Millions of people all over the world are desperate to have greater job satisfaction. They want their work to be more than a way to earn a living. They want their work to feed their heart and soul.
Oh, you hate your job? Why didn’t you say so? There’s a support group for that. It’s called everybody, and they meet at the bar. ~Drew Carey
Do you hate your job? Sadly, you’re not alone. Millions of workers feel the way you do. The good news is that you can make simple changes that can increase your job satisfaction and decrease your job misery.
Work can add to your life or subtract from it. You’re not just trading your time for the money you get from work, but you’re also trading your physical, emotional and spiritual energy.
For some people, working can involve daily stressors as well as daily humiliations, search for recognition as well as search for meaning.
Working in a job you hate is an assault to your spirit as well as your body. It can suck the life out of you. It can deplete your soul. It can lead to a 9-5 sort-of-dying instead of contributing to a richer, more meaningful life.
During tough economic times when millions of people are out of work, most workers are grateful to have a job — any job. There’s a sense of comfort in knowing that at least you have a job even if you’re miserable in it. Quite often, the feeling of gratitude doesn’t last long enough to overcome the feeling of misery.
Looking for another job that you might like better may seem like a simple solution, but it is not a real solution for most people. Looking for another job doesn’t mean you’re really going to get one. What scares most workers is the prospect of finding another job that’s equally as bad as the one they just left or even worse.
Feeling stuck in your job can make you feel even worse about your situation. Most people feel they can not leave their job because they do not have any savings and they need the income their job provides to pay for their financial obligations, such as, car payments, credit card bills, phone bills, student loans, health insurance, mortgage or rent.
It is especially tough for moms and dads who have to support their family. It is unthinkable to put their family’s financial resources at risk for something considered “so selfish” — job satisfaction.
Finding job satisfaction is not about being selfish. Working in a job you hate actually puts your health at risk. Job misery and the resulting stress can affect how long you live not just how well you live.
Work-related stress can lead to burnout as well as other stress-related illnesses.
Job stress-related expenses cost American businesses over $200 billion a year. But, the cost to families are even greater: increased divorce rate, increased family conflicts, increased problems with children, increased substance and alcohol abuse as well as serious illnesses.
Having a job you hate can make you physically, emotionally and spiritually sick.
Even if you don’t hate your job, it can still be toxic your health. If you don’t have a healthy work-life balance, if you’re often overworked or under-appreciated, you can end up dealing with a lot of stress. Of course, some jobs are naturally very stressful.
For people who survived the layoffs and downsizing during the economic downturn, they’re dealing with work environment that has changed dramatically. Workers for companies that have gone through drastic re-structuring and massive layoffs are stuck with a lot more work and stress.
What makes matters worse is that they often end up dealing with management teams who have insensitive just-be-glad-you-have-a-job attitude. When workers feel their managers don’t care about their well-being, this just adds to their job dissatisfaction.
So, what can you do?
Your situation will not change itself. It’s up to you to make some changes that can lower your job misery and increase your job satisfaction.
3 Ways to Boost Job Satisfaction When You Hate Your Job
1. Even if you have the best job in the world — and especially if you hate your job — it’s absolutely crucial that you take care of yourself. When you constantly have to deal with challenging situations or mind-numbingly dull tasks at work, you have to find ways to nurture yourself. You must fill your time with things you enjoy before and after work. Do you enjoy spending time with family and friends? Do you like shopping or window shopping? Do you like walking in the park, on the beach or by the lake? Don’t just think about possibly doing things you enjoy someday, schedule them and do them often.
Instead of always focusing on the job you hate, you will have something to look forward to. It’s like creating a sanctuary at work — you can feel inner peace no matter what’s going on at work because you did things that made you happy before going to work; and you’re about to do things that make you happy after work. Scheduling and doing things that you enjoy when you’re not working can reduce your stress at work and make the job you dread more bearable.
2. If you think you can’t quit your current job because of financial obligations, feeling stuck in your job can increase your misery. Is it possible you’re not really stuck? To figure this out, it’s important to clarify your values and re-evaluate your needs.
We are bombarded with mixed messages in our culture. We define ourselves by how much money we make, the status of our work, the kind of car we drive or the kind of home we live in.
What about you? What matters most to you? Most likely, you are a lot more than what you do at work and what you can afford to buy.
