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We get how tough it can be when you’re stuck in a job you don’t like and aren't sure how to get a better job. If it's not possible to look for a new job right now, we’ve got some ideas on how to feel a little better about your situation if you’re stuck for the time being.

This can help if:

  • you're stuck in a job
  • you can't find another job right now
  • you want to make your current situation better.
What to do if youre stuck in a job you dont like

Be clear about what you can and can't control

Like most challenges in life, it helps to consider what you can and can’t control about your current job situation. Write down the exact things you can control and things you can’t control. Here are some of our examples, but yours will be a bit different.

Can control:

  • Your attitude - consider what you can get out of working there at the moment.
  • Asking your boss for help.
  • Creating a meaningful life outside of work.

Can't control:

  • Your boss/colleagues - you can treat them well and put up boundaries, but you can’t control how they behave.
  • Getting a new job immediately.

You could also write down your job worries in ReachOut WorryTime app to come back to later.

be clear about what you can control

Make a list of pros and cons

The cons might be pretty obvious to you, but it’s also important to think about what’s good about your job. Possible upsides might include a regular pay cheque, having a structure to your day, the friendships you’ve formed with your colleagues, and the feeling that you’re contributing to society. As for the cons, consider if there is anything you can do to resolve the problems, either by yourself or with the help of your manager.

make a list of pros and cons

Use your downtime wisely

Your job really isn’t everything in life. If you find what you do outside of work fun and/or fulfilling, it might put less pressure on your job to fulfill those needs. Stay involved with activities that interest you, and continue to catch up with friends, if that’s something you like to do. A lot of young people find that volunteering for a cause they feel passionate about gives them a sense of purpose and the feeling that they’re contributing to their community.

Change how you think about your work

Remember: no job is perfect. It can help to find some kind of meaning in what you do. Maybe you enjoy working with a team to deliver a great product, or you might like to make customers happy by remembering how they like their morning coffee. If you feel like you don’t have enough to do, or if your work isn’t challenging enough, you could take things up a notch by expressing an interest in working on other projects or trying to come up with solutions to existing problems.

change how you think about your work

Talk to someone

If you really dislike your job, it can help to vent to someone you trust (outside of work) or to get support from a professional (such as a psychologist or a counsellor) if you think you need it. Initiate a conversation with your manager to talk about your workload or job structure. They may give some of your tasks to other members of the team, or help you to prioritise your work.

Make a plan to find different work

If all else fails and you feel like your job is having a negative effect on your physical or mental health, it may be time to move on. Even if you can’t find a new job right away, start laying the groundwork by telling people (outside of work) that you’re looking, update your resume and think about what you’d like to work on next. In the meantime, remember to take care of yourself by looking after your health and staying social with your friends.

What can I do now?