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How to be Productive at a Job that isn’t your Dream Job

Monday is the most hated day of the week, and we all know why. It’s because Mondays signify the start of another work week and the end of a pleasurable weekend. However, if you realize that you groan when it is work O’clock every morning and not just on Mondays, it is a sure sign that you detest your job. For a lot of us, we settle for a job that does not make us happy, because our dream job is not forthcoming yet, and this one pays the bill. Hence, even if we want to just pack up our things and quit by the next minute, we plaster a fake smile on our faces and force ourselves to be productive. On those days, you may be giving clients the “I love my job” vibe, but your mind is thinking, “I hate doing this”.

Unfortunately, hate is not just a strong word, but also a very powerful emotion. If you dislike your job it will be evident in your work attitude, and negatively impact your work productivity. Here are a few tips to help you be productive at a job that isn’t your dream job, but is what you’ve got.

What you Should do to be Productive even when you hate your Job

1. Stay Positive

It is in human nature to focus on the less-than-desirable parts of our lives more than the beautiful parts. Your job might be too demanding, your boss is probably a micromanager, and your colleagues may be out to overload you with tasks at every chance they get, but that is just the bad side of your job. Focus on the perks, not the turn-offs.

 Does your job let you work from home? That’s amazing, appreciate that. Do you work on-site but save money on transportation because your office is only a short distance from your home? That’s a privilege not a lot of people have. Does the job role come with a fat paycheck and juicy benefits like a paid vacation? If your answer is yes, remind yourself of that every time the disdain for your job creeps up in your mind.

In summary, being productive at a job you dislike will get easier if you choose to dwell on the advantages of the role, rather than worry over the negativities that you have no control over.

2. Strive to Deliver Value Always

The fact that your current job isn’t your dream job, should not stop you from contributing value to the company (outside of your job responsibilities) when you can. If you notice a coworker needs insight into your area of expertise to accomplish a task, offer to be of help. Volunteer to assist with organizing team-building events and other relevant programs in the company. The goal is to get busy with activities that will make you happy. Researchers say that the average human being loves to be of help.

3. Get Innovative and Creative

Most times it may not be the job you hate, but the monotony that comes with it. If that is the case, get creative and find out other ways to get your tasks done that make you happy. Play around with your work routine and try including something new and different. For example, you may try listening to music via a headset while you work, or taking a break to walk around and connect with your coworkers after accomplishing each task, instead of just powering on.

If you’ve lost the passion for your job that was on fire when you first started, it may be time for some rebranding. Spice things up a bit and throw in some variety, and your love for the role may come alive again. Something as small as getting a parfait instead of your usual salad for lunch may help boost your productivity level after the break.

4. Set Personal Goals and Aim to Achieve them

Usually, every company has set goals for the week, month, or year, and the employees are supposed to work towards achieving them. However, setting your own smaller goals would help you be more productive. For example, if you work as a brand marketer and have been assigned a target of reeling in 100 new customers by the end of the month, setting a goal to reach out to at least 5 people every day will help you see the target as less difficult and more attainable.

5. Develop your Skill Set

If you hate your job, it might be because you are not compatible with that niche or industry. In that case, you need to work on developing your skill set in a different field. Where it happens that you just settled for your current job because your dream job hasn’t arrived yet, don’t forget to keep learning and upskilling so you can deliver value when it comes. An impressive skill set is a ticket to moving forward in your career path.

6. Maintain a good Work-Life Balance

 When your entire life revolves around work, you would eventually start to detest your job. While remaining committed to your job, remember to go out to events that are not work-related and socialize once in a while. When you go to parties, art exhibitions, and other events not related to your job, focus on establishing genuine relationships and not just networking. If your current job does not afford you enough free time to have a life outside work, consider taking up the matter with your boss. If you are the boss, delegate tasks to other capable hands sometimes so you can take a breather. Remember, all work and no play can make even your dream job feel like a chore.

7. Declutter your Workspace

Being productive at work starts with having an organized workspace. When your office or desk is untidy and in disarray, it automatically dampens your mood. Every time you step into your office, make an effort to declutter your workspace and put things in order before you start the task of the day. It also helps to have a beautiful flower arrangement by your desk or have the room scented with a pleasant fragrance. When your workspace is organized and appealing, it automatically brightens your day.

8. Say Daily Affirmations

Affirmations are powerful tools for inducing positive feelings and emotions in the mind. When you replace the phrase, “I hate my job” with “today will be a great day” it gives you a healthy dose of positive energy. If you start your day with positive affirmations, you are guaranteed to have a more productive day than if you start with negative confessions.

PS: You can also have some affirmations hung on your wall in the office for some midday motivation.

9. Keep Searching for your Dream Job

If you hate your dream job because the company’s culture or work ethics do not resonate with you, or because you have an overbearing boss, the work environment may eventually become too toxic for you. To protect your mental health, you should quit any job that is a threat to your peace of mind. However, before you quit, you want to be sure that you have something to fall back on. That is why while you try your best to be productive, you should also be on the lookout for better job opportunities that appeal to you.

It’s not your dream job, but it is not the end of the world either!

Not everyone gets their dream job on their first try. Samuel said he worked as a POS guy, a dispatch rider, and everything else for 4 years after his graduation before he got his dream job as a civil engineer. It may not be your dream job, but it pays the bills so strive to be as productive as you can in exchange for the paycheck. Don’t forget to keep applying to your dream job – one day you might just hit the jackpot. I hope these tips help you turn that frown up into a smile when you show up at your workplace tomorrow. Have a great day!

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Oputa Okwanuzor is a freelance writer skilled in the art of weaving words into stories for brand boost through copywriting, or make a soothing read using creative writing. In her free time, she loves to share personal development talks, fashion inspos and writing tricks on her blog.

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