RR December 19, 2013 at 8:00 am

This motivated me to keep writing a book I’ve been meaning to get to. You’re right. I don’t need to devote two-to-eight hours a day to it, but even just 15 minutes a day is better than nothing at all.

Thanks for the tip.

70 Just Me December 24, 2013 at 8:11 am

“Believe it or not, your boss and coworkers don’t want you unhappy, because it affects the bottom line” That is the most naïve statement I’ve seen in a long time. I’ve worked in many places over my 65 years and I can assure you that there are plenty of managers who simply REVEL in their puny power over others. It’s all about power, and if, by exerting their authority over subordinates makes somebody unhappy in his job, that only amplifies the boss’ sense of power, power, power. The workplace is full of such people. Bringing your dissatisfaction or frustration to the boss’ attention can very well be the kiss of death, especially in today’s workplace. Bottom line: don’t ever assume that your boss (or your coworkers) have your best interest at heart.

71 Mike Johnson December 24, 2013 at 10:01 am

I especially like your advice to do something every day to get closer to your dream job and to use your current job to gain what you can from it.

After decades in the world of employment, I learned how to break free from it and become financially independent. It’s advice that is obvious to me now, but invisible until I decided I’d had enough of trading my time for money.

Here is the info that made me financially free in just a matter of months: Don’t use a job for income at all. Just BUY a passive income stream and “retire” now.

Instead of working for others, helping them achieve their dreams, why not put in a few months of self-study and learn how to BUY income streams that provide you income for the rest of your life WITHOUT a job?

In my world, that meant buying a 32-unit mobile home park. The park generates enough money to pay for itself, pay for a manager to run it, AND pays all my personal bills plus more.

And no, I wasn’t rich when I did this. I bought the park with only $1,000 of my own money. Thanks to a good manager, the income is 95% passive for me. I am now retired because I have a safe, dependable monthly income stream.

Better yet, I didn’t go to college, I learned how to do this by reading books, self-study and listening to people who had already done it.

So… rather than work 40 years and save and scrimp and hope your investments grow enough to retire, you can just buy an income stream and be done with employment.

Can everyone do it? Nope. Can the motivated do it? Yep.

The question then becomes, do you want to make your misery more tolerable, or are you motivated enough to become your own expert and leave that employment misery behind forever?

72 Patriot1 December 24, 2013 at 3:53 pm

I like working with my hands. I worked in a shop for a number of years, and I built all kinds of stuff that’s made to last, I took great pride in my work. However, I got laid off because of the crappy economy and have been unable to find anything that pays decent in the trades. So, I work at a pizza place as a delivery driver. I don’t mind it though, I treat it like any other job, I do it to the best of my ability and with professionalism. What’s nice about it is that it’s a little ma and pa place as opposed to the corporate chains which I hate. There’s a certain degree of freedom to it, which I like, and since the customers tip very well, I make pretty decent money at it. Of course I’m looking for something better that’s more on par with my skill level, but in the meantime it’s not a bad job.

73 Ronald December 24, 2013 at 9:33 pm

This is something I have dealt with a lot throughout my career in the military and my transition to civilian managment. The question I always asked was “Why are you doing something that makes you unhappy?” We all have decisions to make in life and though some fair better than others ultimately they are our own to live with so why not make decisions that make you happy. To live with anything less is not fair to yourself. I can’t get up everyday and enter an hostile workplace nor home. It may not change over not but effort must be put forth to make a change for the better which through my experiences has been missing from those not happen with their job. Great article ;-)

74 Cody December 26, 2013 at 9:44 pm

I want advise. I love what i do i like the people i work with. My problem is the quality of the product im suppose to make. It troubles me very much to be forced to settle with poor quality i have tried to talk with my boss and supervisor but to no prevail. I can see the potential in our company but dont know how to reach it. Any advice is welcome and appreciated.

75 Chuck Watts December 27, 2013 at 7:12 pm

I am in the terminal end of my working career. I have worked in law enforcement, security, then moved into procurement. Today I am the oldest and most knowledgeable person in my department, but all I do is process requisitions for repairs or sole source materials. I cannot negotiate prices or delivery. I am not allowed to ask for cost and pricing data.
As of today, I have less than 1200 working days until retirement. I am not going to strive for a new position because employers don’t believe a 61 year old white male can bring anything to the table.
I have come to peace with the fact that the only reason I am employed is to support the bonuses of the C-level execs. Now that I have that peace, I am good with it.

