by Melany Hallam
Question: Do the days you do want to go in to work outnumber the days you don’t want to go in to work? Yes/No/About the same/I am not employed
(take the survey now, click here)
Almost half of Canadians surveyed recently in a recruitment agency-sponsored poll didn’t like their jobs – some even hated them. The survey found that “not fitting in with the workplace culture” was the main reason for job dissatisfaction but there are lots of other reasons, ranging from personality conflict with the boss to boring work.
If you find yourself obsessing about how much you hate your job, it could have all kinds of negative consequences for your mental and physical health. You need to act now before it’s too late! No job will make you happy every single day, but here are five things that you can try to help make the good days outnumber the bad days:
(1) Know yourself
What do you like and not like about working? What are the values most important to you and what do you expect to get from your paid employment? Make a list. These qualities can be either the type of work you do (those things in your job description) or your working conditions (pay, management, hours, etc.) Here are some ideas to help you get started. Note that money is only one item on this list! Once you have a better idea of what you really need from your paid employment, your next steps should be more obvious to you. If you hate the type of work you’re doing, maybe you should be looking to re-train and change jobs. If it’s the working conditions, it may be possible to stick with your current job by negotiating some changes with co-workers or your boss.
(2) Control – get some
For many, having no control over how you do your work is unbearable. Is there something that you can do to change your situation? Talk to your manager about options. As long as a task gets done, there should be some flexibility in how to do it. Don’t expect your employer to realize what’s happening and make changes for you – be proactive. And if your suggestions result in saving time or money for your employer, it could even earn you some points with the boss.
(3) Cut down on those little everyday hassles
Are there one or two little things that you have to do every day that drive you up the wall? For me, filling out endless forms and paperwork for things that should be straightforward has always been one of my pet peeves. If forms are unavoidable, can they be shortened or made more user-friendly? Sometimes a tedious process is in place just because “it’s always been done that way”, and that’s not a good enough reason for keeping it.
(4) Change how you think about your job
Do you cringe when you have to tell people you’ve just met what you do for a living? Every job exists for a reason and is therefore important in some way. I’ve found that how you (and others) see your work is greatly influenced by how you talk about what you do. Are you helping others or making a difference to their safety? Are there parts of your job that you like – that are just plain fun – but you feel like you shouldn’t admit it? Why not? Is your job only temporary until you’ve paid off some bills, or built up a part-time business? It can help to focus on your long-term goals.
(5) Leave your work at the office
Not everyone is lucky enough to find paid employment doing something that they love. Your job may just be the way you support yourself while finding personal fulfillment in other ways (hobbies, volunteering, etc.) It can be very freeing to realize that your job title is not who you are, so why waste energy hating it? Leave your work at the office at the end of each day and spend the rest of your time doing what you enjoy most – whatever that may be.