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We all have difficulties in our jobs, but what happens when it becomes worse than that and we feel sick at the prospect of going to work in the morning?
Most people go and find a new job, but that isn’t always easy, and anyway it takes time. Perhaps high pay makes you feel trapped at work? Whatever it is, while you’re in your current unhappy job, there are ways to enjoy it more…
What are the good aspects?
Do you like your colleagues or even your boss? Do you like working on a particular client or task? Unfortunately, in any job there will be things you won’t like, but there is also probably something that you do like. Enjoy that, and view the negative parts as a necessary evil for the good bits.
Even if all your job does is give you the money keep you and your family in your home – isn’t that a noble goal in itself? In the morning, give yourself a pep talk about your job’s importance to you and your family, it’ll help you begin your workday positively. Tell yourself also how you can withstand anything that the day throws at you – after all, haven’t you survived literally everything your job has thrown at you already?
Keep work in perspective
“I’m an accountant”, no, you’re a human being who happens to earn their money in accountancy. Work is work, it’s not your life, even if it sometimes feels like it. Live as you want to, not as your family, friends, colleagues, parents and certainly your boss want you to live, and remember that work is but a small part of your life.
Make small changes where you can
What one thing could you do today to make your job a bit nicer (no, getting your boss sacked isn’t an option!)? Is there something you could do in a different way? If there’s a process you dislike, can you improve it? If so, your boss will probably thank you, and if they don’t, well, at least it’s made your job easier.
Declutter your desk, and your office if you have one. If you have papers piled high on your desk, all sorts of stuff there, it’ll give you a subconscious feeling of being busy and taking up attention in your mind. If it’s useful but not right now, put it in a drawer. If it’s something you’ll never use again, get rid. If it’s a photo of your family, keep it there because it’ll be motivational!
Another way to do minimise stress if you’re constantly firefighting and playing catchup, is to plan your work better. To-do lists are easy enough, or if possible even scheduling your time. We all sometimes think: “God I’ve got so much to do today!” Well, if it’s all swimming around in your head disorganised, it will seem like that. But see it written down, even put into time slots in the day, and it’ll all seem far easier.
Look after your personal growth
Humans are made to keep growing and improving, so if we’re not doing that, we can become unhappy. So can you do some personal or professional development work with your company’s training schemes? If this isn’t possible, do some outside of work. Work with a coach to help you grow, or learn something new at home. Take up a hobby. Join the gym if you want to get fit (and make sure you actually go!).
One reason many of us don’t enjoy work is because we don’t take proper breaks, and suffer burnout. Taking breaks is vital, even if it’s just a few minutes mid-morning and mid-afternoon alongside your lunch break. Make sure you take your lunch break – it’s not just for food, but also to refresh you, get some fresh air and rest your brain and eyes.
Going for a walk outside is a great way to break. Getting away from your desk is good, as long as you do something energizing, like going for a walk or reading a book, or just chatting with a colleague. Don’t just sit in the break room staring at Facebook on your phone – that won’t energise you. And definitely eat healthily too!
Switch off after work too. Leave your work at the office, or at least have a cut-off point. Maybe no work after 8pm, or restrict yourself to an hour after the kids are in bed. Have time for yourself, otherwise, you’ll feel like you are constantly doing everything for your employer.
There are other ways to enjoy work more, but these are a good foundation. They will also help ensure that even if you change job, your old problems won’t follow you!