A lot of us hate our job or at least see it as a grind. Getting up in the morning is a chore, there’s not much we look forward to. We become dichotomous in our thinking: “Maybe I should quit.” In other words, it’s either this crappy job or nothing at all. And leaving is often too big of a hill to climb. There’s another way.
Make your job suck less.
1. Find people who don’t suck, and hang out with them.
Ask them what they do and what they like about it. They don’t have to be in your discipline, in fact, it might be better if they’re not. Most important, make sure this new alliance doesn’t turn into a venting session (for either of you).
2. Start a pet project.
What change do you wish to see at work? What would give you energy if it was there waiting for you every day? Maybe it’s about addressing the culture of the company, maybe it’s about changing a process, or rearranging furniture. Own something and chip away at it. Create something to look forward to.
3. Expand your perspective.
Pull back and look at the whole organization, the workflow across the entire enterprise, no matter how big. Which parts light you up. Are you touching them? How can you make it so that you are?
4. Harness your negativity in a positive way.
Determine what’s frustrating you, get to the heart of it. If it’s mostly about you, that’s good news. That means you can change it. If the problems lie with the company, think about an alternative way of doing things. If it really catches fire with you, turn it into a proposal and bring it to a supervisor. Share it in earnest but as a proposal, not a demand. You may be surprised by the reaction.
5. Give yourself something to get up to.
Try not to have your first thought be about the job you hate. Have your first thought or activity of the day be something good. This will shift your perspective for the rest of the day, including your perspective at work.
Sometimes, it’s not about leaving. It’s about tweaking. Change is at hand.