You don’t love your job, no skirting around the truth. But while it’s easy to just say “quit,” we know that that’s not always a realistic option in the moment.
We wish we could wave our wands and make your job better, but unfortunately we haven’t learned that magic (yet). But, hopefully these tips can make it suck a little less.
If It’s the Work You Dread
1. Try to Get Inspired Again
Every job has its ups and downs, but the good news is you have some power to make it more exciting for yourself. How? Ask yourself these three questions to find your inspiration. Once you find it, we promise new and better opportunities will follow.
2. Learn a New Skill
If you’re feeling stuck in a rut, enrolling in a free online course can be an easy way to challenge yourself and expand your mind—and learning something new all on your own will make you feel more motivated and productive.
3. Ask for More Responsibilities
You can’t get what you don’t ask for, so go ahead and ask for more work if you’re bored—and it doesn’t just have to be from your manager, either. Offer to help your colleagues out on projects that interest you, and you’ll not only be able to take on more responsibilities, but you’ll boost your reputation as a team player, too.
4. Talk to Your Manager
Bosses don’t always know if their employees are unhappy, so it’s best to set aside time with them to talk about how you’re feeling. But before you schedule the meeting, make a list of everything you don’t like about your job, pull out the common themes, and come up with potential solutions so you come prepared for a productive conversation.
5. Start the Conversation for an Internal Transfer
Not excited about your current role but have your eye on working for a different department? Arrange a time to talk about it with your boss one-on-one and come up with a plan for next steps. Just getting the process started might liven up your days.
6. Make Time for a Side Gig
Finding time in your already busy schedule to work on a side gig can seem daunting—but it’s not impossible and worth it if you don’t feel fulfilled in the office. By learning to say no and getting to know your golden hours, you’ll free up time to work on stuff you’re actually passionate about.
If It’s Your Boss You Dislike
7. Consider Whether You’re the Problem
Before you go ahead and blame your boss for how you’re feeling, take a step back and look at the situation objectively. If you haven’t been keeping your boss in the loop or your performance has been subpar, that might be what’s holding you back from having a good relationship.
8. Recognize When You’re Being Taken Advantage Of (and Do Something About It)
Knowing the signs that your boss is clearly taking advantage of you will let you know if you need to take action and speak up—here’s how.
9. Try to Manage Up
It’s pretty much a universal truth that no one likes to be micromanaged—but that doesn’t stop bosses from doing it. Curb their annoying habit by learning to anticipate their needs and providing updates proactively.
Read More: How to Manage a Micromanaging Boss
10. Learn to Play Nicely
No matter how much you dislike your boss, there’s nothing to gain from burning that bridge—try these tactics instead.
Read More: How to Play Nicely With a Boss You Hate
11. Practice Self-Care
Whether it’s finding the stress management tool that works for you or learning to embrace mindfulness, make sure that your bad boss doesn’t take a toll on your health outside the office.
If You’re Unsure What’s Making You Unhappy
12. Decide if You Need a New Company or New Career
If you know that you don’t like your job but don’t know why, ask yourself these four questions to figure out what’s keeping you down.
If It’s All of the Above
13. Make Small Changes
Making just a tiny adjustment to your routine can have a big, positive impact on your day. We outline 14 that can instantly improve your situation.
While you might not be able to fix everything you hate about your job, you do have the power to change things for the better. So go ahead and read these articles—because you deserve a job that you love.
Photo of person unhappy at work courtesy of Westend61/Getty Images.
As a Content Manager at The Muse, Jimmy helps bring the numerous company profiles to life. In addition to writing, he enjoys coffee, traveling, and discussing all things pop culture.More from this Author