We’ve all been there. We hate our job, but we need money. How to cope with a job you hate, but that pays the bills? Is that even possible?
My worst job so far has been a marketing internship at an accounting firm. I was getting paid $18/hour to stand by a printer all day and make folders. I knew I was overqualified, but I needed to pay off my credit card and save. That only lasted for a month and I remember feeling so relieved when I walked out of the building.
This experience taught me what it’s like to make sacrifices when you need money. I welcomed every Monday like:
If you repeatedly find yourself in this situation, you’re not alone. Studies show that nearly 71% of millennials aren’t satisfied with their job and will keep looking until they find the right opportunity. I’ve been one of them.
We all dream of having a job that makes us look forward to Monday. But life happens and sometimes, we have to make choices that solve our short-term problems. Maybe you have to take care of your family or pay your student loans. Whatever the case may be, you sometimes have to do things you don’t enjoy for money – that usually means having jobs you hate.
Many factors contribute to job satisfaction. Beyond your responsibilities and compensation, your colleagues, work environment and growth opportunities are also important. Here’s how to cope with a job you hate, but need to pay your bills:
Find something to look forward to every day
When I was at the accounting firm, I’d make plans to catch up with friends over lunch or go to networking events. I’d also get excited to watch House of Cards during my lunch break. These were small moments that made a big difference in my overall attitude. One would see me smile thinking it was for work when it was really about that new restaurant I’d go try out with my friend after.
Create your “yay” moment in each day. When you’re excited about something, you feel more energetic and it makes the workday bearable.
Exercise in the morning
Even if the first thing you do when you wake up is check your social media profiles, stretch your legs or your upper body while you’re at it.A simple 5-10 minute routine can be all you need to take on the day.
You’ve probably heard this one before, but I can’t stress how much impact exercise has on your mental and physical state. It not only boosts your energy, but the evidence suggests exercise also helps cope with stress at work. Sure, you can check your inbox as soon as you wake up, but don’t underestimate what these 20 push-ups can do.
Whether you found your dream job or are still looking, you should always be networking. It’s not just a means to an end, but a unique opportunity to stay up-to-date with industry news, build lifetime relationships and continue to grow.
How does networking help you cope with a job you hate? It establishes the connections that will enable you to make your next career move. These are the people you’ll be able to reach out to and comfortably ask for leads or job referrals. Given that as many as 80% of jobs aren’t advertised online, it’s all about networking!
Remember your WHY
In an earlier post I wrote, “No time is ever wasted on things you do with intention.” I still stand behind this. Whether your current job is helping you feed your family or save for that vacation in Peru, it serves a purpose.
It’s easy to forget why you’re doing something because of the day-to-day hassles, but keeping an eye on the prize will push you to work harder. It’s also important to remember that everything is temporary. Your life will change dramatically in the next few years (or months even) and you will not be stuck in one place unless you choose to. Think long-term. Stay focused. Defend your WHY.