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How to Survive a Job You Hate

There could be any number of reasons you can't leave a job you loathe. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't try to make the best of the time you're stuck there.


  • Step 1: Analyze why you hate your job Figure out why you hate your job. Do you dislike the work itself, or are your coworkers or boss the problem? Are you bored? Over-qualified? Underappreciated? You can't begin to survive a job you hate until you've identified the problems.
  • Step 2: Consider solutions Consider solutions. Personality clashes can sometimes be solved by taking a new approach. If a long commute is getting you down, ask if you can work from home a few days a week.
  • Step 3: Get on-the-job training Find a way to use your current job to get free on-the-job training for your next one. Maybe there's a skill you don't have that you can learn? Would your employer be willing to pay for job-related classes that in turn might make you more marketable?
  • Step 4: Quit whining Quit whining. The coworkers you're complaining to could one day be in a position to recommend you elsewhere -- but they'll think twice about it if you come across as a malcontent.
  • TIP: Be especially nice to interns and entry-level employees; you just may be applying for a job with them someday.
  • Step 5: Consider other careers Consider if you'd be happier in another profession altogether. Test the waters with a few night classes or even an off-hours internship. You may discover that you'd rather thrive in a new career than survive a profession you hate.
  • Step 6: Save money Sock away some money. It will help you survive lean times if you decide to start at the bottom in a new field that will make you happier.
  • FACT: A study showed job satisfaction in the United States hit an all-time low in 2009, with 55 percent of Americans expressing unhappiness with their position.

You Will Need

  • Self-awareness
  • Behavioral changes
  • On-the-job training
  • Positive attitude
  • Alternate career options
  • Night classes or internships
  • Nest egg

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