• Anita Chastain

7 Easy Ways to Make a Bad Job Better

Updated: 4 days ago

Stuck in a bad job? Here are 7 easy things you can do to make a bad job better. Not perfect, but better.


Are you stuck in a bad job? A job so bad that you start dreading Monday on Sunday afternoon? If so, you’re not alone.


Many Americans can’t stand their job.


The problem is so bad that on Sundays, most Americans get stressed out about going back to work on Monday.


According to a 2018 LinkedIn survey, 80% of working professionals start worrying about work on Sunday.


There are a lot of reasons why people don't like their job. Maybe the workload is overwhelming, or the boss is a jerk, or they don’t like their coworkers. Or maybe they just don’t like the work.


Whatever the reason, there are several things you can do to make a bad job better.


When You Can’t Change Jobs

Some people will tell you to find a different job if you don’t like the job you’re in. And that’s reasonable but not always practical.


Maybe you can’t afford to lose your paycheck or take a cut in pay. Maybe there are few other opportunities in your community.


While you aren’t happy about it, for now, you’re stuck in the job.


7 Ways to Make the Job Better

Let’s look at some practical steps you can take to make the job more tolerable.


1. List three things your paycheck makes possible. Choose three things that wouldn’t be possible without the income from your job.


Keep the list in your phone, so you can refer to it when you’re having a bad day. Even though money isn’t the most important thing in life, there’s something to be said for financial stability. If nothing else, the job pays the bills and provides you with the income that keeps your life afloat.

You can’t make the best decisions if you haven't thought through the consequences – good and bad.

2. Make a list of three ways your life would be more difficult if you quit your job without another one to take its place. There may be a time that you just want to walk away.


Before making that decision, think realistically about how your life would change without the paycheck you’re getting right now. Ultimately, you have to decide what you can live with and without. Just make sure that you’ve thought through the consequences of losing your paycheck before you quit without having another job lined up. You can’t make the best decisions if you haven't thought through the consequences – good and bad.


3. Name three coworkers (or other people you know at work) that you appreciate. Maybe they’re helpful or trustworthy. Maybe they do everything they can to make sure you have what you need to do your job well.


It doesn’t matter what you appreciate about them, what matters is that you’re aware that they make your workday better. Relationships at work make a big difference in how you feel about the job. If you spend too much time focusing on the negative aspects of your job, it’s easy to forget that there are good people around you. Try to keep those relationships strong. That’s good for you and helps them too.


4. Interrupt thoughts about the job and replace them with positive thoughts. I know this is difficult, but it works.


Maybe you like the people you work with. Maybe you have a short commute. Maybe you feel like your work makes a difference to someone else. You’ll have to make an effort to stop those negative thoughts, but when you focus on the positive aspects of the job, you’ll spend less time ruminating about what you don’t like. Positive thoughts make you feel better, just like negative thoughts make you feel worse.

Being able to pinpoint how your work helps someone else, it makes your own work more meaningful.

5. Think about how you make someone else’s life easier or better because of the job you do. Maybe your work helps make customers’ lives better or helps your coworkers do their job faster or more easily. When you can see how your work makes a positive impact on someone else, it makes it a little easier to deal with the things you don’t like.


It won’t make the bad parts of your job go away, but it does put them in perspective. Being able to pinpoint how your work helps someone else, it makes your own work more meaningful.


6. Thank a co-worker for helping you or making your work easier or faster. Gratitude isn’t just for those on the receiving end.


You feel better when you let someone else know you appreciate them. People appreciate it when other people recognize their efforts. The end result is a 2-for-1 win: you say thank you and you both feel good. Be generous with your appreciation.

You won’t always like everyone you work with, and they won’t always like you - but treat them professionally anyway.

7. Treat everyone with courtesy and respect, even when they don’t treat you the same way. You won’t always like everyone you work with, and they won’t always like you. Regardless of how you feel about them, it’s important to be professional in your interactions with them.


If you don’t, it increases the tensions between the two of you -- and that makes your time at work more miserable. Be courteous and respectful. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it will also make your job easier.


Conclusion

You can’t change your coworkers, your manager, the work, or the work environment.


You can, however, change how you react to the situation you’re in.


When you can’t change what’s going on around you, focus on the net positives – the good things you get from the job.


Focusing on the good that exists in your job will help make your day a little easier.


What do you do to make a bad job more tolerable? Email me at anita (@) simplelife365.com and let me know.

NEXT: You might enjoy reading 9 Ways to Avoid a Complete Meltdown When You're Stressed Out at Work.


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