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... to ask what your coping strategies are when you hate your job? Any practical tips?

(21 Posts)
ohgoditssunday Sun 09-Oct-11 19:55:47

(Sorry for namechange - I'm a longtime poster but I suspect a colleague knows my normal username.) Annnnyyyyway:

My career has always played "second fiddle" to DH's in terms of importance to the household - always supported my career, but by this I mean that my earning power is dwarfed in comparison to DH (he has never held this over me and our income is pooled very fairly).

But now, DH's job is under redundancy review - apparently if all goes well and the outcome is that he "wins" back his job out of the roles that are staying, he'll get a new contract which will be for at least 3 years or something (essentially very very secure if he gets kept on, and he's said he's quite sure it will be fine).

However, this means that my (admittedly small) income may be as trivial as it always has done, OR it could be our only salary for a few months whilst DH tries to secure a new job sad We find out the outcome of all of this in a few months (they aim to have completed the process by the new financial year according to DH).

The problem is that I'm hating my job just now, and I have been for the last year or so, steadily more and more. I don't find it fulfilling, I don't find it interesting, and although on paper my progress has been fine (promoted three times in the six years I've been here, I have my own team under me), I'm completely fed up with the office politics and bad management IMHO.

I have to keep my job as it could be our only lifeline in 2012, and there's no hope about me getting another job (I'm paid quite well in terms of the market rate for my role at the moment, so wouldn't get any more money, and i'd lost my extra benefits like holidays and bonus, potentially).

The problem is - Although DH knows how much I'm hating it - I don't have a choice but to stick with it. Of course, I will do this because it's for the good of the household - but AIBU to ask you all to share your coping tips?

Do you have any practical or mental tips that can help me overcome my sunday night depression, knowing I'm back at work tomorrow and detesting every moment of that experience?

Anyone? sad

HarrietJones Sun 09-Oct-11 20:19:59

I currently dislike my job. My current strategy is taking at least one days leave a month ( something to look forward to!), hiding my work bag etc at home( out of sight out of mind - hopefully!) and having nice packed lunches!

redwineformethanks Sun 09-Oct-11 20:47:23

I share your pain. I hated my job. Eventually I was made redundant. My advice would be to focus on the money and remind yourself that work is only part of your life

emsyj Sun 09-Oct-11 20:54:58

I used to have a job I hated (well, I had 2 in a row that I hated and for a while I wondered if I was just lazy and hated work as a concept, but now I have a job that I quite like so that's not true).

It is hard when you hate your job. It takes over your life and makes you miserable. Would it not be worth moving elsewhere even if you get less money and benefits? Sorry if that is a ridiculous suggestion. I now earn one quarter of what I used to, but am so much happier. It may not be practical for you but maybe you could think about whether you could cope earning less for the sake of preserving your health.

Are there people you like at work? I do think working with nice people can make a horrible job more bearable. Are there friends who work nearby that you could meet for lunch or coffee to break up the day?

I have found it helpful to see horrid jobs as something temporary. Plan your exit strategy. It does help a bit to think, 'I'm doing this now but it's not for ever' (rather than 'I'm going to be doing this for the rest of my life and hating it').

When I couldn't find a way out of my most recent hated job, I got pregnant blush. It worked out ok for me, but probably not practical for you.

duvetdayplease Sun 09-Oct-11 21:09:02

Grrr, typed a post then mumsnet ate it!

Anyway, general gist was - I had a horrid job once, not due to work so much as one team member making life hell (I had to manage her, shudder)

Things which kept me sane were - walks/exercise at lunch to get re-energised, treats e.g. cake (this is my motto for life tho, I am a bit chuby as a result!), tea for everyone (if you are miserable in your work then you might be miserable at work which could make others avoid you), volunteer for every thing that takes you out of your usual role, make conscious effort to make friends/network across the organisation to meet more people, get more goss and hear about other internal job opportunities, siging up for any learning even if just online modules.

Sorry to hear about the redundancy risk for your DP, sounds stressful. We had the same situation here and it is unsettling. Hop eit all works out well in the end.

laptopdancer Sun 09-Oct-11 21:11:21

I posted a sort of similar thing a few days back. I hate my job and feel the pressure to stay. Its hard to say how to cope tbh. Just thinking "Im just here for the money" I guess.

littleacceb Sun 09-Oct-11 21:12:04

I find that keeping a timesheet helps. You set yourself mini goals and give yourself rewards when you meet them. I'll make myself a coffee when I'm 20% of the way through the day, etc. Also, a To Do list so that you have something to cross out with big red lines can be very therapeutic.

Countdowns to things you like - seeing friends, time off, a film you want to see coming out - can help get you through as well.

Sorry it's crap. I've been there - I worked for a guy with severe Napoleon syndrome who would bark at me about files not being on his desk when they were, while repeatedly using the word "pacific" instead of "specific". My job now isn't exactly fun, but being paid by the hour helps enormously!

I uploaded my Excel fan timesheet to google docs, if you fancy borrowing it -

Agree with the suggestion of making sure you have at least one nice thing to look forward to each weekend, to make a real distance between work and relaxation time.