Taking the time to understand yourself and clarify your values can help you think about your job differently. Maybe you’re not really stuck in your current job — maybe you do not really need a high-pressure, high-status and high-paying job in order to afford things you don’t really need. Are you willing to downsize to a smaller house or apartment, get a more affordable car or even take public transportation? Are you willing to trade your high-pressure, high-status and high-paying job for one that will allow you to have more time with your loved ones?
Are the things you can buy with the money you earn from your high-pressure, high-status and high-paying job worth the risks to your health?
It’s really up to you and what matters most to you.
3. Based on your understanding of yourself and your values, what kind of work would bring you more fulfillment? This is very difficult for most people to figure out. It’s easier to complain about the things that you hate doing even if it means staying stuck in a job you hate.
What can you do if you really don’t know what kind of work will bring you more happiness and fulfillment? You can just start right now. Really? Yes, really! Just begin your journey now.
You don’t really need to know what you’re looking for before you start your journey. The process of trying to figure out and create work you love can help uncover your purpose in life — you can even let your purpose find you.
Most people can’t follow their bliss because they don’t really know what that means for them. Most people have forgotten or may have never paid attention to what they’re passionate about. It’s okay not to know.
Many people don’t just end up in jobs they hate. It’s hard to believe, but most people actually work really hard for many years climbing the “success ladder” just to get the high-pressure, high-status and high-paying job they end up hating. Why? Our society values money, power and status; so, most people assume they will be happy and fulfilled when they achieve these things.
Of course, many workers do not have jobs with money, power and status and they hate their jobs for that reason; they assume that they would be happier if they could only achieve these things.
For people who have high-pressure, high-status and high-paying jobs they’ve worked so hard to achieve, experiencing job dissatisfaction is usually unexpected. They usually expect happiness and fulfillment after successfully achieving money, power and status. Sadly, many “successful” people do not achieve happiness and fulfillment. Money can never buy these feelings.
It’s perfectly okay not to know what you want when you’re starting your journey. The process of trying to understand what truly matters to you can bring you so many surprising gifts.
The first gift is the realization that you have started the process of creating work you love. The process of figuring out what kind of work will bring you more fulfillment can change your perception of the current job. Even if you still hate your job, it’s no longer your final and permanent destination. Job misery becomes magnified when you think you’re going to be stuck long-term. Instead, the job you hate is just a stepping stone to get you to the work you love.
Misery is usually about your perception of your job and not the reality of what you really have. You may start perceiving your job in a different light. While you’re in the process of figuring out and creating work you love, you can appreciate the fact that your current job provides you with income to cover your basic necessities, pay off your debts, provides health benefits, etc. You may also start realizing that your current job can offer training and help you improve skills you might need for doing work you love.
The job you hate may be the job you start to appreciate more as you realize its value for getting you the work you love.
Aside from helping you hate your current job less, the process of creating work you love can have many other gifts. You may come to realize that you appreciate your current job more when you can participate in activities that feed your heart and soul, such as, volunteering in a non-profit. You may realize that the work you love involves starting your own business. You may realize that you enjoy working from home in a telecommuting job. You may even realize that you actually want something similar to your current job — one with less pressure, status and money but allows you to have more time with your loved ones.
The process of creating work you love can help you understand yourself and what truly matters to you.
If you don’t take the time to understand yourself, you will end up not honoring your true self and your true value system. You can end up in a job that creates a lot of stress and unhappiness in your life again. Self-awareness and self-acceptance can help you choose a better path.
Most people want their work to be more than a way to earn a living. They want their work to feed their heart and soul. What would make you truly happy? What kind of work would give your life more meaning? Listen to your heart. Listen to your longings. You can get some insights from the common threads that bind your interests and longings. Your spirit speaks through what calls to you and what you love to do.
Finding meaningful work and doing work you love will not be quick and easy. You can explore jobs that involve activities you’re passionate about. In the process, you are more likely to enjoy your work. More importantly, you are more likely to uncover your purpose in life or you can let your purpose find you.
You can boost your job satisfaction and work fulfillment by connecting with the spirituality of your job. How does your work — the products you create and the services you provide — help others? Most people long to make a difference in the lives of others. They find meaning in jobs or businesses that can contribute to society.
It can be a challenge to find or create meaningful work, but the payoff can be huge. Doing work you love – one that is consistent with your true self and your true value system — is one of the best ways to reduce your stress and bring more happiness into your life.