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5 Ways to Find Positivity When You Hate Your Work

Work makes up such a big part of our lives that when it’s not something you’re enjoying, it’s really tough to look beyond that constant feeling of dissatisfaction and find something positive.

Sometimes, sitting in an office can feel stifling, especially if you’re a creative person. Even if you’re completely fulfilling your role, getting through your workload and ticking all of the boxes required (and more), it can still feel like you spend each day watching the clock, waiting for home time to roll around.

That lack of engagement and negative feeling can have a wider effect than you may think. It’s so easy for job dissatisfaction to seep into your personal life. Do you complain about work all the time? Do you tell people how fed up you are, always to get the response, “At least you have a job, though”?

Do you also find yourself making excuses as to why you’re not trying something else? You need your job to pay the bills, or you have great hours and a steady income that you’d be mad to walk away from? If you’re in a role that doesn’t resonate but need to stay where you are, changing your perspective could really help you to maintain your mojo at work. Here are five ways to find positivity in any job:


Whenever you have left a job in the past, you find it’s the people you miss more than the work. So make the most of the people around you. Perhaps on a Friday the office gets a little more relaxed and chatty, and you find this is the day that you enjoy the most – you stop counting down the minutes until you can clock out. Perhaps there are people that you get on particularly well with; try to focus on those relationships more. See if you can learn more about those people, ask them more questions, tell them silly stories from your commute, or ask their advice on things. See if you can organise after-work drinks and have something to look forward to during the week.

New friends

You walk past so many different people every day, without knowing any of them. Do you find yourself sending emails to all sorts of different people that you’ve never actually met, knowing that they are only on the other side of the office? Change it up and see if you can reach out to as many as possible in person, with casual face-to-face meetings. It’s a pretty good way of putting a bit extra into your work as well. The next time you send them a message, it’ll be a little more friendly with less awkward corporate speak. Make sure to follow it up with another maybe a month or two later, and make a point of having a quick conversation if you ever pass them in the corridor. Office parties, however few and far between, will give you something to talk about and make for a really good opportunity to meet other colleagues without needing to always talk about work.

Be an innovator

If you’re finding your day-to-day tasks a little mundane, it can feel like there’s not much space to use creativity or imagination. Try to look at the way you actually work from a different perspective – perhaps the teams you collaborate with aren’t working well together. It’s easy for everyone to get stuck in a rut following the same old routine to get the job done. This gives you a perfect opportunity to carve out some new ideas and think about how you could help it to work better, whether it be on your own or with a group of coworkers. It may not make the work itself more fulfilling, but it provides you with more of a challenge that can be welcome in a stagnant environment. The challenges aren’t going to come to you, so you have to find them. Even if you just put a little bit of time each day into coming up with new ideas, it could lead to big change and be a really good distraction. It’ll likely have a positive impact on your team, too, and that positive feedback is bound to give you a mood boost.

Ask for feedback

If you’re finding each day generally quite unrewarding, perhaps part of that is coming from not ever receiving feedback on what you are doing unless a problem comes up. If all of your interactions with seniors are negative, you’re going to have really negative associations with them. It can make you resent people when they are just doing their jobs too. So ask what they think about what you’re doing, how much of a contribution all of your work is making, and make sure that they know about anything extra that you’ve been doing outside of your role. They may not have even realised everything that you actually do in a day, but once you bring it all up they’ll start to notice more and that acknowledgement can make a big difference to how you feel.

Learn new things

You’re probably so used to the requirements of your role that you don’t see all the skills involved, but actually if you broke it down you’d realise how much you can do. So if you have something in particular you want to learn – be it a new language, coding, or graphic design – see if there is some way you can meld that into your work day. It can be really difficult to muster up the commitment and motivation to learn new things in your spare time, but having a fresh challenge at work may just be the push you need and could be really helpful for whatever you choose to do next.

If you’re not feeling very motivated in your job, don’t make yourself unhappy. Try to squeeze out what positivity you can and look forward to the next challenge: it’s just around the corner.

Written by:

Katie Hopkins lives amongst piles of books and pug memorabilia. As a copy-editor and freelance writer, she is always immersed in words, and is captivated by the world of careers and the pursuit of happiness, alongside a little fascination with true crime. She tweets as @katie_louh.

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