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10 Ways to Survive Working in a Job You Hate

Topics: Career Advice
working in a job you hate
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Do what you love” is a nice concept, but the reality is that most people have to take at least one meh job at some point during their careers, just to keep the lights on.

The question is: how do you survive working in a job you hate long enough to get a job that’s a better fit for your skills and interests? If you’re stuck in that spot right now, these Redditors have some tips on how to endure:

1. By making believe

“Become an actor. Not professionally; create a character for work. Your name, but create the ideal worker for the job. He loves fast food. He’s cheery with the word customers. He believes in the product. When you put on the uniform or work clothes, start getting into character. When you walk through the door, you’re into character. Then act, all day long.” – moby__dick

2. By keeping their head down

“The pay is good, I listen to music all day, finagled a work-from-home-two-days-a-week schedule, and stopped worrying about meeting ridiculous deadlines that aren’t of my doing. I just show up, do the work assigned to me, and avoid interaction with coworkers as much as possible.” – stupidlyugly

3. By using the power of math

“I have an Excel spreadsheet where I enter in what time I showed up and it tells me what percentage of the day is left. On super slow days I make all sorts of funny charts and graphs.” – hooldfrt

4. By enjoying the perks

“My job consisted of making pizza. A lot of pizza. I survived by eating pizza. A lot of pizza.” – TotallyChuckNorris

5. By tuning everything out

“Headphones … stick ’em in your ears, plug it in to your iPod/phone/whatever and let your music shut out the world for eight hours. Also, bring a spare music player and charger so you don’t get caught out with a flat battery.” – Barseps

6. By listening to podcasts

“Lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of podcasts.” – FixBayonetsLads

7. “By thinking of the best ways to tell your boss that you quit.” – AussieBigfoot

Need help with your daydream? Take a page from dtej70’s book: “My favorite one is when my friend taps on my work window, calls me outside, there is a limo waiting with champagne and he tells me he’s won lotto and giving me a million dollars. I walk back inside, get my bag, say ‘F&*% this place’ and walk out.”

8. By keeping things in perspective

“I grew up in poverty. Like, no toilet paper or food in the house. Often no electricity. My job pays well and allows me the stability of a good apartment and luxuries like internet and being able to buy the 48 pack of toilet paper from Costco (I never thought I would be able to shop at Costco!). I don’t live an extravagant life but being able to buy new shoes when I need them or having well-stocked fridge is something I value above having a job I love.” – Moon-momma

9. By remembering that it’s just a job

“One thing is to make sure not to give it your everything. What that means can differ from job to job. Don’t let it exhaust you, so that you can enjoy your time outside of your job. Set your mind to ‘this is just a job, I do this to earn money so that I can live. I do not live for this job alone.’” – SverreSvensk

10. By looking forward

“Preparing for the next, better job. If you have hope for a brighter tomorrow, you can fight through it. Don’t give up.” – jamieleer

Stories have been lightly edited for clarity and style.

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Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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