Don’t Quit! How to Be Happy at a Crappy Job

Men at Work
Men at Work | Epic Productions

If you’re in a job you don’t like, your first thought may be to start looking for a new one. You may even be tempted to quit a bad job without having another position lined up. Unless you have adequate financial resources, this may not be the best move.
“Don’t make an impulsive decision you may regret. If there is some way — any way — to neutralize the situation, by all means try to do so. If not, don’t quit unless you have no other option and the situation is utterly unbearable,” career coach Roy Cohen told The Cheat Sheet.
The good news is you don’t have to suffer. There are some ways for you to make life a little more pleasant until you find the right job.

Learn as much as you can

Co-workers meeting
Co-workers at a meeting | Source: iStock

Just because you hate your job doesn’t mean you can’t use it as an opportunity to learn. Think of your crappy job as a stepping stone. If your employer offers free or low-cost training, sign up for as many workshops and seminars as you can. Use this time to sharpen your skills for your next job. You can also work on learning more about your strengths and weaknesses and learning how to use this knowledge to your advantage.
Lisa Quast, author of Secrets of a Hiring Manager Turned Career Coach, said many employees lack and need to sharpen their leadership skills. “Leadership and navigation is the most critical competency for businesses now and in the next decade, according to a recent Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) survey. However, this competency – which they define as ‘the ability to direct and contribute to initiatives and processes within the organization,’ is something most employees and job candidates lack. It’s estimated that 3.6 million baby boomers are going to retire in 2016. This means businesses will be replacing a lot of senior leaders and managers. If you aspire to hold a leadership role, now is the time to sharpen your skill set,” Quast said in her Forbes column.

Take breaks

Man relaxing
Worker taking a break| Source: Thinkstock

Resist the urge to work straight through lunch. Get up and walk around. Also take advantage of your vacation days. Taking a moment to step back and recharge can help you clear your mind and give you the energy you need to work at your job until something better comes along.

Help out

Co-worker helping out
Team work | Source: iStock

Try not to focus too much on what’s wrong with your job. Instead, make an effort to help a co-worker in need. Being a team player can help lessen the stress of the job by taking your mind off of the negative aspects of work.


man checking off items on a to-do list
To-do list | Source: iStock

Instead of wasting time and energy worrying about how miserable you are at your current job, take action. Save up some money and make an action plan for finding a new job. Keep your thoughts on how happy you’ll be once you’re out of there.
Career strategy coach Leila Hock advises planning as soon as you know you want to leave. “No one makes good decisions out of desperation and the last thing you want to do is end up in the same position in a year or two. In short, create a plan, vet it, save money, and then quit. Put your energy outside of your job that’s making you unhappy into planning and it will make your current role more bearable,” said Hock.
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