What is this, you ask? How can I possibly love my life if I hate my job? I hear you, and wondered that same thing for so long.I ended up leaving my job three months ago to do my counseling private practice three months ago, but was miserable at my previous job. I hated it, but got through it. And survived. And am here to tell you that there are things you can to do help yourself mentally cope, as well as build action steps to get the bat hell out of there and do what you really want to do.
So, two categories come to mind: coping skills, and action planning. To cope with a bad job, it’s important to see the job for exactly what it is: paid employment. It gives you a check, and you check in everyday and work, or feign working, or whatever you do there. To know that it’s pay for your time reframe it a little bit.
Also, it’s really important to get a good support system, which includes plenty of friends, family or your significant other that make it better. My friend, Mark, was an incredible source of support for me, and he worked there, too. It made it all seem like I wasn’t the only crazy person there. It helped to know others were in it with me, and saw the same things that made me hate my job.
Getting out of the building for lunch always helped me, because I could then saw the day into two distinct halves, which kind of helped me see it all as less overwhelming. Exercising and eating well, as well as getting 8 hours of sleep a night, cooled my anger and frustration, and helped me deal with the experience much more. Mindfulness meditation helped me to deal with a negative experience, so that it felt just a little bit less negative and more neutral.
Lastly, not putting in 100% was something I did to cope. Being a 100% person, I found it challenging to actually do less superior (quality or quantity) work, and accept doing a so-so job. I found that I pressured myself less, because I really just didn’t want to work that hard at a job I hated. I started to work less hard, and pressure myself less.
In the action planning stage, I worked hard to market my practice, set deadlines as to when things would happen, and, most importantly, set a 90-day target date to leave the place I couldn’t work at anymore. I started to realize that the job wasn’t going to leave me, that I needed to leave the job. Empowering myself was scary, because I had operated under the premise that I could lazily allow my job to tell me when it didn’t want me, which was never. I had to take the bull by the horns and make the jump. I had to start to pack away savings to make the jump, and verbalize my intentions to myself (journalling and planning) and to others in my life. This legitimized it all, and made my intentions reality. Now that I told others, it forced me into a situation where I had to back up my words with actions.
So, there is hope to get out of a bad job. I know there are a lot of external factors – such as money, family, and severe lack of jobs during the recession. But, when the recession ends, you won’t have the same old excuses for staying in a job you hate. But, we can control the inner factors, such as how we think about our situation and what we really want for our lives, that we have a lot of control over. It’s all about how bad you want it.