The Best Ways to Improve Your Relationship With a Job You Hate

The Best Ways to Improve Your Relationship With a Job You Hate

From the first time someone asked us what we wanted to be when we grew up, we were given the impression that our future career was a big deal, and something that defined us. So when, as adults, our career or a particular job doesn’t live up to our expectations, it can result in an unhealthy relationship with the position—which, in turn, can have a negative impact our mental, emotional, and even physical health.

That’s not exactly great news for our well-being, considering only 28% of knowledge workers in the U.S. have a healthy relationship with work, according to a new study from Hewlett-Packard (HP). Fortunately, there are adjustments you can make to improve that relationship—even you truly hate your job. Here’s what to know.

How to improve your relationship with a job you hate

The effects of having an unhealthy relationship with a job are bad enough that 83% of participants in the same HP study indicated that they are willing to take a pay cut if it meant they’d enjoy work more. While many aspects of your job are beyond your control, here are a few things you can do to improve your relationship with work:

Find fulfillment elsewhere

Looking for fulfillment and meaning in your life? You’re better off finding it outside of work, even if you don’t hate your current job. Make time for activities, hobbies, and people you enjoy or find rewarding during non-working hours instead of looking to your job for fulfillment.

Connect with colleagues

Sometimes the only thing that makes an awful job bearable is having a work friend who understands exactly what you’re going through and can commiserate and/or make light of the situation with you. Having someone to vent or complain to and joke around with won’t necessarily make your work tasks more enjoyable or less boring, but it could improve your overall experience and relationship with your job.

Celebrate wins

Ultimately, you may not care whether your achievements at work result in your employer making money or advancing in other ways (apart from the job security it might bring), but that doesn’t mean you and your colleagues can’t celebrate your wins. Whether it’s cake in the break room, or simply congratulating a coworker on a promotion, marking these occasions may help improve your relationship with your job.

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