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Working a job is part of life. At some point, virtually all of us will have worked for someone else. There are those who go on to own their own companies and there are those who will work for the man for their entire lives.

Unfortunately, far too many people are dissatisfied with their careers.

If you’re a business owner and you hate your job, sell it and go do something else.

If you’re an employee and you hate you job, what should you do?

Your Options At Work

The vast majority of people who hate their jobs will not quit. People will stay in a crap job for years for any number of different reasons. If you choose to stay in your job, then you need to find a way to make yourself at least a little happy.

I’ve been working in a job/career for 9 years that is so wrong for me, it’s not even funny. At first I was intrigued by the thought of being a stock broker. After a year I realized that it wasn’t anything like the movie “Wall Street” and in fact, sucked badly.

However, I was good at it and I was making more money that I ever had, so I stayed. Fast forward 8 years and a number of pay raises, and I’m stuck. Good job, 2 kids, stay at home wife, a shit load of expenses, and seemingly no way out.

So, after spending years on end being miserable, I have crafted numerous ways to make my work life more palatable.

Before I get into how to make your days better, I will say that I am of the mindset that if your job is making your quality of life worse and is affecting your overall happiness and well being, you need to get the fuck out.

It won’t be easy or maybe even responsible, but there is always work out there for someone hungry enough to find it. I truly believe that.

Getting Through The Day

Even if we feel like giving our 2 week notice every single day, there are still a few things that we can do to make our days a little more endurable?

Think long-term. If you can’t see greener pastures in the future, then you’re sunk. Accepting your fate is the worst thing you can do. Even if you are a complete idiot with absolutely no skills, there are still jobs out there that will make you happier. Know where you want to be in 3 years or 5 years and work towards it every day.

Don’t be a sell out. By sellout I mean someone who hates their job and/or boss yet will pretend that they love it, maybe even for years. The reason this is a bad idea is that: 1) It annoys your coworkers. You will come across as a phony and nobody likes a phony. 2) You will tend to forget what your principles are. If you feel strongly about your job and know that quitting is ultimately the best move, then you need to keep that in mind and focus on your goal.

Find office accomplices buddies. This is a key factor in your sanity. In “Office Space”, Peter relied on Michael and Samir for moral support. We need to do the same. If you’ve got a boss who is an asshole, then chances are that others hate him/her as well. While talking shit about them openly may get you fired, find a buddy and be discreet. We need to vent about our jobs. Why do you think therapists have so much business?

Keep your mind off the negatives. And by negatives, I mean work. If you hate your work, then spending all of your time thinking about it will wear you out. I suggest taking some “you” time at least 5 or 6 times each day. Some call this unproductive, but I call it respite care for the mind. For example, if I stared at my computer all day long, I would snap. Therefore, I choose to get up and take frequent walks, read non work related things, and socialize. It’s actually better for productivity if you think about it.

Don’t take it home with you. Chances are that if your job is awful then it’s taking a toll on some aspects of your life outside the office. If you’re single, then you can go blow off some steam at a bar, but if you’re married, it’s much different. Married people know that it takes a lot of hard work to keep a marriage healthy and strong. Bringing negative vibes, complaints, and pissy moods home is a surefire way to anger and annoy your spouse. If you have children, they don’t need to see that either. Do you really want your 5 year old thinking that working a job equals unhappiness? Neither do I.

All in all, I think there are definitely ways to improve your situation at work, even when it sucks. As I have said time and time again, I wholeheartedly believe in finding something that you are truly passionate about and then figuring out how to earn a living from it.

In the meantime, keep your head up and don’t ever forget your dreams.

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