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David Baxter

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10 "Don'ts" That Will Help You Tolerate Any Crappy Job
February 21, 2008

You might be surprised at how many people come to therapy because they hate their job. What rings in my ears is my mother?s voice saying, ?Of course you don?t like it. That?s why it?s called work. Otherwise is would be called fun.? I tend to have some very practical advice for these people.

I have either had a job, was in the military or been a full-time college student since I was sixteen years old. As you can guess, I have had some really crappy jobs over the years. I have worked at a fast-food restaurant, a sub shop, waited tables, delivered flowers, answered phones, been a retail cashier, elder care sitter, and a psychologist. The last job doesn?t usually fall in to the category of ?crappy? but it can at times. Here?s is my advice on how to tolerate a crappy job until you can get another one that is less crappy. A lot of this is advice from my mother.

  1. Don?t expect to be appreciated. You are being paid to do a job. Expect a paycheck. If you are being mistreated?quit. Unappreciated and mistreated are not the same thing. If being unemployed would be better, do what you need to do. (Refer to No. 10)
  2. Don?t allow your job to define you as a person. You are serving a role. Your life happens outside of your job.
  3. Don?t expect to make friends at work. Friends are people you trust and know you for who you are. Co-workers are hopefully people that you like and help you get the job done. When you combine friends and co-workers you are more likely to feel betrayed by someone using personal knowledge about you to get ahead. Of course we all make friends out of co-workers from time to time, but work should not be your primary source of social contact.
  4. Don?t constantly point out problems at work. If you want to be seen as valuable, make suggestions regarding improvement rather than complaining about what is wrong.
  5. Don?t expect your suggestions to be implemented. Unless you?re the boss, other people have the right to turn down good ideas. Accept that you may not know some critical pieces of information that would make the current way the best way.
  6. Don?t gossip about anyone at work, even if they don?t work there. Gossiping about co-workers will certainly get you in trouble eventually. Talking about other people in your life makes you look as if you will talk behind people?s backs and cannot be trusted. You will not be included early on important projects if people believe you are a blabbermouth.
  7. Don?t talk about how much your hate your job at work. The people who didn?t read No. 6 will certainly pass this information on to supervisors and it will come back to bite you.
  8. Don?t clutter your workspace with personal stuff. One or two pictures and a couple of do-dads are plenty. Your workspace should not look like your dorm room. You will be viewed as unprofessional by others.
  9. Don?t be the reason projects are not done in time. When co-workers see you as the black hole of information, you will certainly be seen as a liability rather than an asset. Do your part of the work and pass it on to the next person. This means staying organized and contributing to rather than detracting from the work flow.
  10. Don?t stop looking for another job. One of the best ways to be satisfied with your job is to find out you need it. People often fantasize about leaving their job, make stupid comments at work (No. 7), and get fired. If you know the job market is tight and you can?t find anything better, you will find a new appreciation for the crappy job you have right now.
 

Halo

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Wow, some really great suggestions...thanks for posting it :)
 

Retired

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Don?t expect to be appreciated. You are being paid to do a job.

Don't you think some / many / most employers work hard to give the illusion their staff is appreciated, in order to motivate workers to feel a sense of endearment toward to company?

Multi-nationals may be the biggest culprits in this regard with extravagant entertainment and rewards programs that can lull an unsuspecting employee into a false sense of security.

Rule # 1 is appropriately rule #1 in my view.
 

David Baxter

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Don't you think some / many / most employers work hard to give the illusion their staff is appreciated, in order to motivate workers to feel a sense of endearment toward to company?

I think that's often (not always) true in the private sector. I think it's often NOT true in the public sector.
 

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