What to Do When You're Miserable at Work
My new book, Business Without The Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need To Know is being published this week, so my posts are condensed excerpts from it.
It is almost impossible to find a better job if you hate your current one. (And hating your current situation, by the way, isn't always the best reason to strike out on your own and become an entrepreneur.) The process below gets you to point where you'll feel positive enough about what you're doing so that you'll more easily find work that suits you:
1. Understand the core problem.
Some people wrongly believe that hating a job can be the motivation to get a new one. However, hatred consumes mental and emotional energy that could be better spent finding a better job. (That's why people who hate their jobs never seem to do anything about it.) The core problem is not whatever you "hate" about your job, but the hatred itself, which an emotion that is holding you back.
2. Change your mental vocabulary.
Words have power to create emotions as well as describe them. When you think, "I hate my job," you're increasing the amount of hatred you're feeling. Get out of that state by selecting less intense words, like "I'm uncomfortable in this job" or "I find some parts of my job annoying." De-intensifying the vocabulary that you use to describe your situation doesn't change your situation, but it does keep you from over-dramatizing it.
3. Focus on what you like about your job.
No matter what's going on at work, there are some parts of your job that you can manage to like and enjoy. List them out, regardless of how small they seem. See how many you can come up with. Make a game out of it, a challenge. When you've completed your list, stick a copy of it on your bathroom mirror. Read your list aloud right when you get up and just before you go to bed. This will improve your performance in your current job, making you more valuable both to your current employer and to any future employer.
4. Find a job that better suits you.
If there's a mismatch between what you need and want, and what your current job is providing to you, you owe it to yourself (not to mention your boss and your current coworkers) to find a different job. Elsewhere in my book, you'll find "Secret 24. How to Find Your Dream Job" and "Secret 25. How to Land a Job Interview." You'll find those techniques far easier to execute when you're coming from a place of mere dissatisfaction rather than a state of desperation.
Shortcut: If you hate your job
- YOUR hate is keeping you in the job you hate.
- REDUCE your hate by deintensifying your vocabulary.
- FREQUENTLY repeat everything you like about your job.
- USE your better attitude to help you find a better job.
Excerpted from the book BUSINESS WITHOUT THE BULLSH*T by Geoffrey James. © 2014 by Geoffrey James. Reprinted by permission of Business Plus. All rights reserved.
GEOFFREY JAMES | Columnist
Geoffrey James was recently named a "Top 40 Social Selling Marketing Master" by Forbes, and his blog has won awards from the Society of American Business Editors and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. His writing has appeared in publications as diverse as Wired, Brandweek, and Men's Health, and he is the author of numerous books, including The Tao of Programming, Business Wisdom of the Electronic Elite, and, most recently, Business Without the Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know.