Career Advice  

How to Love a Job You Hate

How to Love a Job You Hate We have probably all been there – stuck in a job we hate. Perhaps the job started out as a dream job but then turned into one that we found to be a chore to drag ourselves out of bed to get to in the morning! Or perhaps you took the job because you needed to and have never liked it. In any case, hating your job can really affect your emotional state and how you treat your friends and family. That negativity can make you no fun to be around.  

Here is something surprising – a survey* from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia found that working at a job you hate is actually worse for your emotional well-being than being unemployed. The key idea is that while you are unemployed you are still hopeful – there is the hope that you will find a job you love. And hope is a feeling which significantly increases your positive emotional state. Of course, quitting your job and finding another is easier said than done and may not be an option for you. So, how do you learn to love a job you hate? We asked our experienced Career Coaches for advise.

“Sometimes, my clients have to start with a less than perfect job in a new country in order to get the experience for where they want to end up,” says Clare Somers, an IMPACT Group Career Coach in the UK. Here are a couple questions she has professionals ask themselves: 
  • Will this job position allow you to progress and/or diversify in the industry or sector you want to be in?
  • Does this job give you some of the other things you need in your life at this particular stage, such as flexibility and proximity?  

Asking basic questions like, “Does this job provide for your current needs?” is another good place to start. Iris Kloth, a Career Coach in Hong Kong, explains, “When people don’t like their job, the negative aspects of it surface and expand to the point where they are overwhelmed and there is too much negativity, distress and frustration. I focus on their strengths and how they can reconnect with those skills/strengths.” 

Questions she poses to her clients include: 
  • What are your strengths and are you currently using them?
  • Are you not using your strengths enough? 

This exercise makes them more aware of their strengths and how to pay more attention when circumstances allow them to use them. “I also introduce gratitude exercises,” says Iris.  She has individuals determine the best part of their day, what they are proud of that day and what they are grateful for. 

If you do decide your best course of action is to change jobs, make sure you think about your decision thoroughly. Global Career Coach Diana Sirvinskas says, “It is when we want to leave a position that it is hard to see the good, but that is when it’s very important to do so. When we see some things that are working well, we can perform better. That helps us to feel good about ourselves and helps us to meet our work objectives.”  Continuing to meet your work objectives allows your manager to write a good letter of recommendation in the future, says Diana. 

“Think about your life without your job and ask: ‘What am I missing?’ Perhaps the list includes: income to pay bills and to enjoy life as well, colleagues who sometimes become good friends, opportunities to learn something new, etc.” Diana comments. “This may help you find the good in your current situation. And it will make the challenge of looking for a new position a little easier!”

* “How Working a Job You Hate is Worse than Being Unemployed,” Elite Daily

Contribution by Jill Jassmann-Sharlock.

Jill is an IMPACT Group Global Research and Projects Team Lead who focuses on the unique information needs of global transferees. She also serves as IMPACT Group’s Global myIMPACT Specialist, managing content for our global job search and career portal.

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