Stuck in a job you hate? Here's my survival plan
Whether you are stuck in a job you hate, or things aren’t going quite right in your career, when you are unhappy at work it’s not long before your unhappiness starts sneaking into other aspects of your life. It can be all consuming.
If you find your Sunday night blues kicking in on early Saturday morning, don’t just sit back and hope that things will get better. Even small changes can make a huge difference to your happiness at work.
Here’s my coping mechanisms for surviving in a job you hate.
Take a break
Before you start putting positive steps in place, take a step back from your situation.
Making time for yourself is critical to start working out the cause of your problems… and what you are going to do about it. It might be a particular project, or maybe a it’s your colleagues or boss that's getting you down. Take a time out of the situation and determine what's causing your problems. Identifying your problems, and taking a time out is critical to overcoming your career problems.
Start planning your next move
When you are stuck in a miserable workplace, it's easy to play the blame game. While it may be a miserable colleague or a shitty boss ruining your nine to five, the only person who can prevent this from impacting your career (and happiness) is… well, you!
Even if your crisis is totally out of your hands, it doesn’t mean that you are powerless to fix it. You need to find a way to get your power back. This doesn’t mean you are going to stride in on Monday, full of sass and tell your boss what you think! It can be as simple and subtle as recognising the issues, and putting in place a plan to improve your situation.
Remember, your next move might not be a completely new job. Maybe you can find an opportunity in another team, or set up coping mechanisms in your job. If you are feeling bored and under utilised you might want to talk to your boss about upskilling in a new area, or perhaps starting a side hustle will help to give you more professional purpose? Now is the time to prioritise you. Focus on what you can control... whether it's putting in place steps to make a move, or even committing to a wellness routine. Start to change the situation.
Find your allies
Knowing who is on your team is critical… not just when you need a supportive friend or a vent, but also to keep you moving forward.
Finding your allies is more than having someone to bitch to! If you’ve been stuck in a job you hate for a while, it can be easy to spend 99% of your life moaning about work. It’s time to change the conversation.
Use your allies as a sounding board for your ideas and plans. Ask them to keep you accountable. Perhaps you even set up a weekly check in with a friend who also needs an accountability buddy? Lock it in and create the habit of having honest chats about where you want to be, and what you are doing to get there.
Celebrate the small wins along the way
Remember, ultimately it's up to you. It may take a week to land on your solution, or it may take a year. Celebrate and recognise the progress that you make along the way. Be prepared and open to unexpected opportunities along the way.
While I never want to go back to the times I was unhappy at work, I'm thankful because it gave me the push that I needed to keep moving forward and working towards the best thing for me. With a bit of time and a whole lot of hustle, I hope you can make it too.
Have you had a job you hated? Or are you currently feeling stuck in a job that you don't like? What are you doing to keep moving forward? Comment below or get in touch, I'd love to hear from you!