76 Aaron December 30, 2013 at 6:45 am

Great tips, thanks.
I recently found the benefit of improving my surroundings. I bought a stereo for my office and sorted out some playlists on my MP3 player. Playing upbeat music has proved to be a real motivator for me. I can’t have it on all the time due to the nature of my role but it gives me something to look forward to while I’m at work.

77 Brad December 30, 2013 at 7:21 pm

Or you can start a side business doing what you love like this guy did.

78 Jake December 31, 2013 at 10:44 am

Great Motivation!
Thanks for a great article. I’m taking the advice of the gratitude journal and paring it with what I call a “Work Journal”. My work journal is a list of accomplishments and praise I have received at work, essentially any thing I’m proud of. The idea was recommended to me by an employee who reports to me. These two ideas are already working great together. Both will keep me motivated.

79 Doug January 5, 2014 at 4:39 pm


Thanks for sharing these ideas! I’ve been re-examining my life the last couple of months and this is one area I struggle with! I especially like the parts about working toward your dream job and looking for benefits in the day job. Thanks for the tips!

80 Lisa January 11, 2014 at 12:18 am

I have been in management for most of my career but also worked in customer service in various fields in a front line position. Up until recently (I am 55 years-old) I have content or satisfied with any job I have held. I transferred from one state government position to another a few months ago and for the first time in life I am totally miserable with my job. I have tried every tip (been to many classes and read all the books) to get motivated and see how grateful I should be to have a good job. I know the reason for my feelings. One – I was mislead on the job responsibilities, my new supervisor was looking for a new job and had no interest in showing me the ropes…she is leaving for her new job Feb 1 this year. From the time I started she sat in her office with her door shut, either ignored my questions or held me off or sent me a document that little to do with what I needed to know, she herself was relatively new to the department so she has little knowledge of the department and she is more interested in chain of command on communications…meaning she did not want me to communicate with anyone else. She did not get along with her superior. I had had such a bad experience it has soured me on the job. I had the option to go back to my old job but I have found out now due to union issues I do not (the position was pulled out of the union so I do not have rights to the job). Unlike other jobs I have had, I have several people (who are my peers) who feel they can send me direction and “suggestions”…never had this experience before. Going forward I plan to be more assertive, do like I have always done with past jobs and just do the best job with the information I have. I will take my direction from my assigned supervisor and ignore all of the unsolicited advice. In hindsight I should have stayed where I was. I only left because I thought I had the opportunity to conduct training again. In five years I can retire!

81 San January 24, 2014 at 11:38 am

I work as a professional nurse. Every day is “loaded” with increasing responsibilities, risks, and of course minimal break times.
I used to come home and vent to my family which causes a negative and sour atmosphere.
Job responsibilities and legal requirements have changed so rapidly over the last few months that it’s become scary. You worry about your decisions, mistakes, and legalities constantly.
I’ve been at my job now for 20 years and have up graded and went back to school twice which in turn increased the responsibilities I have to deal with every day at work.
One day I got thinking about “how I was going to distress, improve my outlook at work and take more time out for myself.” I decided that since I had been an employee for 20 years that I had enough vacation time, stat holidays, etc that this would become my “crutch” to improve. I read articles on “down shifting” and learned a lot about my stressors and how to improve my overall health. This is what I came up with. I decided to “pre-plan” before each year on how I would like my work schedule to be. In that, I was able to book off 2 weeks in a row every month for the entire year. This of course also involved a “shift reduction” which at my place of employment is allowable. ie) after so many years, a full time may go down from 10 shifts biweekly to 9 or 8 and still be classified as a full time employee with benefits. So now I work 2 week on, 2 weeks off which continues through out the entire year. During my time off I do things around my house that I enjoy and make me happy ie) painting, relaxing with a coffee, visiting my friend, researching and reading. I also decided to become a land lord and purchased a duplex so I have another source of income and an investment property that holds as an asset.
I find that now when I do return to work, I’m happier, more productive, relaxed and positive. Why, because I’m doing other things besides work that make me happy!
I’ve even started googling recipes and trying them out which my family enjoys!
So, all in all, it’s always good to look at what you hate, what you have, and to work with that. This is in reference to the above article where it talked about someone who had a few days off in their work schedule to learn about another career and moved on to something they actually enjoy.
I enjoyed your article.

