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How To Increase Job Satisfaction at a Job You Don't Like

Updated on September 9, 2015
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Do You Feel Like Your Job is Ruining Your Life?

Some people are lucky enough to go to jobs that they enjoy ever day, and for those people it can be difficult to understand the way that an eight hour day (or even a four hour day) at a job you don't enjoy can feel like it is ruining your life.

Unfortunately, if you feel like your job is making you absolutely miserable, you aren't alone.

There are way too many people in this world that hate their jobs so much that it is hard for them to let go of the stress and loathing of their work when they finally get home.

Obviously, the ideal move in this situation is to get another job that you enjoy, and I highly recommend that option, but in the mean time, hopefully these tips will help you find more joy and fulfillment on the job and more peace of mind when you finally get to head home.

Focus On Your Life's Greater Purpose

When you are working at a job that seems less than meaningful and fulfilling, it is easy to feel like you are wasting your life away.

Focusing on your life's greater purpose can help you find more meaning in the mundane and sometimes undesirable tasks you do at work each day.

Take some time to think about what you think your purpose here on this planet is and then figure out how you can apply that to the job that you are at right now. Then make a conscious decision to make sure your thoughts words and actions at work are in line with your life's greater purpose.

Here are some examples of how that might play out:

  • My purpose in life is to show love and compassion to others-When I consciously decide to fulfill this purpose at work, I make an effort to treat everyone with kindness, love, and compassion. I make the assumption that every person I interact with throughout the day was placed in my path because they need love and encouragement from me. Whether the jobs I'm asked to accomplish at work are fulfilling or not, this daily mission is.
  • My purpose in life is to bring an added measure of joy into every situation that I encounter-I've made it a kind of game to consciously focus on bringing joy into my new environment every time I walk in or out of a door. Sometimes this can be a bit of a challenge, but when my mind is focused on bringing joy to a situation, inevitably I feel happier and generally the people around me do to. It's amazing how doing something as simple as smiling, giving someone a compliment, or focusing on gratitude can totally change the feeling in a room.
  • My purpose is to bring an added measure of peace to my environment-This means that no matter what type of negativity I am confronted with, I cannot choose to be contentious. That doesn't mean that I am a doormat for others. It just means that I choose to calmly and respectfully speak my mind when necessary rather than responding to conflict in a contentious manner. Whether a project I'm working on blows up in my face or a coworker seems to be upset with me for no apparent reason, I have the ability to control myself and keep my cool.
  • My purpose is to uplift others-If you are working at a job that is less than pleasant, it is very likely that you aren't the only one feeling miserable. Make it a habit to always look for the good in your situation and not become a complainer. Complaining about a situation never makes it better, but finding even a tiny bit of good in a difficult situation can greatly ease your own burden as well as the burdens of others. Choose to see the good in your job and in your coworkers. Then share the good you see with those around you.
  • My purpose is to contribute to the greater good of the world-It might seem like your job is pointless, but obviously somebody needed it done or else you wouldn't get paid to do it. Whether you find a lot of meaning in your job or not, do the very best work that you can, and celebrate the fact that by doing your best you are contributing to the greater good of the world. Never settle for doing less than your very best work.

Do you think focusing on life's greater purposes would help you find more fulfillment at work?

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Recognize That You Have Infinite Value That Is Not Tied to Your Job Description

Some people feel miserable at their jobs because they think only a miserable person with little value to society would be stuck with the type of job they have.

I hope you don't feel that way, but if you do, it is time for you to recognize that you are lying to yourself.

You have infinite value, and it is not attached to the job you do, the amount of money you earn, or what your coworkers say about you.

Neither your boss, your coworkers, nor your job description determines the value that you bring into the world.

You are a unique and valuable person with a beautiful essence all your own, and nobody could ever take your place on this planet. The contribution that you make is one that no other person can. Don't ever forget that.

Recognize That You Have the Power to Choose How You Feel

There are few things more empowering than recognizing that you have the ability to choose how you feel.

If you find yourself saying that a certain person or situation makes you angry or frustrated, it's time to take accountability for your own emotions and recognize that you are choosing to feel angry and frustrated.

No person or situation can make you mad unless that is what you choose.

You could just as easily choose not to care and let go of that negativity before it has even the slightest opportunity to take root in your mind.

Rather than choosing to give in to negativity, practice being positive and optimistic. That doesn't mean that you should deny that problems exist, but it does mean that you can put them into perspective and recognize that these problems really aren't the end of the world.

