Recently, I took a big life step and quit my job. A job that ended up being a bit crappy. So as of Thursday, I’m officially unemployed! Saying that aloud (well typing it but whatever) is terrifying but also kind of liberating.
Handing in my resignation was one of the best feelings ever. It literally felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I’ll be very honest in saying that I won’t miss this job. I will miss some of the people I worked with, but the company and job itself? Not so much…
I’m not going into the details and start dragging the company because ~hello future employers~. All I’m going to say was that it wasn’t the best working environment and I really struggled there.
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I Did Learn A Lot
Somehow, I managed to stick it out for two years without jeopardizing my mental wellbeing. Even though, there were situations which definitely threatened to.
I almost threw in the towel too many times to count. There were days that I couldn’t get out bed and face another day or would sneak off for a little cry in the loos (please tell me I’m not the only one???).
I stuck it out though. I pushed through the tough patches. And I’ll be honest, the job did teach me so much especially how to survive in a crappy job.
I hope that this experience will continue to help me in future jobs. But how did I do it?
(Side note: I’ve got to give a huge shoutout to my parents for all the advice they’ve given me, as well as letting my rant on a daily basis to them.)
Use Your Voice
We all know how important communication is in our lives. So why not use it more at work? If the reasons you are struggling can be resolved, then talk it through.
As Khalid says in his banger of a tune – can’t we just talk about it?
If you think that the issues you’re facing can be resolved, then talk to someone about it. Whether you go to your manager or HR department, just discuss the issues you’re having with them. Work together to come up with ways to deal with these struggles. Ask for support.
Most of the time, your employer wants you to succeed because it helps them succeed. Talk to someone about how you can make your time with them easier, happier and more successful. You don’t just have to struggle on and keep quiet.
Detach Yourself From It
If you are dealing with a crappy job, then don’t put your heart and soul into it. I’m not saying to slack off and stop putting in effort. Unless you want a sure-fire way of being fired.
When I first started in this position, I put my entire heart and soul into every piece of work I was doing. I used to drain my creative energy to brainstorm ideas or create content. I would work so hard in creating the most perfect piece of work (in my eyes) and became personally attached to it.
Just don’t put your heart and soul into your work. You need to detach yourself and take the personal out of your work. Try to view each piece of work from a distance with a business mind.
It can be really hard to do, especially if you’re someone who puts their all into everything they do.
Before I did this, I would take every single piece of criticism to heart and there was a lot of it. I’d feel completely disheartened and personally attacked. Was I just rubbish at everything? I didn’t think I’d ever do anything right.
However, when I started to detach myself from it then it became easier. I started to understand that the criticism wasn’t a personal attack. It made it easier to know that I wasn’t crap at everything, but that the brief was misunderstood or not clear enough.
Take the personal out of your work. Keep working hard, but just don’t make it personal. When you’re dealing with a difficult job, this will honestly save your mental wellbeing!
Mix Things Up A Little
Sometimes, there is nothing we can do to fix the issues making our job difficult. Most of the time though, you have the power to try to change things.
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Take a minute to really think about what’s making this job so difficult. How are you dealing with these issues? What would make this job less crappy? Is there anything you can do to change the situation? Whatever the issue is, there is usually something you can try.
If your manager isn’t managing you properly, then try to manage them. Think about what you need from them and try to get that from them rather than just expecting it.
Does it feel like your work is constantly criticised and doesn’t fulfil the brief? Then ask questions and make sure you’ve got enough information before you start working on the project.
At the end of the day, you can’t expect someone to fix things for you. It’s easy to just keep wishing for things to magically become easier. But that’s not likely to happen. It is your career, so it is up to you to take charge. Take charge and try to make your difficult job just a bit easier.
All About The Work-Life Balance
I’m all about a healthy work-life balance. I don’t think your job should become your life. Our jobs should be fulfilling, if not enjoyable. But we shouldn’t make it everything.
When you’re experiencing a difficult job, it can be draining and demoralising. We spend so much time at work that it can feel like it is taking over your life. It can really eat you up and leaving you feeling like you’ve got nothing left just like that meme of Ian Beale.
You have to focus on your life outside of work. Work is something that allows you to live your life, so make sure you do. Don’t let this crappy job take over your life.
Focus on your own life. Make plans to have after work drinks with your pals. Fill up your weekends with exciting experiences and doing the things you love. Don’t let work be your everything, whether you’re dealing with a difficult job or not.
You Aren’t Stuck There
This is a last resort, but always an option. And I don’t mean just up and leave when things get a little bit tough. Remember you’ll have challenging situations wherever you go next.
If you feel like you have tried everything and you’re still struggling, then you can always leave. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you’ll never change something that is engrained in a company. But you don’t have to deal with it.
Obviously, not everyone can just quit their job but start making moves. Update your CV and start looking for something new. There is no obligation for you to stay at a job that’s causing upset your mental, or physical, wellbeing.
There is always a new job out there for you to find. You don’t have to stay in a crappy job forever.
During the two years in this difficult job, I use all of these strategies to survive there. They made it possible for me to stick it out for that long without completely destroying my mental wellbeing. But now it is time for me to move on.
I know that my next job won’t be perfect – if anyone has the perfect job then please tell me how you found it?! I will face different challenges and difficulties but hopefully the strategies I developed in this one will help me to deal with them!
How have you survived a crappy job?