How To Stay Motivated When You Hate Your Job

By Steve

February 14, 2011   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

Let’s be honest, work for the most part, sucks. Even if you are part of the 20% of Americans who actually truly enjoy what they are doing, chances are likely that you would rather be doing something else.

Job satisfaction rates are horrendous and one of the reasons is that people are slowly starting to realize that there is a better way to live. We are wising up to the fact that we don’t NEED to work a crappy job and just grind out a living.

There is so much opportunity for anyone willing to take control of their life and commit to living a passionate life.

Is it that simple? I believe it is. Is it easy? Of course not.

Working The Rat Race

hat is it that millions of people wake up unhappy knowing that they have to go to a job they hate? There are a number of reasons including:

  1. Fear of failure
  2. Fear of success
  3. Lack of initiative
  4. No clear goals
  5. Apathetic towards life
  6. Willingness to accept whatever they have

All of the above reasons are garbage. There is no reason for anyone to fall victim to these things. Yet, we do it all the time.

What ends up happening is that we find a job that looks acceptable and get stuck working in it for years. Most of us won’t take the time to find something better and will just drift through life with a sub par job.

The end result is having a job we hate. Now, we can choose to quit and find another job or we can choose to suffer through it. Most of us choose the latter.

Staying Motivated When You Hate Your Job
I am speaking from personal experience here. I have lost all interest in my job and would rather go dig holes in the ground all day. Unfortunately, financial obligations will not afford me the luxury of leaving my job right now.

So, I have had to find ways of keeping myself motivated enough to keep my job and perform it well enough to provide quality work. Not an easy task when my days are spent thinking of leaving.

If you have found yourself in a similar spot, here are 5 ideas to keep you motivated (at least motivated enough not to get you fired!)

  1. Know Your Future.
    If you have a clear understanding of where you want to be in 1,3, or even 5 years, then your job will become much more tolerable.

Having something to look forward to can mean the difference between hopelessness and determination. Make sure you choose determination!

  • Do not take your loathsome job home with you.
    The sooner you can forget about your job the better. Far too often, and I’m guilty of this too, we take our bad attitudes home for the family to enjoy. 

Well, they don’t. If you have children, then it’s especially important to leave your misery behind. Our kids do not need to learn that a job equals unhappiness from us.

  • Enjoy your passions.
    If you’re lucky enough to know what really makes you happy, you need to go do it! Even if it’s for an hour each week, you have to. 

I’m not talking about a hobby here or shopping at the mall, I’m talking about spending time doing something you love.

Why is this so important? Because it just might keep you from snapping and doing something stupid like bitch slapping your boss and quitting.

If you were in the financial position to quit, you probably already would have, so don’t go and get yourself canned.

  • Be better than your job.
    If your job sucks and you allow yourself to think that you suck too, then you’re sunk. Do not allow yourself to be a byproduct of a miserable job. 

Know in your mind that this job is simply a means to an end and that some day you will be doing something better. Also know that you are not your job. You just work there. Don’t confuse the two.

  • Plan for your release date.
    I would imagine that someone serving a long prison sentence would spend an enormous amount of time planning for their release date. 

What they’re going to do, how they’re going to do it, and how it is all going to go down, are all things that will probably be consuming their thoughts each day.

A miserable job can feel a lot like a prison sentence. While we are not trapped per se, we can often feel like we are because of things like a poor economy, high unemployment, and too many financial obligations.

Planning for the day you can walk away from your job and do something else should be something you spend a lot of time thinking about. Without a plan, you might just end up working another job just like the one you quit.

  • Keep It Together
    Knowing you have to go to work tomorrow and waste another day of your life is an awful feeling. Doing this for an extended period of time can lead to problems with depression, substance abuse, and marital issues. 

You need to keep it together! For your sake if nothing else. If you have a family that depends on you, please don’t let your job become interfere with your quality of life at home.

Find a way to make your job tolerable until you’re ready to move on with your life.

My question to all of you is this: What if we actually took the time to figure out what we really wanted to do with our lives and then did it? Imagine that…

Written on 2/14/2011 by Steve Roy. Steve is the owner of, a blog about escaping the daily grind of a 9 to 5 job, building an online business, and living your passions. You can also find him on Twitter at @EndGrind. Photo Credit: thrig

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