How to like your current job more

If you spent Sunday evening dreading the arrival of Monday morning, this post is for you.

If you spend eight hours a day at work, not even including time spent commuting or eating lunch, you probably spend more time at your job during the week then you do at home, with your spouse or with your kids. So if you hate it, that’s a miserable place to be.

Brazen Careerist had an inspiring post suggesting four activities to like your job more:

  1. Set goals to develop as many new skills as you can in your current role
  2. Downshift on the hours you’re working or the manic panic with which you’re working
  3. Set reminders in your calendar to take breaks
  4. Find the value and meaning in the job you’re doing

The Wall Street Journal’s article Learn to Like Your Job suggests:

  1. Find out if your problems are unique by reaching out to coworkers and peers.
  2. Reevaluate your expectations for yourself, and set achievable goals that you break into smaller goals to see your success along the way.
  3. Pitch your boss a change in your arrangement, offering improved results in exchange for more autonomy.
  4. Change your approach to your job so you can feel more success.

Harvard Business Review’s blog post Don’t Like Your Job? Change It (Without Quitting) interviews Gretchen Spreitzer, professor of management and organizations at my alma mater, University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, and suggests:

Do:

  • Make connections with people you like at work
  • Assess what you don’t enjoy about your job so that you can minimize the time you spend doing unwanted tasks
  • Keep your options open — you may not be able to leave your job now, but circumstances may change

Don’t:

  • Assume that the job is the problem — you may be prone to being dissatisfied
  • Think you’re stuck — there is usually more leeway to alter your job than you think
  • Complain incessantly about your job and bring others down

The New York Times article Survival Skills For a Job You Detest includes several tips, including:

  1. Make a list of all the things you like and dislike about your job to help get perspective.
  2. Talk to your boss to see if you can adjust your role, reducing some of the tasks you dislike or doing more of those you enjoy.
  3. Use your job to develop your skills, including taking advantage of education benefits.
  4. If your boss is unappreciative of your hard work, look outside your job for positive feedback.
  5. Document your productivity and success, either to help bosses understand your value to the organization or to help yourself feel better.
  6. Exercise caution complaining too much at work.
  7. Beware of self sabotage, like poor performance or talking back.
  8. Beware of idealizing other jobs — just because you’re unhappy in your current job doesn’t mean the next one will be perfect.

Finally, back to Brazen Careerist for one more tip: make a friend at work. Take a look at your calendar for the week and invite someone to lunch, coffee or happy hour. Just don’t spend the whole time complaining about work.

Here’s some advice for those of you who don’t like your job: Maybe your job is not your problem. Maybe it’s that you are not trying hard enough to make friends at work. People with one friend at work are much more likely to find their work interesting. And people with three friends at work are virtually guaranteed to be very satisfied with their life.

These are some of the findings Tom Rath reports in his new book, Vital Friends: The People You Can’t Afford to Live Without. As a longtime Gallup employee, Rath draws on a massive number of interviews conducted by this polling organization.

Rath says a friend who can change your work environment is “someone you spend a lot of time in a relationship with. And you are probably making a difference in that person’s life, too. If the person were gone, work would be less fun.”



Categories: career, lifestyle

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

1 reply

  1. Another suggestion: figure out what scenario and changes would make your job better (scheduling, different responsibilities, a raise, etc.) and just ask your boss. Put it out there! Ask and ye shall receive. And the worst case scenario is a no.

    Also, have off-the-clock work or hobbies that make a job less relevant. Meaning in life trumps aggravation at work.

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