I know there a plenty of articles on the web that tell you how to quit your job and find work you love, but what if you can’t quit?
Now I believe everyone should leave a job they hate, and there is plenty of evidence that staying in a bad job is detrimental (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alexander-kjerulf/happiness-tips_b_5001073.html) but what if you have to stay? What if you can’t leave because, say – the health benefits (Let’s assume you or your child is in the middle of very expensive cancer treatment?) or because you live in a small town and can’t leave the family farm? I survived a bad job and here are some tips for surviving until you can escape.
1. “Every battle is won or lost before it is ever fought.” When you wake up and start your day, you are going into battle, mentally prepare. That means focusing on why you are going – I need the health benefits, I have a large mortgage payment, I am paying college tuition – and then say something like “I am strong enough to survive this day without getting hurt.” The key is to mentally prepare for the day and gain some control at the start.
2. Feed your body good food – You’re putting your body under a lot of stress when you go to work in a bad job, help it stay strong by feeding it good, nutritious food. Skip the donuts on the run and instead have some hard boiled eggs on the run or maybe a Greek yogurt with some nuts.
3. Disengage from the drama. Do not involve yourself in the dramas of your co-workers. Do your work and avoid being dragged into emotionally charged corporate politics. Don’t use your strength to fight battles that do not impact the things that matter in your life – your family, your health, etc.
4. Work on your posture – poor posture, either sitting or standing, can lead to shallow breathing. Less oxygen can make you field tired, weak and anxious. Consciously work on straightening your shoulders, engaging your abs and properly aligning your neck.
5. Have an escape plan – you may have to stay in a terrible job for now, but write out a plan for when you can leave. For eight hours a day, or more, you let your company mange your life, this exercise is your chance to regain some control by being ready to leave when the opportunity arrives.
6. Have an emergency plan – If your company closed the doors tomorrow, are you prepared? Write out all the steps you will take and the order you will take them in while you are still working and not under the panic of being out of a job. Once again you are taking a measure of control for your life and being prepared.
If you hate your job, stay only as long as you have to and know what “Have To” really means. Don’t let fear stop you.