How to Cope When You Hate Your Job

Working in healthcare is just plain hard. So, how do you cope if and when your passion for it seems gone? Here are some things to try.

Even without the added pressure of a pandemic, working in healthcare is just plain hard. On any given day, it can be mentally, emotionally, or physically exhausting—on its worst day, a combination of all three—and the reasons you found yourself wanting to work in the field may be long forgotten, replaced with resentment and regret. So, how do you cope, when you no longer love your job? Here are five ideas to try.

Identify What You Dislike

You cannot fix a problem, unless you know what the problem is. It’s easy to say, “I hate my job,” but, surely, you don’t hate everything about it. Take a hard look at what is plaguing you. What is it that is burning you out? Is it the volume of your workload? An ornery coworker? The things you see in your specialty? Talk it through with yourself, a friend or partner, or a mental health professional, so you can truly identify where the problem lies and develop a plan to remedy the problem. It might be an easier fix than you think.

Remind Yourself Why You Chose Your Job

The power of positive thinking doesn’t fix everything, but it can certainly help. When you are feeling particularly down about your job, it might do you some good to remember why you chose your career path. If you were motivated to go into healthcare to help people, as most are, you are still helping people, even on your bad days. It’s easy to lose sight of the good, when buried beneath the bad—dig out by remembering the real, tangible, positive impact your career makes on lives every day.

Find a Battle Buddy

The buddy system might be something you haven’t thought about since grade school, but it is something that the U.S. military has used for years to increase morale, improve safety, promote problem-solving, and even prevent suicide. Battle buddies, as they are known in the military, can be beneficial in healthcare, as well. If you don’t already have a coworker you can vent to and with, make it your mission to find one. Talk things through on a regular basis, as a way to decompress and let go of negative feelings, and to also bond with your battle buddy, and allow them to do the same.

Give Yourself Something to Look Forward To

Though you may work long hours, you are not always on the clock. Make sure you spend your time outside of work mentally clocked out, as well. Fill your schedule with things you enjoy, be they socially distant time with friends and family, any number of hobbies, or even just a day in bed with your favorite TV show on the big screen. Or, better yet, reward yourself by planning a vacation. Either way, give yourself something to look forward to outside of work to get you through the day. Even if it’s something small, it may be the boost you need to make the hours tick by a little bit faster.

Look for a New Job

If all else fails, know that the role you are currently in is not the only one of its kind on the planet. Luckily, if you’re reading this article, you’re already on a healthcare job board. Take a look and see what else is out there. Who knows, you might end up in a job you just plain love.

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.