Do you hate your job? Welcome to the club! Seriously, you’re not alone. But although misery loves company, it also breeds contempt. Even if you absolutely despise your job, you should never let it show while you’re on the clock (or in public or on the Internet, for that matter). Instead of being pessimistic five days a week from the hours of 9 to 5, find reasons to enjoy your job, or at the very least appreciate it. Remember: things could be much worse. If you approach every day optimistically, there’s no telling how much better your life can get.
1. It's a Stepping Stone
I don’t think anyone has ever actually enjoyed being in an entry-level position. There’s no glamour or charm in doing grunt work. But there can be prestige in it if you create it. Remember that an entry-level position is just that: a way to get your foot in the door. If you’re diligent with your work and show that you are willing to do the menial work like file papers, make phone calls, and go on coffee runs, your dedication will show through, and you might move up even quicker than you’d have imagined.
2. It's a Learning Experience
It may be a cliché, but always keep the following in mind: “Whatever doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.” Even if you’re stuck in a job you hate, remember that each day you’ve survived is another day you’ve dealt with successfully. You may have been given some monumental task the previous day and thought to yourself “How am I ever gonna get through this?” Well, yesterday came and went, and here you are. Look at you! But seriously, instead of thinking about the mountain of paperwork your boss just dropped on you as some insurmountable task, trust that you can get it done, and you’ll have that much more experience under your belt after you’ve completed the task.
3. You Enjoy Working With Your Colleagues
I mean, unless your coworkers are part of why you hate your job; in that case just move on to #4. But your colleagues can also be the reason that each day working at a job you hate isn’t actually all that bad. Take the time to cultivate real friendships with them; you’ll be with them just about as much as with your actual family. Just stay away from commiserating with each other. Like I said, misery breeds contempt. Don’t allow yourself or your coworkers to get caught up in a constant cycle of complaining. Keep your humor tongue-in-cheek, and always feel free to laugh at the idiocy that surrounds you on a daily basis.
4. You're Making Money
Did you forget you get paid to be here? It’s a crazy misconception among younger generations (myself included, don’t worry I’m not some crotchety old coot) that we have a right to enjoy every moment of our lives. The older (and more mature) I get, the more I realize this is some hippy nonsense. If everyone spent 100 percent of their time seeking pure pleasure, no one would spend their summers cooped up in an office crunching numbers, or picking up someone else’s trash every day of their lives. Though it should be a goal of yours to seek more intrinsic rewards for a job well done, you shouldn’t ignore the fact that you’re getting paid for your time. Even if those hours are spent in complete misery, you can use the money you’ve earned to do whatever you want when you’re off the clock.
5. You're Saving Money
Not only are you making money, you’re also saving money (or at least you should be). While your money is yours to do whatever you’d like with, if you really hate your job and want to find a way out, saving money is the answer. Building up a nest egg, no matter how small, is your ticket to freedom, at least for a small amount of time while you find a position that better fits you. If you save up enough, you’ll have the freedom to relocate if need be. If you’re really unhappy with your job, don’t splurge on something that’ll make you happy for a few days and run its course. Think long-term savings when you deposit your paycheck every two weeks.
6. You Have Insurance
I can’t overstate the importance of health insurance, especially by today’s standards. Those without it are running the risk of completely bottoming out if one small accident happens to come their way. If you have a job with benefits, be grateful. Use it as a mantra every time you’re thinking about quitting: “At least I have health insurance. At least I have health insurance.” It might not seem like a necessity, but when you slip on ice and break a finger, you’re going to thank yourself for sticking with your boring job for just a little longer.
7. You're Proving Yourself
If you get frazzled in your current position, why would your supervisor think you’re cut out for even more work? But like I said before, every day you make it through is a good day. It shows that you can take on anything that’s thrown at you, and come out unscathed and stronger than ever before. Since you’re most likely using this position as a way to move up to something more enjoyable and rewarding, you need to prove that you can handle yourself at lower positions before you even have a shot at being promoted.
8. You Love What you Do
This sounds a little counterintuitive, but it’s possible to love what you do and still hate your position. Maybe you entered a profession thinking you’d find a dream job only to be shown the reality that it’s mostly paperwork. Maybe you thought you’d be making more of an impact on society than you actually are. It’s natural to have these ambitious thoughts and feelings when entering the workforce, but you definitely need to come back to reality and realize that no job is all sunshine and rainbows. Even if your job is to paint murals of sunshine and rainbows on the side of buildings, you’re still going to have to deal with paperwork and legal mumbo-jumbo, and have all sorts of bureaucratic hoops to jump through. Remind yourself to think of the bigger picture: your efforts in the most menial of tasks serve a much larger purpose in the long run.
9. You Can Leave
Okay, so leaving your job might lead to financial hardship for a while, but if you’re starting to lose happiness and fulfillment enough so that your paycheck doesn’t come close to an adequate reward, something needs to change. But think of how that puts the ball in your court, and how much power that gives you. No matter how much crap you’re dealing with from your boss, at any given time you have the power to stand up and walk out. I’m definitely not advocating that you do so, since it can negatively affect your future in all aspects, but still: the ball is in your court.
10. You Have a Job
I don’t want to get all preachy here, but do you have any idea what it’s like to not have a job? Trust me, it’s not fun. Finding a job might even take more effort than actually having one, and you don’t get paid for looking. When you have a job, you might wake up thinking “Ugh, I can’t believe it’s not Friday yet.” When you don’t have a job, the only thing on your mind when you wake up is: “I wish I had somewhere to be today.” At least when you’re miserable at work you can look forward to enjoying yourself when the five o’clock whistle blows.
Listen, I’m sure everyone has at one point been disenchanted with their job. It’s human nature to want to experience pleasure every waking moment. But it’s also unrealistic. If we all sought pleasure twenty-four hours a day, society would devolve into a free-for-all. No matter how much you hate your job, keep in mind that by giving up a few hours of your life every day, you’re keeping mankind moving in the right direction.