When Dreams Go Wrong: How to Handle a Job That’s Causing You Problems

This is a contributed post, but photography is my own.

We all go into a job hoping that this is going to be the one the sticks, the one that’ll bring professional fulfilment to our lives. Alas, it doesn’t always work out that way, as anyone who’s had a job that made them want to tear their hair out can attest to. However, while it’s easy to slump into a negative attitude, it’s important to remember that that won’t get you very far. And in any case, there’s no need to be like that, because there always things you can do to improve your circumstances. Below, we take a look at a number of steps you can that’ll make your professional life all the more manageable.

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Take a Step Back

We spend a large chunk of our life at work, so it’s understandable that it has a massive influence on how we feel. However, sometimes we can be guilty of being too close to the situation. If we exist in the ‘bubble of work,’ then our issues can become all-consuming. Or, to put it another way, we make our problems seem much bigger than they actually are. That’s why it’s always good practice to get a sense of perspective from time to time. Whether that’s meditating, working out, or spending the weekend in nature, when there’s a bit of distance between you and your job, you might find that things aren’t quite as bad as you thought. Or you might find that things are even worse. Either way, you’re likely to take steps to improve your working life.


Do Your Job Well

A bad boss can be a terrible thing to contend with on a daily basis. But no matter how frustrating they might become, it’s imperative that you continue to do your job to the best of your ability. Now, we know it’ll be tempting to fall into the viewpoint of “I don’t like this person, therefore I don’t want to work hard for them,” but in the long run, that mindset will only hurt one person: you. You’re not going to be in this job forever; when it comes to your next employers, you want to be able to show that you delivered your best work even when the going got tough.


Leave it at the Office

Negative thinking breeds negative thinking. When you’re in the office, you’ll constantly be thinking about how much you dislike your job, what you’d do if only you can afford to leave it, and so on and so forth. And when you’re home? If you’re still thinking about how much you hate your job, then you’re only torturing yourself. Instead, enjoy yourself. You have a finite amount of hours during the day; don’t waste them!


Do What You Can

If you can’t up and leave your job straight away, then you can at least do what you can do to improve the situation. This might involve talking with your boss, speaking with HR, or simply identifying the triggers that seem to set off a bad atmosphere in the office, and then do your best to avoid them. You’ll have more power than you think you do: the situation, after all, is not set in stone. If you can find a few small ways to improve your daily routine, then do it. You don’t have to just sit idly by and accept whatever comes your way.


Know When To Get Serious

Of course, an annoying or mildly nasty boss is one thing; it’s another thing entirely if your boss is a bully, or breaking the law, or anything else that falls under the category of ‘serious.’ If there’s a serious matter that needs reconciling, then use a service like ACAS, which exists to improve relations between employer and employee. You don’t have to settle for working conditions that are wholly unsatisfactory. It can be intimidating to speak up all by yourself, but if you have a strong organisation offering support, then you’ll be more confident proceeding with your complaints.


Bring Humor to the Situation

Your issue might just be with your boss; but what about your coworkers? If you feel one way about your job, then there’s every chance that your colleagues feel the same way, too. This can be a source of enjoyment that’s worth holding on to as you navigate your murky world of work. While it can be difficult, try your best to bring a positive attitude to the workplace. Even if things aren’t so great, you might become an inspiration to the other workers. Be the change you want to see in the world, as Gandhi would say.


Look at Yourself

While it can be oh so tempting to point fingers and blame people around you, it’s always a good idea to take a look at yourself too. By conducting a bit of self-analysis, you might find that you’re not quite as strong of an employee as you might have thought. For example, your conflicts with your boss might be because of your poor attitude, which has been growing for months on end since you decided that this isn’t the job that you want to have. Focus on self-improvement, and see if anything changes.


Look at Other Options

Now, we know that there are logistical issues when it comes to working life. You have to pay the bills; you need to work, and so on. But that doesn’t mean you can’t look for a different job in the meantime! You’re highly unlikely to be required to stay in your present job. If things are really getting you down, then look for other work.


To the Future

And when you do look for other work, be careful not to make the same mistakes as last time. When you’re desperate for work, you can sometimes overlook some warning signs, but this is an obvious mistake. Make sure you’re paying attention to the atmosphere of the office during the interview, read reviews online, and so forth. That way, you’ll end up in a job you enjoy being in.


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    • Maya Fleming
      January 28, 2018 / 7:56 pm

      Same! Thanks for reading!

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