Choosing to be happy and optimistic might seem challenging in the beginning, but soon it will become a habit, and you will notice that your quality of life greatly improves when you learn to focus on the positive.

Do you think you have the capability to change your quality of life as it relates to work just by changing your attitude?

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Make This Job a Stepping Stone to Something Better

If you are in a job that you really don't like, hopefully you have no intention of staying there for long.

The tips listed above will help you to find more joy and satisfaction where you are at, but if you feel like you are meant for something better, by all means, go out there and make something better happen.

Draw on your strengths, focus on self-improvement so that you are constantly developing more skills to offer, and believe in yourself, and you will most definitely be able to find a job that you can enjoy.

In the mean time, you will feel liberated knowing that your job is a stepping stone on the way to something better rather than a final destination that you will never be able to escape from.

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    • profile image

      Getrude Hillary 20 months ago

      Very helpful. Thanks!

    • Becca Linn profile image
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      Rebecca Young 20 months ago from Renton, WA

      No problem! I'm glad you found it helpful!

    • gmwilliams profile image

      Grace Marguerite Williams 20 months ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      I staunchly believe that no one should stay/work in a job that they do not like. That is soul murder. I suggest that one should quit that job as that job is inconclusive to one's health. It is not worth it to remain in a job that one does not like. That is the definition of hell.

      Rather than to take a job that I do not like, I would rather be unemployed or create my own job. Never do a job that one does not like. Life is FAR TOO SHORT for that. Furthermore, when one is in a job h/she does not like, h/she will do poor work, have a poor attitude, and will subconsciously do things which result in his/her termination. Always do something that one has a passion for!

    • Becca Linn profile image
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      Rebecca Young 20 months ago from Renton, WA

      I hate to argue, but I hoped this will come across as a respectful opinion rather than an argument as I share my ideas.

      I agree that it is horrible to have a job that you don't like, which is why at the end of my hub I suggested that if you don't like your job, you should be on the look out for something better. I also agree that a stressful job can be bad for your health too which is why it is so crucial to find yourself a job that you enjoy.

      On the other hand, I strongly disagree about the idea that having a job you don't like leads to having a bad attitude and doing low quality work. The attitude we have and the quality of work we provide are both choices that we make for ourselves.

      How horrible and unempowering would it be if our attitude and our actions truly were controlled by a force outside of us? We would literally be slaves to whatever situations we find ourselves in each day.

      I've met a lot of people who feel that if the case, and I honestly feel bad for them. So many times in my life, people have asked me why I smile all the time, and when I tell them it's because I'm happy, they are amazed at how I can be happy in circumstances that appear to be difficult. It's not because I'm so crazy that I can't see the difficulty. It's because I can see through the difficulty and recognize not only that there are some positive outcomes that come from it, buy also that there is absolutely a solution for that difficulty coming in the future. In the case of an undesirable job. That solution would be an opportunity for a new job that is most definitely on its way if in willing to continue putting forth my best effort.

      Furthermore, I think there are very few situations where choosing unemployment is better for our health than being employed.

      Working, whether its at a job that we enjoy or not, is good for us emotionally, because it helps us feel that we have something to bring to the table and contribute in the world.

      Unemployment from a undesirable job may feel liberating for a while, but again it makes us slaves to others in a way and can be crippling to self esteem even more than a harsh work environment.

      It's hard to feel truly free when you know someone else is providing you with the basic needs for survival.

      Furthermore, unless you are working hard to spend your time of unemployment doing things that are for the greater good of the whole society, you will likely soon feel like you lack worth in the world and become depressed.

      Your infinite value does not decrease with lack of employment, but without a conscious effort to actively serve the community, the contribution you bring to the world does, and this will likely affect the way you feel about yourself. As I mentioned in my hub, when you choose to do your best quality work at your job, you can feel good about yourself even if you think this job is menial.

      One more reason not to choose unemployment unless it has become a medical emergency is that it is easier to find a job when you have a job. Employers generally are attracted to people who are already successful and gainfully employed. Gaps between times of employment on a resume make employers hesitant to trust that you are serious enough to stick with them.

      I whole heatedly agree with you that creating a new job where you are in charge is a fantastic option, and then you don't have to worry about what employers think. I think that's the best way to go if you can, but you still have to remember that running your own business has a set of stresses all its own, so you can't assume that as soon as you are your own boss, everything is going to be better.

      Wow, this became longer than I intended it to be. To sum it up, I think getting a better job is the best solution to a job that you don't like, but in most situations, I don't believe choosing unemployment is the answer.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 20 months ago from Home Sweet Home

      good advice, think positively

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