10 Tips to Make the Most of Your Current Job (even when you hate it)

career path job satisfaction Jun 25, 2019

Do you hate your job? Are you miserable to pry yourself out of bed each morning, to go into the office and endure yet another day?

Or, maybe you don't despise it but you're apathetic about your work? You no longer feel that motivation and excitement about all there is to accomplish?

What if the grass isn't greener at a new job?

What if you take some of the problems with you? In other words, some of the dissatisfaction could be you, and that will go with you.

This isn't bad news. There's nothing wrong with you.

It's good news because you have full control over any changes you want to make for yourself.

And, if you can find a way to drive satisfaction and fulfillment in any situation, you will start any new job you want to move into with such power and from a position of strength.

Isn't this the best news?

With that, here are the 10 tips to make the most of your current job (even if you hate it).

1) Take a step back to assess. Brainstorm out all the thoughts you have about your current job. What do you enjoy about it? What opportunities are available to you? What are the positives? And then, on the flip side, what EXACTLY don’t you like? What is frustrating you? Make an inventory so that you are clear on your thoughts about your job/company/boss. Sometimes we let a cloud of frustration hang over us and we’re not 100% clear on the root cause. Find the root causes of your current point of view.

2) Work backwards. Imagine that it’s the last day at your current job. Ask yourself – what do you wish you had done differently? Who do you wish you had built stronger relationships with?  What do you wish you had learned? What do you wish you had accomplished? How do you wish you had spent your time differently? Now, use all of these answers to make yourself an action plan.

3) Set goals.

If your company is one that sets goals and plans, make sure you keep those front and center. Make sure you’re clear on how you’ll be measured against them. Periodically check in with your manager, to ensure you’re on the same page re: your progress. Add your own goals to the list as well, so that you’re making the most of your opportunities.

If your company doesn’t set goals, set them for yourself. What do you want to achieve? What will serve you in your current role + what do you need to accomplish to make a case for a promotion or to get a new job? Plan it all out and revisit weekly so you don’t get bogged down with the daily grind.

4) Build internal relationships. Identify the influencers in your company and get to know them. Offer to help them, even if it requires additional time outside your normal responsibilities. These will turn into champions for you, supporters when you’re ready to change jobs internally, apply for a promotion, or even start looking externally.

5) Build external relationships. Make a list of your customers and business partners. Ask yourself how you can add more value, even if it’s not 100% tied to your job description, and then make it happen. Building these relationships will be key for you in landing that promotion or advancing your career through a new company.

6) Make a business case to receive additional training. Present a business case to your manager, to take additional training and explain how it will benefit the company by you taking it, even if it’s not directly tied to your current role.

7) Revisit your priorities. Ask yourself what would make the biggest difference today for (1) your work priorities and (2) your own job satisfaction. Schedule the time to make those two priorities happen, as your bare minimum.

8) Create an “Accomplishment Log”. Write down at least one thing that you accomplished at the end of each day. Quantify it, if at all possible. This will help you to see what you ARE DOING (we so often focus on what we’re NOT getting done) and also will be a great resource when you’re ready to update your resume.

9) Identify 2-3 new skills you need to learn to achieve the next level in your career. Make a plan to learn them.

10) Pinpoint the top 2-3 aspects of your job that are causing you the most misery and conquer them (with your mind). What is making you unhappy at work? Even though you might not be able to change the circumstances causing the frustration, you can work to shift your thinking about the situation. Use this as an opportunity to take back control for yourself.


If you implement some or all of these 10 tips, you will either find that your job satisfaction has improved significantly OR you're ready for the next move in your career.


Either way, you'll be ready to make your move!

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