There are plenty of reasons you might be in a job you hate. Maybe you need the money, the experience in the industry, or maybe the job market’s pretty dry in your industry and you don’t see any other opportunities popping up right now that you can take advantage of. Whatever the reason, being in a job that you’re secretly starting to hate can be pretty painful. And sometimes, it feels like it’s completely impossible. But don’t despair! There are plenty of ways to survive a job that you’re secretly starting to hate.
Analyze your feelings. You can’t start to figure out how to survive your job if you don’t know what it is about it that you hate. Do you dislike the actual work itself, or are your coworkers or boss the problem? Are you bored? Over-qualified? Underappreciated? Whatever your answer, it will help you decide how to move forward.
Vent to your friends. Friends are the best therapists. They’ll just sit there and listen to you vent and get things off your chest so you don’t have a complete meltdown in work!
Listen to some music. There’s nothing a good tune can’t help! Put your earphones and get lost in the music, and forget about how miserable you are! If you can get away with headphones at work, take advantage of it.
Focus on the good. Is there something about your job that you really enjoy? Focus on that. Try to pick up projects that allow you more time with that aspect of the job, too.
Devise a plan to get out. This will be largely contingent on why you hate your job in the first place, but having an escape route will make your job more bearable in the meantime. For example, there may be an internship, job opening, or a big move coming up that may provide you with the perfect opportunity to leave your job.
Set your exit deadline. If you really hate your job and don’t think you can stand it for much longer, set yourself a deadline. With an end date in mind, you’ll be motivated to take any necessary steps that you need to in order to leave your job.
Treat yourself. You might hate your job (and for the moment, not be able to do anything about it) but the rest of your life can be enjoyable. Relieve some stress by treating yourself to things that you enjoy – walks in the park, your favorite type of coffee, or a new outfit!
Start saving money. Saving money will mean that you know you have a safety net if there comes a point where you feel like you can’t take the job anymore. Also, saving money will make working seem more worthwhile. If you think you can’t save money (maybe your job pays peanuts?) then just start with a tiny amount a week and work your way up.
Know why you’re there. Do you need experience in the industry? To pay the rent? Knowing why you’re there and focusing on that will help you survive the day-to-day, especially if you know the payoff will be worth time served.
Personalize your space. Your job maybe be sucking your soul dry, but you still have control over your work space to a certain extent. Create a safe space that you can feel comfortable in. Add photos, posters, colorful pen holders… whatever you need! Just personalize your space in a way that makes you happy.
Create diversions. Create diversions that help elevate your spirits when they’re low. For example, if you hate making cold calls, you might keep a joke book on hand to read and brighten your spirits before you make those calls.
Learn new skills. If you don’t like your job, then use it to get one that you do like. If you need a certain skill set in order to get the job of your dreams, jump at opportunities or projects in your job that can help you gain those skills. Learning something new that challenges you will also distract you from any bad feelings you have towards the job.
Start freelancing. Getting a second source of income can be very beneficial. It can distract you from the other work you’re doing. It can alleviate the feeling that your 9 – 5 job is the only source of income that you have access to. It can help you save so that you have a safety net if you feel like you need to get out of your job ASAP. It can help you treat yourself when you’re feeling down.