How do we minimize the mismatch between what we think pleases us and what does?
You hate your life if you hate your job.
Hate steals your mojo.
You’d think it’s only bad when you work, but it’s a lie. The attitude you have for your job spills over your life. So, you feel hopeless while meeting with friends because you just left work. The standard advice is to switch jobs, but it solves only half of the problem(or less).
What if you can’t?
Then, this piece is for you.
It’s still for you if you can because you’ll bring the hate to another position.
Let’s break the circle. We work for a third of our lives. It’s a great idea to like that third instead of hating it so it poisons the rest.
Definition of The Problem
You reading this means you have shelter, food, and time.
Yet, the job you have seems unbearable. You complain about it, and deep down, you hate it. When you wake up on Monday, you know it’ll be a bad day. So, you don’t want to get up and feel lifeless after you finally do.
You see, hating your job affects your whole life.
It’s not only affecting those hours you work but also those you have for yourself. They get poisoned by your attitude. If you can’t engage with what you do for 8 hours, you stop engaging for the next 8. The worst thing is you can have a fantastic life, a loving partner, kids, and a house and still feel disengaged.
Hating that significant part of your life makes you blind to what you already have.
Your job may not be the best, but did you try improving your attitude toward it? In the end, it’s on you. The work environment may help or interfere, yet you always have a choice, even if it’s hard to make.
I’ve identified that the underlying issue for hating your job is the lack of vision for life. When you don’t know what you want, nothing has meaning.
It’s Easy to Mistake Fulfilment With Short-term Pleasure
Why do you hate something that brings food to your table?
Because you reduce its purpose to earning money. You forgot about your “why”. Without the why, anything we do is meaningless. The lack of meaning pushes us toward cheap dopamine. We spend life on hold, watching series after series on Netflix, never chasing our dreams.
We assume pleasure is a substitute for meaning.
But we’re not aware of this assumption. We don’t know we lack meaning. And when you can improve your state for a while, you think you’re doing great. You look around at others and see they’re doing the same. Most people hate their jobs. Why shouldn’t you?
Then, the focus is only on making it through the day.
Unfortunately, there is an inertia in your mood, so after 8 hours of work, you can’t get into a better mood quickly enough. You’re tired because doing something you don’t want to is hard. You go to sleep, and you feel you’ve wasted the day. Then you wake up only to start again. It’s easy to hate it.
Luckily, there is a way out. And it doesn’t require you to change jobs immediately.
A Way out of Hate, Without Losing Your Only Source of Income
Hate dissipates when you engage in what you’re doing.
That’s easy to write and understand, but the steps to achieving that are unclear. So, I broke them down into three parts:
They let you work on the job you hated with a new approach. Let’s go.
If you can’t change circumstances, change how you see them.
Regarding work, we love knowing why we’re doing something. And through our lives, we forget what our reasons were. It’s even more true when your job is not the one you dreamt of. It’s getting harder to engage in because you can’t feel it. So, you slip through days, doing the minimum to avoid getting fired.
I want to give you a way to switch your perspective.
Integrate your job with your higher purpose. Go to one level of abstraction higher than you were before. Instead of treating your job only as a food provider, use it to support your life goals. When you work for your future self, it gets easier.
Create your why by looking at the bigger picture. Use your job to fund your dream.
No matter your job’s bad, you have two ways out, and only one is right.
The first option is to accept how it is. Which will allow you to look for solutions. From there, you must face and overcome your feelings or change the job. The prize is the peace of mind.
The other option is to resist how things are. You can complain and do nothing to change the situation. Then the free time you have you waste on hating your job.
You know which way is the right way.
Distractions are your enemy when it comes to engagement.
And the only way to enjoy doing something is to focus on it. Sinking into a book while talking with your spouse is impossible. There is no way to get swallowed by a story when you constantly check your phone.
You can only get into a flow state if you stay focused.
The same applies to engaging in work. Find the task you must finish, and give it your full attention. Let yourself work on one thing. You’ll slow down but get more done because you’ll have a distraction-free mind.
What If You Have No Goals?
Use your dreams.
Create a list of things you want to achieve. By doing so, you’ll clarify what you care about. Write anything you want, from little whims to big life goals. Write as many as you want.
Now, it’s time for fun.
Choose five things from your list. The rest becomes your “unwanted list.” Avoid them at all costs. When you finish your 5 goals, can you work on the next ones?
This way, you create a vision for your life. You can use it to justify the meaningless job by making it your life’s vision sponsor.
What if You Tried Everything and Still Hate Your Job?
I promised a way without losing your only source of income. So, don’t do it immediately. Make it a process. Use the job you have to find a job you want. It will work like putting your current job into a bigger picture. You want that.
We love to understand things, so we need a way for everything.
If you can’t find a way, create it yourself. Now, finding a new job may not be easy. You can be like me from ten years ago: no experience, knowledge, or communication skills. Then, identify what you need to become to get your desired job. Use that to create a direction for your life.
Make a job hunt your goal.
Remember that not trying has a cost, too. If you’re scared of losing income, think about how you feel now. Do you want to stay miserable for the rest of your life? No. You want to enjoy life, so prepare a strategy for getting a job that allows you to.
If you hate your job, you hate your life.
However, how you see your job depends on you. The more you engage in it, the more enjoyable it gets. You can change your perspective by putting your job into a bigger context. Use it to support your dreams.
Finding meaning in work will help you battle the lack of will to live outside work.
The meaning comes from knowing why you work. You can decide on that and not rely on luck to find it. If you have no bigger picture yet, spend some time creating it. List your dreams, and start going after the five most important ones. They’ll show you a direction to follow, and your job can support you on the journey there.
And if you’re sure you did everything you could to improve your attitude toward your job – change it. The worst thing you can do is to stay at a job you hate, not being able to put it into your higher life’s purpose.
In the end, the only thing that matters is for you to know that you have a choice. No matter how hard it is. Decide and take responsibility for your decision. Enjoy the meaning you create. Do your job to fulfill your dreams.
There is a tool that helps you find out what you want, and it’s a journal.
After three years, I’ve gathered the best prompts that helped me build the life I wanted, and now they’re yours – JOIN MY FREE JOURNALING COURSE.