82 BodyweightReallyIsBetter February 3, 2014 at 12:53 pm

*error in above comment*
Nice article, but some jobs just become unbearable. I left teaching a few years ago. I didn’t need tips or hugs, I needed out. I was never so miserable in my life. Anyway, my point is, IF you literally start feeling sick from work, it’s time to leave. Tips and hugs become nothing more than a joke at that point. I’m making a lot less now, but I’m at a low stress job. Nothing more important than your health people….NOTHING.

83 D February 6, 2014 at 12:27 am

I think I unconciously did most of them in my last job. The attitude adjustment was crucial and central. Since my boss was literally a slavedriver and never gave me any support, I concentrated on my work (knowing it wouldn’t be forever and that it would add to my professional career) even sacrificing my social life (worked even weekends and on vacations). My work improved and my boss was satisfied (never happy).

I also added a healthy dosis of gym (and gin when I had the chance). Talking with my peers also eased the burden (on us all). One thing that I tried to do is that when I talked I never said negative things, and when it was necessary… you express the “problem” (never annoyance!) and try to look for solutions and/or positive sides with the other person. This way you’ll NEVER be the one talking negative things and you’ll have a healthy discussion.

Last but not least (and I read it here), if everything gets so unberable that you don’t want to get out of bed, recite to yourself: “I wake up to do the work of a man!”

And when your wits and temper are tested always keep in mind “you’re the better man and you NEVER use insults or shout (back)!” but you always look at the other person straight to the face (no faces!) analyzing everything from a neutral standpoint and answer politely.

I must say that my work became better, my time use also, learned how not to treat people that work for you and in spite of the whole ordeal, parted in good terms with my boss (not that I would find his presence pleasant under any circumstance). But I would like to think that this was extremely professional.

And always keep in mind every second of your misserable job that you have to actively do something to get out of there. Never fall into depression or alcoholic daze. Use ever second available to find an exit strategy.

84 Duane February 11, 2014 at 8:45 am

Great article!
I recently quit a job I enjoyed because my boss was an evil, powertripping she-devil. I’ve been out of work for 2 months now and I’ve had time to think about the situation. I can see that I was partly to blame for my unhappiness at work. I should have talked to her and tried to work things out. Live and learn.

85 Ken March 6, 2014 at 9:52 am

I would say keep your eyes open for any chance to learn a new skill or add to your skills. There may be a class or seminar after work, or even offered by your company, that will help open another door. Be sure to take care of your health too, and enjoy your free time so you can unwind, destress and exercise.

86 JP March 21, 2014 at 8:39 am

I am grateful to have found this site. This excellent thought provoking article along with the variety of sincere comments have helped me to find areas of my employment where I can improve and become more appreciative of the Blessings I have received. Thank you.

87 Josh April 7, 2014 at 7:36 am

I work a part-time package handling job early mornings and full-time at a print shop running a press 6 days a week. It feels hopeless sometimes that I will never be able to escape these jobs or ones like them. Its nice to read similar situations and know it is possible to get of out. Thank you all.

88 Mad Mel April 14, 2014 at 3:12 pm

Thank you for your article. I’m a woman looking for relationship and career advice and always seem to relate to articles or sites written by men for men and most of good friends are men imagine that. I’m in a job far lower in pay and skills than my education and experience. As of today i am making a committment to do one thing each day to help get me closer to my dream job and although my dream job is not clearly defined i will be gaining new skills doing something i enjoy and eventually will land a job based on who i meet because of ill be out there doung instead of just thinking or complaining. I will also begin browsing the other jobs with the company because there may be a job im qualified and enjoy more than the current. Thanks again for the advice.good stuff

89 Steve P Brady April 15, 2014 at 5:40 pm

Love the gratitude journal. I have clients tell me stories all the time about how bad a previous job was. yet when we dig down into it to find accomplishments (I’m a resume writer) they are always able to find some things they are proud of.

90 Nicole April 17, 2014 at 9:22 am

All of you who are bored and do not see future in you current jobs try build something on the side like I did. I run an international online honest business. Opportunity for all of you. My grandfather told me that you can’t make a steak from a meatball. If it is not good, it will not get any better soon. You need change.

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