Agree also with going out/having coffee etc with the nice people from work - if it feels like you've got somebody you can cry on/moan to/have a laugh with, it can help hugely.

I also take quite a lot of care over work clothes, so that I feel nice and hopefully look okay - knowing that, although shallow, is sort of reassuring and makes the actual getting up and dressed for work more of a treat than a chore.

substantiallycompromised Sun 09-Oct-11 21:24:57

I don't like my job either much (although fortunately p/t) so really sympathise with you. I'm able to use the 2 days off I have a week to do things I enjoy though and that makes all the difference.

I would suggest you start looking around seriously at things you would really like to do and pursue them ie look in to training courses that you could combine with work or start applying for different jobs/networking in other areas. (Or failing those strategoes, start focusing seriously on a hobby that gives you pleasure.)

Then at least you know that you have a way out - or at least you are getting just a step closer to what you really want to be doing - when the time comes that you are able to leave your current position.

Good luck!

TheFarSide Sun 09-Oct-11 21:25:51

Life is too short to stay in a job you hate (see Steve Jobs video doing the rounds). In my case it sucked the life out of me and I didn't have the energy to look for something better. I was trapped by thinking the salary was good but have since realised I can manage on a lot less. It was redundancy that saved me.

Would you starve if you took a lower paid job? Or have you just got used to a certain lifestyle and the idea that you must earn the same salary?

Tchootnika Sun 09-Oct-11 21:26:26

1. Write a list/diary of things you hate about it: see what can/can't be changed or viewed differently.
2. Do all you can to view the shit side differently. The more you get wound up in feeling bad about work, the more you'll have to compensate while you're there, the more energy you'll use up.
3. Reward yourself as often as possible.
4. Move around physically as much as possible, plus deep breathing, getting outside in fresh air as much as possbible.
5. Think of/list transferable skills/ where the job might take you in professional terms - it's probably further than you think.
6. Remember why you're doing it, what a difference it makes, and that it, like all things, will pass.

(Just seen post above about nice clothes - definitely a good idea.)

AuntiePickleBottom Sun 09-Oct-11 21:33:14

Do something fun on a Sunday and don't allow your job to make you unhappy.

My moto is that I go to work to make money, and every thing else is a bonus

depob Sun 09-Oct-11 21:55:05

My paltry wage is crucial to the household - DP out of work - and I loathe every second of the job and have done for about 10 months now. The work is tedious but the main problem is the office politics which absolutely horrendous and due to crap leadership and even crapper management.
One thing I did which has really helped is to completely step out of the whole circus. I never volunteer for anything and I keep my mouth shut at meetings. I give advice or help willingly, but only when asked. I do my work efficiently but no more than that. I respond politely but never initiate any personal conversations. These people have backed off and are fairly careful how they approach me now, which suits me fine. It is a way of distancing the whole situation, and when I leave work I don't give it another thought till I find myself walking back through the door again. Grim, I know, but it helped me. And get out of the building at lunch-time whenever possible.

scottishmummy Sun 09-Oct-11 22:00:11

have a switch off routine
shower after work at home, change out work clothes
set max time for talking/thinking about work to 1hr and nothing over weekend
plan activities with your kids

An0therName Sun 09-Oct-11 22:04:27

what always helped as above was friends - someone you could go for lunch together - fun things at work -start a book club that kind of thing?

troisgarcons Sun 09-Oct-11 22:07:19

Yes ... its simple .... it pays the bills. I get up. I work. I get paid. NO one ever said I had to enjoy it.

PigletJohn Sun 09-Oct-11 22:11:50

If you enjoyed it, they wouldn't have to pay you.

pointydog Sun 09-Oct-11 22:14:08

Focus on the aspects of your life that you do enjoy and relish the fact that you are given money.

PersonalJesus Sun 09-Oct-11 22:44:39

Agree with scottishmummy, change out of work clothes and wash off the day. If you don't have to work at home, place all work stuff out of sight. It helped me to put all work clothes/shoes/bags in a separate cupboard from off duty clothes. I never set work clothes out ready for next day, they tormented me as I laid in bed.

Walking to the nearest green space at lunchtimes saved my sanity, reading a good book in the park allowed me valuable switch off time. On Friday nights I would have a bottle of wine and cook something special to celebrate the arrival of the weekend.

I hated my last job so much I used to vomit in the sink before my shift. I just kept reminding myself it was temporary, better things would come along and they did. Enjoy your free time, don't let work worries seep into it. I wish you well, ohgod. Chin up, lass.

scottishmummy Sun 09-Oct-11 22:47:48

i have a work wardrobe,work bag remains packed with all work stuff. i dont wear work clothes socially. put all work stuff i wardrobe til the good at compartmentalising.v efficient at it

you need a physical and emotional distance from work

PigletJohn Sun 09-Oct-11 22:48:17

getting out of the office at lunchtime is a very good move. You can just have your tea and sandwiches on a bench or in the car if there's nowhere economical nearby. Or drift round the shops.

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