So you’re lucky enough to have a job in our still-pretty-crappy economy. That’s good. But chances are, it may not be your dream job. If it feels more like a nightmare, but you know you can’t afford to quit and haven’t found a better offer yet, there are ways to deal with being stuck in a job you hate. Really. Take a deep breath and let it all out, and see if these tips help.
Keep your paycheck in mind and compartmentalize.
Everyone says a job is a job. There’s some truth in that. If you know you’re not up for anything better, tough it out as long as you possibly can. At the end of the day, you’re going to work to be able to eat. If you can compartmentalize and keep your work life separate from the rest of your life, you’ll already start to feel a little better.
Become familiar with office politics and put on a happy face.
Of course it would be awesome if office politics didn’t exist and everyone just got ahead based on their own merit, but that’s unfortunately not how the world works. Don’t become an ass-kisser and lose all sense of self-respect and integrity, but know who’s really in charge and how to at least stay off of her bad side. Smile and say “good morning” everyday and “have a good night” when you leave. You don’t need to be everyone’s best friend, but be pleasant enough so that they’re pleasant back to you.
Know who your enemies are and keep them within arm’s reach.
Of course, at any job and anywhere else, you may run into someone who just doesn’t like you and never will. Know who these people are and watch your back. Don’t reveal any information to them and go out of your way to be polite and cordial in their presence. Not only will you look great doing it, it also just pisses them off way more if they’re not getting the best of you (at least to their knowledge).
Engage in activities outside of work.
If waking up and trudging to a flourescent-lit office is the only thing you look forward to all day everyday, that’s no good. If you have hobbies and interests outside of the job you hate, even if it just means teaching yourself a new recipe or getting lost in a great book or the new Gotham episode when you get back to your apartment, you’ll be a little happier overall.