There are times when your job will make you want to pull your hair out. Or days when you will wish you were anywhere else other than at your desk on a Tuesday afternoon when you have stacks of paperwork to get through. Given such a situation, what do you do when you are caught up in such a quagmire where you can’t up and leave on a whim?
Truth is, if you focus on everything you hate at work, that’s all you’ll continue to see. It’s amazing how much more tolerable a miserable situation becomes once you realize it’s temporary, and that’s exactly what will happen once you have defined what you want to do.
1. Make an escape plan
Where do you go from here? Say you were to quit in 2 weeks’ time, do you have a next stepping stone or are you planning to take a break from the workforce, if it’s the latter, that’s fine, if you belong in the former, buckle up.
Now you know what you want, it’s time to start turning that dream into a reality. Don’t worry about working out every single step you need to take to get from where you are to where you want to be – that level of planning is likely to feel overwhelming, which in turn, will most likely paralyze you from taking any action. Instead, focus on the key thing that’s keeping you from making the change today.
2. Don’t moan about it
A quick HR tip, when work sucks, finding a colleague or three that feel your pain can be immensely useful. Not only will they make you feel like you’re definitely not the problem (great for your sanity), they’ll also give you an opportunity to offload everything that has been building up within you for weeks or months.
This will undoubtedly give you a sense of relief, which can make work feel a little more bearable, but avoid falling into the trap of participating in group bitching sessions on a daily or even weekly basis. The reason for this is simple. These initially cathartic sessions will end up feeding the negativity you’re feeling, causing it to grow.
Regular group moaning sessions also give rise to inaction as they legitimise feelings of being a victim. And playing the victim is one of the commonest reason for staying stuck in a situation you hate because as long as you’re a victim, everything is someone else’s fault and this absolves you of the responsibility you need to accept to take action.
3. Try to find the positives
Ever heard the saying, ‘Where your attention goes, the energy flows’? If you focus on everything you hate at work, that’s all you’ll continue to see. Why not try a different approach? Pick two or three things you really enjoy about your working day and focus on these.
For example, you may hate dealing with demanding and rude clients, but you quite enjoy being left to come up with creative concepts. Rather than dwelling on the rude clients, you could focus your energies on pitching a new creative approach for an upcoming campaign and researching what your company’s competitors are doing with their creative content.
The approach you take doesn’t matter, all that matters is that you start to create enjoyable reasons for going to work each morning. Having just one thing to look forward to each working day.
4. Plan you future
It can’t be emphasized enough, if you hate what you’re doing now, the prospect of sticking with it for the next 5-10 years is a daunting and overwhelming scene. So I encourage you to know what you really want in the future instead. Think about where you’re going and what you need to do to succeed in the future.
If you can get a clear vision of where you want to be 1, 2, or even 5 years from now, your temporary job will become much bearable. Having something to look forward to can make a huge difference.