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Wrong Jobs - making them bearable

Sometimes we find ourselves in what we would (politely) describe as a Wrong Job. It can come about for a variety of reasons. Maybe it was the only job you could get at a particular time, maybe it was described in one way but in reality, it is another. Maybe you just outgrew it. Whatever the reason, now you’ve admitted you’re in a Wrong Job and you’ve identified your way out by using some of the questions in my last blog. But before you start your Dream Job, you’ve still got time to do in this Wrong Job. Maybe it’s because you need to build a fund of money before you leave, maybe you’ve enrolled on a training course and it’s not going to start for a while. Whatever the reason, you’re in this Wrong Job for a little while longer. What can you do to make it more bearable?

  • Remember why you’re sticking at it. What is your motivation to stay? Remember you have a choice daily between quitting and staying. If you’re thinking, but I have to, ask yourself why you have to. Let’s say it’s money, well that’s ok. Because that money is buying you freedom down the line. Let’s say it’s contract commitments. Sticking to those is enhancing and endorsing your integrity. So why are you there? And if you need to remind yourself of that daily, then do so. Just keep your eye on that prize.

  • Find opportunities to do more of the things that you enjoy. Within work there could be aspects that you enjoy more than others, so ask to do more. But that’s not limited to work. What makes you feel happy, positive, optimistic? Do more of that instead of wallowing in the misery of being in a job you don’t enjoy. There’s definitely more to life so make the most of it.

  • Get outside for breaks. Not only will the daylight, fresh air and movement help you feel better physically and mentally, it could get you away from colleagues that you don’t want to spend time with. (And that happens even in a Right Job!) If you can combine this with a walk, all the better.

  • Work on your reward. Whilst I can’t really advocate food or drink as rewards (and after all, we’re not puppies), you know what is going to motivate you. Maybe it’s going out with friends on a Friday, maybe it’s spending 3 hours in the bath on Saturday morning listening to the radio, maybe it’s booking tickets to an awesome concert. Think about what will motivate you to see this time out and how you can reward yourself for doing so.

  • Be proactive with your employer. Are there opportunities for an exchange or a transfer to an area closer to what you want to do? Are there special projects or extra training that would make your time more bearable? Sitting back and taking your foot off the pedal because you’re counting down the days until you go will make those days seem to take much longer than if you carry on committing to giving your professional all at all times. And remember, this might be your Wrong Job now, but the people you’re working with and for may be involved in your Perfect Job later down the line. Burn no bridges!

Even when you're in a Wrong Job, you can still learn so much - about yourself, about the industry, about others. What's been your best lesson from a Wrong Job?

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