In an ideal world, you won’t view work as work and will wake up raring to get right to it every morning. But what happens when you’re dragging yourself to work every day because you simply hate your job? It’s not easy to just pack up and leave when the word “recession” is thrown around so often. Here are six things you can do instead.

Plan your future

Yes, the economic outlook may be gloomy at the moment, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop making any kind of long-term plans for what you ultimately want to accomplish in life. There’s no use sitting at your desk every day feeling miserable but not doing anything about it, so be constructive by plannin to get out of this rut. Take control of the situation and ask yourself what you’d prefer to be doing instead. Then, list the steps that you have to take to get there. Include who you should talk to, any courses you can take and how much time you should give yourself to reach your goal. If you’re still floundering, speak to a close friend or family member, a mentor at work or a career coach.

Don’t switch off

You might not enjoy the work you’re doing, but that doesn’t mean you should give up altogether. If you start to show your lack of interest by getting sloppy or tardy, you might jeopardise your job prospects, and you definitely don’t want that in a slow job market. Put on a brave face and keep working at making a good impression on your bosses and colleagues – you never know when any of them might be hiring internally for a position that would interest you, or if any if them are intending to leave for another company and are looking for staff to take with them.

Ask for more

If you hate your job because you feel you’re not doing enough meaningful work, speak to your boss about it. Tell them that you want to take on more projects and challenges that interest you; in short, prove yourself so that you will be given more responsibilities. Take up courses outside work hours that will help pad your resume with relevant skills, and make sure your boss knows about this. Showing initiative is always a good thing in any boss’s books.

Look around, but don’t quit

It’s true that the best time to find a job is when you already have one, so staying employed is of paramount importance, especially in a volatile economic climate. Use this to your advantage and look around for a new career option. While you have a job, you’ll also have access to useful tools such as networking events, so make the best of them and show potential employers what you can offer them.

Is it the job – or you?

Be honest with yourself: Have you ever been happy in any job? It could be the case that you just don’t enjoy the industry you’re in, or you just haven’t found the right job match for your particular personality. If that’s the case, keep looking for the job that will be a better fit for your career goals. Or it could be that you are just very hard to please and are always thinking that the grass is greener on the other side. If you’re constantly complaining about practically everything and everyone in your life, it’s time to recognise this “habit” of yours, and then find ways to enjoy your work (and life) more.

Keep your chin up

This may sound like an overused inspirational quote, but you really do have to stay positive. The more you wallow in self pity, the more miserable you’ll feel, and the last thing you want is to get so jaded that you give up on improving yourself. Be patient; work on improving your resume and update your LinkedIn profile so that you’re ready for better opportunities once the economy picks up.

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