Sometimes your present job sucks.
It’s even worse when, at present, there are no options to escape it.
Perhaps there are family or income needs, or some unique, unidentifiable need. Whatever the case, occasionally we must suck it up and deal with the suck.
I’ve been in this situation. Survival techniques are required when you absolutely hate your job.
1. Listen to Lisa.
I love listening to inspirational speakers on podcasts, YouTube, and anywhere else I can find them. My favorite inspirational speaker, or “transformational life coach” as she calls herself, is Lisa Nichols. She and I will be friends one day. In the meantime, we’ll be friends through modern technology.
When my job was a means to an end and not a goal, a quote of hers helped me. “Your job is your investor,” she said in my ear.
When my W-2 job was paying the bills while I side-hustled on my own, this quote got me through 12-hour days, needless conference calls, and gossiping coworkers.
2. Get physical.
This is last thing you want to read when all you want is a stiff drink, but this is science and the science is settled. Adopt regular and vigorous exercise because exercise releases neurohormones like norepinephrine and vasopressin that reduce stress and improves mood.
When you feel the need to punch your boss in the face, punch a punching bag. When you must give your colleague a swift kick in the ass, go kickboxing. When you feel like running away from it all, run around the block.
3. Get lost in a book.
Nothing beats getting lost in a book. Even if it’s just 15 minutes a day during a lunch break or before bed, get lost in a book. A University of Sussex study showed that reading books can reduce stress levels by as much as 68%. This applies even when you hate your job.
Like hips, Brits don’t lie.
4. Get away.
There’s no better way to get away than to actually get away (sorry Calgon). If your wallet and calendar can afford it, go on a week vacation to the beach or Europe. If life doesn’t presently afford you such luxuries, take a long weekend within driving distance of your home.
If that’s too much, make your home your refuge. Try a week without clocks, TV and social media while at home. Read, listen to music, journal, meditate, play games, or take a bubble bath (maybe Calgon is onto something) or do anything to get a mental vacation.
5. Apply for jobs
Martin Luther King said, “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” The best way to have hope is to make hope.
When you hate your job and want or need to get away, find a place to go even if it’s only aspirational. You never know, the job of your nightmares may lead to the job your dreams.
6. Update your LinkedIn profile and link up
Instead of (or along with) applying for new jobs, update and improve your LinkedIn profile. Rather than search for long lost loves on Facebook, connect with the up-and-coming or arrived influencers on LinkedIn. You’ll be surprised how easy you can make connections and one or two of them may help you move to a better and brighter future.
7. Give your non-work life meaning.
Some people live to work and others work to live. If your job isn’t an investment in your future, make it an investment in the present.
Embrace off-hour-life to the fullest. Make your job secondary to everything else. Spend time with friends and family. Volunteer with charities. Get involved in your community. When you find a passion, you find a reason to hang in there.
8. Pick up a hobby.
The idea is to get lost in something and hobbies are a great way to get lost. I love adult coloring books. They’re simple and distracting.
The world is your oyster with hobbies. Try crocheting, wood-working, antiquing, arts and crafts, or any repetitive or simple activity to helps you take your mind off your job and the stress off your back.
9. Practice gratitude.
What we focus on expands. If you’re consumed with how much you hate your job, it’ll get worse.
Practice gratitude for what you have. It’s true that once you do, the good gets great. You may be surprised one day when you like your job and are no longer hanging by a thread.
10. Binge-watch TV.
Recommending reading a book to some is like giving them orange juice after brushing their teeth. We’re looking for survival not impressing your English literature professor.
If your only solace is binge watching Netflix, embrace it without shame. Find a TV series in your genre of choice and get out of your world and into someone else’s.
11. Have a good drink.
Chances are, the last thing you want to read is that “regular and vigorous exercise releases neurohormones like norepinephrine and vasopressin that reduce stress and improves mood.” All you want is a stiff drink. have a stiff drink. Make it worthwhile and have a quality glass of wine or beer and enjoy the craft of good fermentation.
So, have a stiff drink. Make it worthwhile and have a quality glass of wine or beer and enjoy the craft of good fermentation.
12. Have an even better meal.
These last two go together like steak and wine. If you’re having a good glass of wine or beer, pair it with the foods with which the gods meant them to pair. A quality meal with great conversation and amazing friends may be the only escape you need to get you through another week of the daily grind.