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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

5 Ways to Make Your Crappy Job More Tolerable

The other day I sparked up a conversation with a fellow, more senior, teacher about when he planned on hanging it up.  I was at the gym, next to him on the stationary bike.  He gave me a look of disgust and went on a rant about how he wished he could retire that very day.  He went as far as saying that he hated his job, and going every day made him sick to his stomach.

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This is an all too familiar story that isn't exclusive to any single career or industry.  I did my best to motivate the dude to "hang in there" but it was obvious he was quite "over it."

You don't have to be at a job very long to start to resent it.  Some people hate their job within their first month of starting.  They just know they don't want to keep doing whatever it is they are doing, but instead of quitting, they simply tolerate going through the motions.  Well, this post is about how to make your crappy job more tolerable, so that you can make the best of your time there, until you find a new, better job, or until you reach retirement if you've been in it a long time.

Here are my tips for you:

1)  Adjust your attitude.  I used to be unhappy about my job too.  Then I found that my unhappiness was not so much because I didn't like what I was doing, but rather because I didn't respect enough what my job entailed.  Once I got connected to the overarching mission, appreciating its value to the fullest, I found that my attitude about my job changed.  I liked going in and being as much a part of the mission as possible.  Perhaps you can use an attitude adjustment yourself?  Attitude is everything!

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2)  Become more humorous or seek out funny people.  Laughter is a great cure for many ailments.  Stress or boredom is what's causing your job to suck most likely.  So crack a few more jokes, or find the work clown and listen in.  The point is to have fun while you're working hard.  If you never laugh at work and management makes it a 100% serious place, then do yourself a favor and quit.

3)  Change up your routine.  Humans are creatures of habit.  If you've gotten to the point where everything is predictable and you're constantly on automatic pilot, then you won't enjoy your job.  There isn't any novelty!  You can start with your morning routine.  Instead of plopping at the computer with your coffee and answering emails to start your day, why don't you take a lap inside the building and greet 3-4 people personally.  Greet different people every day until you've greeted everyone.  Any little change will go a long way to making your job just a tad bit more interesting (and tolerable).

4)  Identify what specific things make your job crappy.  You know, sometimes people can't even articulate what about their job makes them unhappy.  Do some reflection and list everything that troubles you about your job.  While you cannot change your boss or manager, there may be some items on your "reasons my job sucks" list that you may have control over.  Does Bob the idiot annoy you?  Go annoy Bob back!  You may find that you'll be entertaining yourself throughout the day by addressing the items on your list that bother you about your job.  In other words, take control!

5)  Stay busy.  I bet some of your best days at work were days when you were the busiest.  You may have been tired when your shift ended and you left for home but at least the day went by fast.  More time on hand means more time to be bored and think about how miserable you are.  So stay occupied as much as you can so the time flows by.

There you have it.  Though it's unfortunate that you are stuck in a job that you don't enjoy, your worst move is doing nothing about it.  If prisoners of war can imagine themselves in other places to survive their physical and mental torture at the hands of their captors, you too can survive your crappy job.  No excuses!

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