A Job You Hate Can Teach You So Much
If you’re willing to learn, a bad job can set you on a path to a better future
I’d dreamed of leaving while on hour-long commutes, through psycho supervisors, a corporate merger, and a pandemic. And after four long years, it finally happened. Last month, I quit my job at the bank.
I joined the Great Resignation for a job that offered more flexibility, freedom, and more money. I’d love to say I planned the whole thing. But as Steve Jobs said in his famous speech, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward.”
As hard as it was to see while I was working there, the job I hated put me on the path to a better future. If you’re willing, you can learn a lot from a job you hate. Here’s how to make the most of it while you’re waiting to move forward.
Make an investment
A job you hate doesn’t only make you miserable for eight hours a day, it negatively affects the rest of your life. One reason this happens is because you invest so much energy into frustration, resentment, and hate. Soon, you’re wallowing in self-pity about how hard your life is, and that outlook bleeds over into everything.
Before long, that job you hate starts to rob you of satisfaction and joy elsewhere in your life. I know because I struggled with it like everyone else. I grew short-tempered with my kids and became uncomfortably accustomed to complaining. It was not how I wanted to spend my life.
Thankfully, I made a game-changing decision soon after I started working.
To keep my sanity, I started investing in learning skills I enjoyed. For me, it was writing. I started writing and publishing online regularly. I read books and blogs about writing, and I even invested in courses to help me improve my skills.
Those investments helped me feel I still had some say in the direction of my life. But here’s the most important part.
Investing in those skills didn’t change anything about my job. It gave me something to look forward to after a long day of being abused by clients. It was like I had a secret identity — corporate drone by day and renegade writer by night.