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How To Be Happy In A Job You Hate -- When Quitting Isn't An Option


Do you hit snooze over and over Monday through Friday? Do you dread walking into the office each day? Are you counting down the minutes to 5 o’clock after lunch time?


If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, it sounds like you hate your job. And for many of my coaching clients who aren’t happy in the jobs they have, these feelings are amplified now more so than ever due to our culture’s growing focus on “finding your passion.”


No one can really quit a job they dislike while they seek out the perfect position, so what can you do to work through it?


Figure out why you’re unhappy. It’s common for people to not know the root of their unhappiness at work. It’s also common for the very problems that cause grief to have a solution. Take the time to think about the reason(s) for your discontent. Write them down and next to each one, note whether a solution is within your control, your managers or not fixable. If a possible solution exists, develop an action plan and have a meeting with your manager. A problem that seems like it goes with the nature of a job (like “I think my work is boring”) might have a solution if you ask.


Remind yourself why you’re there. Many people must stay in a job they dislike long-term – maybe they or a spouse has gone back to school, they need the health insurance or have a mortgage. If this sounds like your current situation, focus on the positives your job provides, such as stability for your family or a flexible schedule.


Take “me time.” If you’re unhappy at work, it’s imperative that you don’t think about your job when you’re off clock – at least a few times a week. Schedule time to do the activities you love, see the important people in your life and work towards personal goals. Clearing your head and coming into the office with a fresh perspective and renewed attitude is sometimes all it takes to make an intolerable job better.


Know your long-term goals. If your current position is a stepping-stone to a long-term goal, getting through the day-to-day of a tough job becomes much easier. Your goal could be to gain a certain skillset, get promoted or save money – whatever it is, remind yourself and check in on your progress regularly.

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