Monday, August 15, 2016

5 Ways to Survive an Unfulfilling Job

Okay, so like more than half of Americans are unhappy with their jobs.  Is this surprising?  Well, it probably depends on which side you're on.  If you love your job, and find the work you do fulfilling or magical or life giving or some other big adjective, then the rest of this post is probably not going to make much sense to you.  But, if you wake up each Monday with a case of the blues, or you just wish you knew what you wanted to be when you grew up, this post is for you.

As someone who still isn't sure what I want to do with my life (and now in my 30s), here are some strategies for surviving.
  1. Figure out what you enjoy doing.  Not what you can make a lot of money at or think you're expected to want to do.  What do you enjoy?  If you aren't really sure anymore, think about when you were a kid, what did you like to do?  For me, I've always had three main loves, that I can trace back from childhood to the present: baking, reading, and writing.
  2. Figure out ways you can use these skills, even if it's not in work.  I find that having another area of your life where you're growing can make life more satisfying.  So, if you love animals, volunteer at your animal shelter, or if their social media could use some help, offer.  If you love to write, think about blogging, or if you don't want to have that kind of commitment or are nervous about it, get in touch with bloggers and see if you could contribute for them.  I don't know of any small bloggers that have a budget for guest posters, but if you have something to write about and want to share you wisdom, they may let you use their platform to get your feet wet.
  3.  Don't neglect your friends.  It's easy to get into a rut where we work, work, work, and then spend the weekends sleeping or catching up on laundry or marathoning Netflix but spending times with friends is so good for you mental health.  Don't talk about work and focus on being in the moment. 
  4. Learn something new.  Sometimes we get in a work rut and it can just make us feel like we're a zombie only good for faxing, collating and stapling.  But, learning a new skill can reignite you passion for life.  Learn to cook something new (affiliate link), take a class at the extension office, download an app to learn a foreign language, or decide to learn to snowshoe this winter.  Having a hobby or project is essential to keeping life fresh and livable.
  5. Stay positive and start working on an exit strategy.  This doesn't mean surf the "Help Wanteds" and switch one dissatisfying job for another.  This means really start thinking about what you want to do with this one life you've been given.  Figure out if it means you're going to need more training and how you're going to get it.  Maybe you want to start your own business on the side, start figuring out what you need to do to make it successful.  What do friends and family tell you you're good at?  Is there a way for you to monetize that?  With the internet, it's easier now than ever to start your own business.
So what about you?  Are you doing what you love?   What would you be doing if you knew you could make a living at it?  Leave me a comment below


  1. Learning something new can be a great way to deal with an unfulfilling job :)

    1. True dat! I feel like if I had focused all my energy on learning new things instead of fuming about the way things were, I could have learned a couple languages, wrote a novel, and read through the Encyclopedia.