The worst kinds of jobs are the ones where you know you’re capable of doing much bigger and much better things. The work you’re doing is mindless and you feel all your potential slipping away with each tick of the minute hand. Thoughts of how beneath you the job is consume you. The job may or may not be beneath you, but a negative attitude is easy to develop when you aren’t really invested in what you’re doing.
Unfortunately, sometimes jobs are a necessity, even the crappy ones. You can–and should–search for a better job or something you’re more interested in, but that mindless, horrible job is needed in the meantime so that you can continue to afford food, rent, and pay all your bills.
It doesn’t have to be all bad though. The best way to make the most of your situation is by doing it all. Even the smallest, most mundane tasks. Just do it all.
For one, it keeps you busy. It’s easier to hate your job when you’re doing absolutely nothing because you’ve got nothing occupying your mind. At least a little bit or work will give you something to do. Taking out the trash and cleaning the break room are probably not the glorious, fulfilling careers you dreamed of while getting your degree, but it is better than staring at the clock all day.
Another benefit of keeping busy and doing any little thing you can is that people notice. Your manager or boss will take note of everything you do, even if it is the stupid stuff that nobody else is willing to take up. And this can translate into serious benefits for you. Should you request a raise, you can use that extra work as a reminder of how dedicated you are. Bosses taking note can also result in better recommendations–perhaps a key component in you landing a new and improved job.
Similar to the better recommendations idea, doing it all can make you seem more favorable to your employers. They’ll think of you as that go-getter who’s cooperative, helpful, and willing to do more than just what your job description entails. You gaining favor with them can come in handy when you need to request a day or two off work at the last minute. Or you might seriously mess up something you’re working on, but your boss will be more forgiving because she knows that you’re usually an excellent, capable individual.
Doing simple, menial tasks can also help you develop a stellar work ethic. This is something that you can carry with you throughout your life, whether you love or loathe your job. This kind of sounds like something your parents would say, but it’s true. Think of any first job you had; it was probably not demanding, but it taught you the importance of showing up someplace on time and when you were supposed to. The same can be said of any hateful job when you’re older. That work ethic doesn’t go anywhere, and it could be strengthened.
The very best part of this whole scenario is when you finally get to escape from your cruddy job. Because you were so committed to doing anything you could, your employers are going to miss you. For better or worse, you make connections at every job. Your soon-to-be old boss gives you a good recommendation now…and they will later. Just because you leave a job doesn’t mean it disappears from your resume. You can use your new old boss as a future reference. They’ll wax poetics on how fantastic of a worker you were for them and are confident that any employer would be lucky to have you.
Just because your job really sucks right now doesn’t mean it always will. You can find something that’s a better fit for you, but during that wait time you can do a whole lot to boost your future prospects. So keep working hard and doing it all, and good luck!