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10 little ways to be happier at a job you don’t like


Let’s face the facts — many of us – at one point or another – will unfortunately not like the job we’re in.  It takes time to figure out what we want and don’t want in the professional world, and that means spending time getting through some jobs that just simply don’t light us up.

Although one of the most important parts of creating a life and body we love is to find a career that stimulates us, we can’t all just quit our jobs and go follow our dreams immediately.

Sometimes we have finances to worry about, a family to support, a relationship keeping us in a certain city, or we just don’t know what else we want to do, so it makes sense to stay for now.

If you can’t immediately leave the job you don’t like, why not make it the best you can make it?

Before I started my own business as a Health Coach, I worked in a corporate, finance job for 3.5 years that I didn’t exactly “love” the entire time. Sure, there were times when I loved it, but toward the end when it became clear to me that I wanted to quit and start my own business, it was a serious challenge to get through the last 6-9 months or so and leave with a bang.

I looked at those last 9 months as a challenge and told myself I would do everything I possibly could to enjoy the rest of my time there. We don’t always have the perfect circumstances to live our most amazing lives, but we owe it to ourselves to do our best where we can.

When we put no effort into enjoying our careers, we end up with our hand in the cookie jar at 3pm consoling our boredom and lack of inspiration. I knew I didn’t want to rely on cookies to help me get through the day, so I made it my mission to get the most out of a job I didn’t like.
Here are some teensy strategies that can add up to make a big difference:

1. Make your desk look nice:

Start your day off right by walking into a beautiful, inspiring environment every morning vs. a boring, messy environment.



2. Reap all the benefits of the surrounding area:

At some point you (hopefully) won’t be at that job anymore, so while you’re there, try to reap all the benefits. Is there a cool cafe near your office that you won’t be as close to once you leave? Are there good shops around you? Is there a pretty park down the road? Get to know every inch of the area and enjoy it before it’s gone.

 3. Get cute notebooks:

Talk about the little things! Getting a cute notebook can make you immediately feel more creative, feminine and inspired. Even if you’re taking notes on a topic that you don’t give a crap about, maybe writing it in a place you love will make it better.

This is the one I currently use:


4. Invest in relationships with your co-workers:

These people won’t always be here, and while you think that the friendships may last once you leave, I can tell you from experience it is very hard to maintain work relationships once you’re gone. Pour yourself into these people — they are what will make every day brighter. Find out more about them, share more about yourself, connect.

 5. Learn how you work:

If you’re having a hard time getting through the work itself, learn what times of day you can power through and what times of day your motivation dies. If you’re a morning person, do the most annoying, tedious work in the morning and save work you like better for the afternoon when your energy wanes.

6.  Take epic lunch breaks:

You’re going to need a lot of breaks if you’re in a job you don’t like. Create ample time for your lunch. Here’s a post I wrote while I was still in my corporate job that talks about the importance of taking  lunch breaks. 


7. Inspire yourself with your style:

Ok so your job sucks and is totally uninspiring, but who says you can’t inspire yourself? What you wear is YOUR choice, and by throwing on an interesting pair of heels and some red lipstick, you might just find yourself exciting yourself all day.

Here’s a link to my Pinterest Board which has lots of fun outfits and styles I’m loving these days!



8. Take breaks every 90 minutes:

This book explains that our brains actually need breaks every 90 minutes in order to function best. Schedule little pleasure breaks every 90 minutes — check some blogs, grab a cup of coffee, laugh with a coworker, call your husband, walk around the block, online shop.

9. Ramp up the other parts of your life:

Since your work isn’t bring you tons of joy and excitement, it’s so important that you get these feelings from other areas in your life. Ramp up your social life, plan tons of fun stuff outside of work, love your mornings, take a photography class one day a week, start a hobby.

10. Get creative with the work itself:

Take control of the work you’re doing wherever you can. Your boss challenged you to come up with a new team initiative for the next month? Do it in a fun and creative way FOR YOU. Is there a certain part of your job that you actually do like? Try to get more involved in this area. Do you love working with a certain team? See where you can do more with these specific people. Push yourself to think outside the box about how you can take the work and make it more appealing to you.

Tell me, for those of you who have made the most out of a job you didn’t like, what strategies helped you? And if you’re struggling in a job you don’t like now, what are you going to start doing to get through it the best you can?
Let me know in the comments below! 



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  1. Sarah Simmons says

    Great tips! I am needing this blog post lately as it’s getting harder and harder for me to feel comfortable/fulfilled at my job. I have been trying to see it as a challenge to make sure I have what I need (i.e. more frequent breaks, etc.) during my work day and to work on more self compassion and self care. I don’t always succeed. I still turn to food sometimes. But I’m working on it. 🙂

  2. Shelly says

    Such great advice! Whenever I need a pick-me-up to make work a little more exciting, I also go out and buy new notebooks or pens. It’s the best to use a fun pen and notebook at work!
    I am also a fan of putting extra effort into my work. I find when that happens, I enjoy the work, and I’m able to make my clients happy. It’s a win-win! I leave for the day feeling on top of the world.

  3. Shannon @A Pinch of Ginger says

    I remember when we met and you were going through this Jamie! I’m now there and this was SO SO helpful. Sometimes it can be pity party of 1 and it’s important to turn that around into something productive and healthy!

  4. Kelsey @ Ramblings of Change says

    This is absolutely amazing! I finally got around to really reading into this post and jotting down some good notes. I’m starting my first “real job” next week, and while I’m really excited, this list will help me start off amazing! I already made a list of items to bring for my desk area, and plan to make a “little things schedule” so I remember to get up! Knowing all of this will make me start happy and stay happy. I know being an office assistant won’t always be my calling, but I think it is the next step in my life. =)


This place is for you: To explore what your soul needs to hear today.

I mainly write about Inner CriticSelf-CareFollowing Your IntuitionLife + Evolving, and the occasional Recipe. Enjoy!