It’s Monday morning and I know you wish you could just press snooze on your alarm. But oh no, you have to go to work. And what’s worse (yes, worse than getting up on a Monday) is that you are heading to a job you don’t love. In fact, you hate your job. YIKES! Let me tell you, I’ve been there. I’ve had jobs where I experienced Monday-itis every day of the week. I know first hand the anxiety that comes from going to a job each day that fills you with stress and zaps you of all your joy. Instead of feeling doomed that my career was going to be perpetually sucky , I looked for alternate options. I looked for ways that I could be happy and I discovered ways of motivating myself when there felt like there was nothing to be motivated for. In this post, I’ll be sharing with you my top 5 ways to get motivated when you hate your job.
Tip #1: Assess the Damage
Awareness is the first step to making any positive changes in our careers. Being aware of what it is exactly that we don’t like about our jobs, will help us to be clear on what it is we would prefer. For example, in the first job I had, I really did not like my direct boss. I liked the company overall, I really liked the people in my team, I enjoyed the work. When I realised that one person was tainting the whole picture, I gained a new perspective on the situation. So you need to have a deep and honest look at your job. Do you hate absolutely everything about it? Or are there some parts that you like. Try really hard to find at least one thing you like. If it is that your office is right next door to a delicious bakery, then focus on that.
Action Step: Write down a list of elements you don’t like about your job. Next to them in a different coloured pen or pencil, write how you would like the situation to be. Then assess to see how you can bring those situations to life.
Tip #2: Remember Who You are Doing it for
This is your big WHY. It can be someone special, like your husband, boyfriend, dog. Or it could be a cause. But ask yourself “why do I work so hard each and every day?” The first answer might be “SHOES!!” (or in my case chocolate!) but the answer that follows should be because by working you are helping to support someone or you are wanting to inspire someone or to help someone/something. You doing your thang might seem selfish in that we work to get money to give us a great lifestyle. However, when you take that reason away, who are we doing it for? And if you are doing it just for you then think about the benefits. You working means you get to go on that fabulous holiday or buy that awesome dress or go on that inspiring course.
Action Step: Ask yourself who (or what) are you working for? Then list all of the ways that person or cause will benefit from you working.
Tip #3: Think Long Term
When I had days that really kicked me in the metaphorical balls, it would really help me to think about what is next for me. Knowing that I hated my job and as I was looking for another one, I would come into work thinking “this is only temporary”. I still remember in one of my casual jobs when I was sweeping the floor (one of my favourite things to do. NOT!) I would day dream about being the manager and creating a work environment that was awesome. Don’t allow yourself to think that your situation is forever. Because it’s not! In those days when motivation has left the building, coax it back by thinking about where you will be in a years time.
Action Step: Write out what your ideal average day looks like in your dream job. From breakfast and travelling to work until clocking out for the day and heading home – let your mind go to town on what your future self will do.
Tip #4: Work to Your Times
Being really aware of when you work best and when you need to have a rest is key to maintaining high levels of motivation. I am a morning person so I can get up at 5am and be really productive for HOURS. But come the afternoon my brain switches off. Knowing that, when I was working in the job I hated, I would start earlier. I would get in before my boss and do all of the big important things first up. Knowing what times you are most productive can help you to schedule your day so that you aren’t forcing yourself to do something that you could do really easily.
Action Step: Schedule out your to do list and put all of the tough/big tasks in the time when you are most productive.
Tip #5: Fill Up Your Cup
You are not your job. Let me repeat that. You are NOT your job. Your job is just one facet of your life. There are so many other parts to it that you can focus on. So if work isn’t floating your boat at the moment, what else can you be excited about? (The answer is NOT TV) There are several things that I did to help me focus on my life outside of work: I studied to get my personal training certificate, I joined a soccer team, oh and I started my business! Having something to look forward to when you get home and on the weekends which help to fill us up and satisfy our creative urges, helps to compensate when our careers don’t.
Action Step: List things you could do or get involved with that you can focus your energy on.
To wrap it up, working in a job you hate is hard which is why motivation levels are usually at an all time low. But it doesn’t have to be like that. Focusing on what you like in your job, remembering who you are doing it for, thinking about your future, working to suit your own times and filling up your life with other awesome things are all ways you can help to boost motivation.
I’ve put together a PDF fun sheet that covers all of the action steps that I outlined in this post. Download it here. Feel free to share it with your friends who also hate their job!
Remember, you don’t have to work in a job you don’t like. If you aren’t sure of a way out or can’t see a future – then let’s chat! An objective perspective on the situation can make a WORLD of difference. I love helping women to fall back in love with their careers (it’s actually my mission in life!) So let me help you. To find out more, click here.