How to Stay Motivated When You Hate Your Job? Tip 1

How can you stay focussed and motivated when you really hate your job? How do you manage work stress?

One of the consequences of the economic recession is less movement in the job markets. People are staying put for fear of  ‘last in, first out syndrome’. And of course, there are fewer jobs out there and more competition for those that are around.

So how do you keep your motivation going? How do you drag yourself out of bed every morning to do a job that you hate? It’s not easy and if you are in this position you have my sympathies. It’s horrid.

Self Pity

But don’t go too far down the self pity route! At least you do have a job and aren’t reliant on benefits. You’re still in the world of work. So my first tip is:


If you’ve ever done any of my training, read my articles or my book, (When Work isn’t Working) you’ll know that I firmly believe we need to take control of our feelings, and that we CAN take control of our feelings even when it feels like pretty much everything else is outside of our control!

If you start each day giving yourself a really negative message, your day is only going to get worse. You are what you think. If you think devalued and worthless thoughts about your work it comes across and you feel worse. Whatever else is happening, your thoughts are your own (‘they‘ can’t make you feel anything-honestly!). Decide now to give yourself a positive message every morning that will help you through this period of your life, not one that will bring you down. (Check this out for some confidence boosting tips)

Your Action Points

  • Identify your automatic negative thoughts about your work.
  • Notice how often you speak to yourself about work in an unhelpful way
  • Notice how this makes you feel. Does it make you feel better or worse (I’m not talking about sharing a moan with a pal, that can be therapeutic!)
  • How can you change your negative internal mail into something that will help you through this period of your life?
  • Try replacing all negative thoughts with positive ones for one week. What difference has this made to your week?

This is the first in a series of tips to help you through difficult times; if you have found it helpful you might like to receive my newsletter -just sign up in the blue box opposite the picture. And please do share this with others and add your own tips and hints! It’s great to get your comments!


Posted on October 19th, 2010 by

7 Responses to “How to Stay Motivated When You Hate Your Job? Tip 1”

  1. Ann Lewis says:

    Great post Jane. I love the idea of negative (and positive) internal mail.

    Those self-destructive thoughts can seem to land like junk mail. Maybe we need an internal spam filter so we can review them all and delete them.

    Best wishes


    • Jane says:

      Julie and Ann, you are definitely two people who know something about this subject! In fact, your knowledge and expertise will be very useful in some of the forthcoming tips. Watch this space folks! Or sign up to get the posts automatically (top right of page) and then you’ll never miss out!

  2. Agreed, Jane, working with job seekers and career changers daily in the US, I find that the last in, first out issues do cross people’s minds. I do have people who are making moves now and doing it successfully but you have to study the companies you are going toward and build positive relationships with them.

    If you are staying in your current position, you do need to be the best at what you do because there are many standing in line who would love to replace you.

  3. Ceri says:

    In my headhunting career I always advised people to be as positive in the roles they were leaving as they could be. When the time came when they were able to leave they needed to be remembered in a positive light. Any negativity could also come out in interviews, and employers want recruits who are joining them for the right reasons. I would also caution anyone posting on social networks such as twitter or facebook not to be too vocal about any bad days in the workplace- these could be picked up by a prospective (or existing) employer!

  4. Rachel says:

    Good timing, Jane as always!
    I’ve been trying to filter out negative thinking from other people as a means of self-protection in bleak times – now I can imagine you telling me that this is best thing to do!
    I think this works for me as, even though I love my job, I don’t like the fear and uncertainty involved in it at the moment.

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