Can Having a Terrible Job Make You a Better Person?

We've all been there -- seemingly stuck in a job that is less than fun. In fact, a job can be terrible, causing us to second-guess our every move at the office. At the end of the day, in a job like this, it can be easy to confuse your own value and self-worth with your employment.

(Photo Credit: Mark Sebastian/Flickr)

A minimum-wage job used to be just a stepping-stone to the next thing, the “real” thing, you were going to do with your life. But our economy has changed. You may find that your temp job isn’t so temporary and that you’ll be there for much longer than you wanted. You might find yourself there more than once in your career while you re-find your footing if your company downsizes.

Here are some ways you can use that time to your advantage.

Use the Time to Better Yourself

Frequently, the minimum-wage jobs can be a little mindless. Or maybe you have a long commute. Use the downtime to better yourself by taking a class on tape or learning a new language. Finding a way to improve yourself will keep your mind occupied and might just help you land the next career you’d really love.

Be Kind

If you’re going to be stuck there, you might as well learn how to look at it as an opportunity. Work on your kindness, both toward yourself and others. Kindness is free! And makes you more fun to be around. Your positive energy will be higher and that helps keep your immune function working better and you healthier. Be the kind of person that finds the silver-lining.

Get your Passion Back

It can feel like a gut-punch if you end up back in retail or busing tables after having a job you really loved or earning a lot more money. Work toward finding something you can be passionate about in your off hours. Remind yourself that after your shift at the drugstore, you’ll be able to spend time with your family, or hit the beach to surf, or work on your painting, or hang out with friends and play video games.

Live in the Moment

Find something you can like about your day, even if it’s something small like the view on your commute or organizing the shelves. Take pride in your work and don’t spend all day daydreaming waiting to be happy later. Be happy now!

Remember, your job doesn’t define you as a person, reminds Louise Hung from XO Jane. Don’t ever make the mistake of judging people for what they do 9-5, and that includes yourself. And if you’re lucky enough to be working a job where you earn a decent living doing something you love, maybe stop giving side-eyes to the person ringing up your fake lashes, personal hygiene products, and Laffy Taffy at the corner store. It might be a laid-off college professor trying to make ends meet.

Tell Us What You Think

If you're stuck in a job you don't love, how do you make the most of it? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

1 Comment

  1. 1 Stanley Carter 31 Jul
    I am interested an being a sale person

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