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.
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!