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8 Ways to Deal with a Job that You Hate but Can't Afford to Leave

It's not uncommon to find yourself in a high-paying, great benefit-having job that you absolutely hate. Or even worse, an OK paying job that you hate! Maybe the work is too stressful, the workload is overwhelming, or maybe you simply aren't challenged by the work you're doing.

Whatever the reason, it can be difficult to know what to do when you're making good money but feeling miserable. In this post, we'll explore some strategies for dealing with a job you hate but can't yet afford to walk away from.

Make The Most Of Your Time Outside Of Work

When you're in a job you hate, it's important to make the most of your time outside of work. Find hobbies or activities that bring you and make time for them regularly. This can help you to feel more balanced and fulfilled, even if your job is less than ideal.

You may also want to consider taking on a side hustle or starting your own small business, which can give you a sense of control and purpose outside of your day job. Then of course there's the added benefit of it one day in the future becoming a new career that you are more passionate about!

Prioritize and Plan your Time

If part of the problem is that the job is taking up most of your time, or the workload is off the charts, try to be more intentional about your time, both on and off the clock. My goal setting and productivity digital program will provide space and guidance to clear your mind, and experiment with nine proven productivity techniques to feel less overwhelmed and be more productive. Sometimes helping to reduce the feelings of overwhelm can reduce that hate you have for the job you're in right now.

Imagine a Miracle

I know it may sound pointless especially when you are fed up, but hear me out. Taking the time to envision what you would love for your life to look like can be a powerful tool for mental wellness.

There is an exercise that I use often in my work with my clients called “The Miracle Question”. Imagine that when you go to bed, a miracle occurs as you sleep. It's magical and perfectly timed. When you wake up it has solved your problems, rippling over to other aspects of your life. When you open your eyes, how do you know that this miracle occurred?

What do you see that is different? How do you feel? Is there anything different about your room or your home? What are now in your surroundings? Where do you work? What do you see there at work? How do you feel? What are your relationships like? What are you experiencing when you are having fun?

As you are thinking about everything try not to think about if or how these things can happen. The goal is to just envision what THAT life would look and feel like... the one that would create a sense of joy inside. You can work with a coach or other type of professional to figure out the how later down the road if you choose to do so. You don't have to do everything on your own. Right now, just dream.

Then, create a vision board and find images that represent THAT life so that you can actually see it. You can cut pictures out of magazines and glue them on paper or a poster board, create something online using a program like Canva, or create a board in Pinterest.

Make time for self care

Remember that it's important to take care of yourself during this time. Make sure you're getting enough sleep, exercise, and healthy food. Take breaks throughout the day to stretch, meditate, or do something else that helps you to relax.

For example, my digital program for wellbeing and balance can start you on your journey to turning overwhelm and anxiety into clarity and relief. Receive several coping tools to start combating everyday challenges like fear, anxiety, worry, stress, negativity overwhelm, burnout, anger, and sadness. By taking care of yourself, you'll be better equipped to handle the challenges of your job.

Look For Opportunities To Grow Within The Company

Just because you hate your current job doesn't mean you hate every aspect of your company. Look for opportunities to grow and develop within the company, even if it means switching departments or taking on a new role. Talk to your manager or HR representative to see what options are available to you. You may be surprised at the opportunities that exist within your organization. While the things that happen within your company are often out of your control, it may still be worth exploring your options if you haven't already done so.

Focus On The Positive Aspects Of Your Job

Even if you hate your job, there are likely some positive aspects that you can focus on. Maybe you have great cocoworkers, enjoy your clients, or you enjoy some unique additional perks that come with your position in addition to the paycheck and insurance. Go back and review your benefits to see if there are other things you can be taking advantage of.

Try to focus on these positive aspects and find ways to amplify them. This can help to make your job feel more tolerable and may even help you to find some enjoyment in your work.

Maybe the part that causes you the most stress (like an annoying coworker or a bad boss) has the potenial to change at some point in the future. The company could reorganize departments, "redirect" that person's career, or the person could do you a favor and ease right out of your life on their own.

Seek Help from a Professional

If you're feeling really unhappy in your job, it may be helpful to seek professional help. A career coach, employment agency or headhunter/recruiter can help you to explore your options and figure out what steps you can take to improve your situation. And a certified mental health coach like myself can provide you with coping strategies and support as you navigate this difficult time.

In fact, my digital program for careers does just that, and is a great place to start when looking to take back your power over your work-life. With this on-demand program you are walked step-by-step through guidance to help you navigate how you think about your work, and a powerful, science-based career personality assessment to help determine which jobs are most likely to match your aptitude AND satisfy your individual personality and motivational factors. Remember, there's nothing wrong with seeking help when you need it.

Plan your exit

I know the whole point of this article is that you can't afford to leave right now. Just remember, this situation is temporary and you do still have the option to plan your exit. It may not feel like it right now but you do have the power to craft a plan for changes in your life and career.

Unless you are in some type of legally restrictive, forced labor, or incarceration situation... leaving is still an option. It may just take a reduction in expenses, some extensive job searching, and a little creativity to find a job that brings you more joy and fulfillment.

Take home message

Being in a great-paying job that you hate can be a difficult situation to navigate. However, there are strategies you can use to make the most of your situation. By focusing on your outside interests, looking for growth opportunities within the company, and finding ways to focus on the positive aspects of your job among other things, you may be able to make your situation more tolerable.

And remember, you always have the option to leave your job if it becomes unbearable, but in the meantime, try to make the most of your situation and find ways to be happy and fulfilled outside of work.

If you would like more personalized support navigating a career that you can't stand or other challenges in your life, please don’t hesitate to reach out or sign up for one of my Coach2GO coaching programs today!


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