How to Stay Motivated in a Job you Hate

It’s one thing losing your motivation, but quite another when you have no obvious exit route.  Some people feel stuck in a job they hate. So how can you stay motivated?

1. Switch off for a moment or two – Take a break, daily

When under pressure at work, our brains are programmed to do more, not less, argues Dr. Michael Sinclair, a consultant psychologist and clinical director at the City Psychology Group. This combined with a perceived lack of appreciation for your efforts, is likely to start the slow slide to becoming demotivated.

“Your mind is racing between fear of redundancy, pressure to perform, a lack of appreciation and a constant need to be connected,” he said. “Create space between the demands of your job and provide some relief. If you’re always doing, how can you expect to regain your energy and enthusiasm.”

2. Give your manager a reason to appreciate you

The old saying still goes,  work smarter, not harder.  Make sure the hours you are at work are productive and that you are producing results on a regular basis.  Continue to develop  your skills, talents and abilities.  Specialize in something that you will be recognized for and that will add value to the company.

3. Reflect on your past and how you got here

Are you really working in the right sector or job? What made you enter this field in the first place, and did you fall into your current niche or should you be looking at alternatives? Before you can move forward, it is important to look back, reflect and set yourself up for success.

4. Connect with your colleagues and others in your industry

You’re unlikely to get out of your current rut in isolation.  It’s important to connect with your colleagues. Stop thinking about tasks in terms of career progression and start doing something that is likely to elicit some enthusiasm.

Engage with colleagues or counterparts in  projects that are innovative, and inspiring.

5. Create a Plan, don’t panic about the future

If you hate what you’re doing now, and can’t see any way out, the prospect of sticking with it for the next 20 years is a daunting and unappealing prospect. However, think about where your sector is going and what you need to do to thrive in the future.

If you feel you are in a dead end job, then it’s time to not only think about moving on, but to begin to take action to make that move a reality for you.  Appraise your options, know your skills and what you need to develop to succeed.

6. Recognize the difference between a bad day and a slump

Do you really hate your job, or do you just need to make some changes? Will a heart to heart with a mentor or manager help make some tweaks to your position that could reengage you?

You have to distinguish between whether what you’re feeling is a natural reaction to stress or a broader dissatisfaction.

7. Get an outside objective opinion

Take a step back from your current position and assessing whether you really have the right personality to succeed in the job.