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6 minute read

Stressed at Work? How To Deal with a Job You Don’t Like

You might feel devastated to discover that your new role is a bad fit. However, not all is lost – here are some ways you can manage this less-than-ideal new job.

Starting a new job always feels exhilarating. You walk into your new office with high hopes for this new chapter in your career – but things may not turn out as you expect. Once your initial excitement peters out, the cracks begin to show: your new job is not as fun and rewarding as you thought it would be.

Before you search for greener pastures, here is how to deal with a job you don’t like.

Process your emotions and be honest with yourself

First, ask yourself if you’ve given this role a chance. A new job can be as nerve-wracking as it is thrilling. After all, you start from scratch – learning new workflows, dealing with fresh faces, understanding different software, and adjusting to a novel company culture. It can feel overwhelming, which may contribute to your displeasure. Ensure you have given yourself and the company enough time to get to know each other.

Having done that, how do you feel? Do you still hate it? It’s okay if the answer is yes. Acknowledge your emotions and break them down to understand why you respond this way. Your feelings are valid but also sway you into impulsive reactions. Do you hate the job, or are you struggling to learn the ropes?

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To assess if the job is worth staying in, consider what made you accept the role. Did you think it would help evolve your career? Did the paycheck convince you? Are your struggles just a hump on the road or a massive obstacle that affects your emotional, physical, and mental well-being?

Take some time to lay down the facts and what makes you upset about your current situation. They will help you see which of your concerns can be solved.

Communicate and set boundaries

Suppose you feel like the bad fit is due to a misalignment in expectations. In that case, it may be best to communicate with your line manager or HR manager before immediately resorting to an exit plan. Does the job digress from your contract? Is the workload unreasonable? You must try to get on the same page with your boss or employer concerning your employment terms. Additionally, propose solutions for better working conditions to avoid getting burnout and unmotivated.

How to like your job when you hate it

Not everything starts peachy, and judging a situation from the get-go may cost you your success. Of course, this tip doesn’t apply to situations where you feel abused and disrespected as an employee. If your new company or boss shows red flags and doesn’t seem to value their people’s worth, consider looking for a new job as soon as possible.

However, if your struggles involve things that you think can be addressed, consider taking them on with a can-do attitude before deciding that it’s time to let go. Here are some ways you can bring positivity to your workdays.

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Attract some good office vibes

Does facing your office desk and dealing with your daily tasks constantly feel like a drag? You can start by making your space feel lighter and more positive. Spark some joy by shopping for office essentials that may motivate you – some cute stationery with motivational quotes can make jotting down notes, ticking off daily tasks, and fixing your schedule more fun.

You may also try dressing up to feel great or wearing perfume that perks you up. Consider getting a desk plant (or two) to add life to your desk and bring in some fresh air. Sometimes, the more you dwell on the negative aspects of your job, the more it becomes unbearable. But if you choose to be more in control and take on each task with a cheerful heart, it may develop into everything you need to help you grow.

Build office friendships

According to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, work friends are a big reason many people stay in a job. As a newcomer, you don’t have to befriend everyone in the department immediately, but it also won’t do you any good to isolate yourself. Reach out to your colleagues – maybe start with the ones sitting next to you or those you directly work with. Sometimes, a simple greeting is all you need to initiate a good friendship.

Give it a shot and challenge yourself

Your new job may entail a new set of responsibilities, but you can still take it as an opportunity for growth. If you perform your duties and perceive them as an opportunity to develop your skills, you may eventually gain more from the unfavourable situation.

Identify a goal

The beginning may be challenging. However, if this new job will help you improve or gain new perspectives and a fresh skill set for your long-term goals, then wouldn’t it be worth it? Having an end goal and creating a system to get you there may help you enjoy the ride.

When it’s truly time to move on

When you’ve exhausted all possible solutions and ways to like your new job but can’t seem to move forward without feeling miserable, it may be time to embark on a new journey.

Stay professional

Your new job may not be what you have hoped for, but continue showing respect and professionalism. Courteously discuss your decision with your manager, and resign gracefully.

Reach out to your old employer

If you don’t have the financial freedom to leave your job, you may consider reaching out to your old employer to see if you can still get your previous position back. Be sure you have adequately contemplated if going back is the better choice since you had probably left for a valid reason.

Start applying

If going back to an old employee or staying at your current one won’t cut it, start looking for jobs and applying for positions more aligned with your skills, goals, and a company culture that best suits you.

Ask for help from your internal network

Contact friends, old colleagues or managers to see if anyone is currently hiring. You may also consider short-term work to keep your finances intact if you wish to leave your current job situation sooner.

Let your experience be a lesson

Like how you put your best foot forward during a job interview, so do employers. Consider job interviews not just as a way to show why you can be a valuable asset to the company but also to see how the company can help you grow and reach your full potential. Evaluate employers by carefully going through the job description, asking questions, looking out for red flags, and doing thorough research.

This article is contributed by Jobstreet

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