3 Ways To Be Thankful When You Don’t Like Your Job

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3 Ways To Be Thankful When You Don’t Like Your Job

By Tammy Stone, The Psychology of Business.

Not every job you have is going to be your dream job. There are many reasons to be happy at work, even if you don’t like what you’re doing. It’s about finding things you do like, and appreciating them. There is always at least one thing you like about your job, but hopefully more. If you haven’t figured out what that one thing is yet, start looking. Even if it’s just so you don’t dread walking in the door, use these tips to help your everyday happiness. Do you like any of your coworkers? Does your boss have your best interest? Do you have a good workstation? Do you have free coffee?  Remember that things can always get worse. Even if it’s the small things you appreciate, focus on those. If you’re struggling to find the good at work, here are three tools to help.

It’s Not Forever

The question you need to answer is what are you choosing to focus on through your day? When you are unhappy at work, it can be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. “Nothing in life is promised except death”, is one of Kanye’s more accurate rants (even if it is a knock off of Ben Franklin’s original). This is true for life and your job. You won’t be with your current employer forever, but your reputation will. A 2013 study showed only “30% of [employees enjoyed] their jobs”(Gallup). You’re not alone in your unhappiness, but there are ways to turn it around. Challenge yourself with these three tips

  1. Only use positive words while at work or discussing work.
  2. Find something at work that excites you.
  3. Create realistic goals for the next month at work.

Only discussing the positive things will help adjust your perspective. The more excitement you feel for the small victories, the less you will dread coming to work. Your day to day will seem faster and less draining. If you believe there is more in store for you, then there will be!


There’s always something to learn at every job. No matter where you are in your career, look for what the company is doing right, and what you would change. When you are new to the workforce, “experience is a perfect way to sample all the career options out there”(All About Careers).  Deciding what works best for you also helps you realize what doesn’t work for you. If you are unhappy at work, take some time to decide what exactly you are unhappy about. Consider these top indicators for happiness in the workplace.

  1. Do you like your boss?
  2. Are you happy with your compensation/benefits?
  3. Are you satisfied with the work you are doing?
  4. Do you agree with your company values?

Understanding what you do not want, will help you get what you do want from your next career opportunity.


Having a positive perspective does not mean settling for a bad job. It means looking at the same job from a different viewpoint.

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses”. –  Abraham Lincoln

The culture of “an employee is lucky to have a job” is a lose/lose attitude for everyone involved. Employees will grow resentful and work production will suffer. Unfortunately, when an employee is unhappy at work, their performance usually suffers. When performance is low it is not seen as a reflection of a poor company culture. A great company will understand the value of their employees. If you are feeling undervalued, focus on what you are getting out of the situation as well as your employer. Do you have a good work life balance? Are you happy with your benefits and compensation? The Federal Reserve released a study showing “49 percent of part-time workers would prefer to work more hours at their current wage” (TheAtlantic). Even if things are bad, it’s important to realize there are people that would be happy to work your “crappy” job. Maybe your job is that bad, and no matter how much perspective or positivity there is, you won’t be happy. This is usually a sign to move on. If you still need to keep your “bad job”, focus on the positive aspects to make things more tolerable.  

Shifting your focus to the positives will take dedication. It is a decision you have to make each morning. It is easier to notice the negative or shortcomings, but in the long run you will only be hurting yourself. The company will live long past your employment. Focusing on the benefits while you’re there gives you more ownership on your happiness. It will help you see there more positives than you realized. By taking control of your outlook at work, you will learn to let go of the things you can’t control.

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