Turn A Terrible Job Tolerable And Save Your Sanity

When your job begins to feel like full-time torture, it affects every aspect of your life. You wake up wishing you could just quit and you go home thinking about how much you hate it. You even have trouble falling asleep because you know the next day involves your dreaded employment Hell.

What do you do? Ideally, you use the following tips to keep things in perspective and develop a full life. You can only change so much of your job, but you have control over your responses. Well, mostly. At least give it a try.

Learn To Relax

There is a reason people take smoke breaks (other than their pesky addiction). Walking out of your terrible job, even to stand in some dismal dedicated smoking area while engaging in a habitual behavior feels relaxing.

Obviously, in the interest of public health and clothes that don’t reek like an ashtray, we don’t encourage you to smoke. Rather, you need to find your own way to relax. Maybe you do some deep breathing, or perhaps go for a walk. Or, do it up John McClane style: take off your shoes and socks, then walk around on the rug barefoot making fists with your toes.

Distinguish Yourself


A rotten job often has to do with your position with your employer. Being a whipping boy while more deserving corporate princes stand by and watch is miserable.

One way to break this trend is to become an employment nobleman. Lord Acton — the man who astutely observed “power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely” — would tell you that great men are generally bad men. But, they are bad men with the power to pick their projects and delegate grunt work. Plus, they get paid a heck of a lot more.

If you set professional goals for yourself and work to climb the ladder, not only are you more likely to get promoted, you have shifted your focus from the seething hate you feel for your job onto achieving targeted ambitions. It’s like a work Fitbit.

Stay Healthy


We have already advised you not to smoke, so we can tick that box on the health advice checklist. We now move on to encouragements for a nutritionally sound diet and regular exercise (and also, maybe a note about not using the above image as any kind of guide, since you really shouldn’t put your food on the floor).

What’s worse than a crappy job? Feeling like garbage at your crappy job. Don’t go hungry, don’t put yourself in a blood sugar sinkhole because you went ham on office candy, and don’t roll up on three hours of sleep. Every choice you make that impairs you from fully functioning will make your job loathing grow exponentially.

Also, wish fervently that you don’t get sick. A truly terrible job will make you work anyway and you will pray to be reduced to fatty solids and charred bone via spontaneous combustion. It would feel better than intense nausea punctuated by hostile glares from co-workers. Office workers, specifically, treat sick people with a contempt only rivaled by that used regularly by people on a Real Housewives program.

Make Friends

It probably isn’t a great idea to shift your work focus from doing your job to hanging out with your friends, but if you can manage both a la Empire Records, the truly heinous aspects of the job fall away to some degree.

There is a caveat, though: you have to make sure that you form actual friendships instead of just bonding with people over how much you all hate the job. If you are kicking it for happy hour and the entire undertaking is bitching about work punctuated by drinks, it will cause you to hate the job more. In addition, it lengthens your work day because you are literally taking work with you to the bar. Don’t disrespect the sanctity of a bar like that. Just get drunk.

Develop Outside Interests

If there is one thing that amplifies unhappiness with a situation, it is a lack of other focuses. Just try dating a person while you are unemployed. The stress to fulfill you completely that it puts on the relationship is a killer. The same is true of work. If your life is only going to your lame job and going home to think about your lame job, you will go crazy.

Spreading your focus across a spectrum of interests lets you break from work in a substantial fashion. Crush it on tabletop gaming. Rock a bowling league. Channel your inner Bob Ross and paint the crap out of some happy little trees.


Fine. This isn’t really a solution, but it is literally how I ended every soul sucking misery of a job I was ever unlucky enough to end up in. Line up another job first and take full pleasure in telling your boss that they don’t pay you enough to afford the amount of liquor you need to drink to forget how much you hate working there (that one got me fired by the next morning). Quick, easy, and efficient.