As a woman in your 20s or 30s, you’ve most likely felt the pressure to be climbing the career ladder, nailing the #girlboss lifestyle and using your spare time to kickstart a side hustle. As rose-tinted as all of this sounds, sometimes it just ain’t real life.
Unless you were blessed by the career fairy, you’ve probably been in a position where, as positive and ‘cup-half-full’ as you try to be, you simply hate your job. You despise it. You wake up every day, dragging your feet before leaving or work with a knot of dread in your stomach because you just don’t wanna turn up.
This is not uncommon.
Competition is fierce and positions are sparse; meaning that a lot of people are destined to wind up in a job that doesn’t even come close to fulfilling them. Instead of letting this become the defining factor of your entire outlook on life, you can take the bull by the horns and work to improve your situation. Here’s how to deal when you deadset, fully-fledged, “I can’t even” hate your job:
“I hate my job” is a blanket statement that we’ve probably all said at one point or another. It’s sometimes used as a throwaway term that actually means “I had a shitty day” or “I’ve got a lot on my plate and I feel like I’m going to explode”. If you’re feeling neggy about work, spend some time mulling over the specifics of what you’re not enjoying. Is it the content of the work itself? Is it an unreasonable boss, long hours or unfriendly coworkers?
If you identify what’s wrong, you can work out what needs to be fixed. Maybe it’s something that an honest meeting with your superior can solve. Perhaps you just need to change project, move desks or negotiate more flexible working arrangements. Or, you’ll realise that moving on really is the only option—and that’s okay too.
It’s a cliché but it’s true, we all have the same twenty four hours in the day. Sure, you might spend nine of those working, but that leaves you with seven hours of free time and eight hours of sleepy time. What are you filling those seven hours with? Are you scrolling Instagram, watching Netflix and chewing the ear off of anyone who will listen about how much you hate your job? If that’s the case, start a side project, do something that you love, write a blog and think about how you can turn your passions into a business.
You’ll be surprised at how much having something that gets your creative juices flowing will transfer to other areas of your life—like the job you profess to hate.
Here is where you need to work out whether or not the job that you hate is one you can realistically leave. If you’re in a really tight spot and will be unable to pay your rent or your bills, or you know that this job is simply a stepping stone to something better, it will be worth sticking it out. If it’s simply not serving you in any way, shape or form and your mental health is suffering, it’s time to start planning your exit strategy. Quitting is okay as long as you’re aware of the consequences.
This will serve you whether you decide to stay or to leave. Don’t let the overarching acknowledgement of hating your job sabotage your future successes—likelihood is that you’re going to need a reference if you decide to hit the job-hunt trail. Plus, spending nine hours a day avoiding work is probably more exhausting than actually getting on doing the job—and by working hard, you’ll not have to deal with compromising your sense of self.
Above all—stay positive. Nothing lasts forever, not even jobs that feel like a life sentence. Trust us.