3 ways to stay motivated in a job you hate

“I hate my job. I really want to move but I can’t. I am stuck.”

If I had a pound for every time I heard that statement, or words to that effect I would be a rich woman. I get it, honestly, I do. I remember staying in a job because I had a good salary and the ‘security’ of a permanent role. I had people depending on me and I had bills to pay but I dreaded going in to work every day. I didn’t realise it at the time but the job didn’t fit my values anymore.

If you are a regular reader of my blog you will see many posts talking about doing a job you love but I know that doesn’t seem possible to everyone. In fact, it can seem downright impossible. You might need to stay in a job you hate, or one which you are bored in or demotivated. If this resonates with you here are 3 tips to stay motivated whilst you plan your alternative.

Assess the situation

Find out what the real issue is

Think about a time when you did feel happy in your role. What has changed since then? When you understand the root of the issue you can start taking steps to finding a solution. This might mean that the job you are in improves or it might help you not to repeat history in a new role.

Once I realised that I wasn’t getting the opportunities to be as creative as I had been I was able to find other outlets for my creativity. I looked for ways to be creative in the other elements of my job like mentoring and training others or in the marketing materials. I also looked outside my role and took up some creative hobbies.

Plan your future

If you can’t see yourself in the role you are in – what would you like instead? Think about where you are going and what you need to get there. If you can get a clear vision (I can help you if you can’t) of what you would like in 1, 2 or maybe 5 years in the future then your role can become more bearable as your focus shifts. When you have something to look forward to, it can make a big difference to you.

When I was planning my new job I kept a notebook filled with what I wanted my future to look like and looked at it frequently to make sure I was on track. You might use a vision board, Pinterest, a notebook, an excel sheet…whatever works for you!

Find balance

Leave the frustration at work

Try and leave the negativity of work at work. It’s not easy but taking out your frustration on those around you is tough for you and for them. I would advocate putting a ‘trip-wire’ in place. By which I mean putting in place a routine that works a bit like a switch in your brain to encourage you to do something e.g. when you leave the door of the office you say something like “I am leaving my frustration here” or “time to be my best self”.

Continue to grow

Even when you hate your job you can still find ways to grow. It’s easy to stagnate in a job you dislike as you might feel worthless or unimportant. Remember that you are not your job. If you can separate yourself from your role then you can find ways to improve yourself professionally.

It doesn’t need to be something you pay for or a qualification – although it might be both of those. Think back to what you need to do to get where you need to be. It might be talking to someone, attending a networking event, volunteering or taking part in some training at work.

Be thankful for what you do have

Find a coping strategy

We all have bad days, especially in a job you hate! Finding ways to manage your bad days will help you. It might be calling a good friend or taking a walk outside during your break. Taking a moment to notice the good things around you and be grateful for them can help you too. Remember your vision and what you are working towards.

Make time for the things you love

Whether it’s running, art, music…knowing what makes your heart sing and scheduling it in to your calendar every week is important for your self-care. Spend at least an hour doing what you love to keep you motivated to make the changes you need.




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