Self Improvement

Mandy Kloppers

When You Hate What You’re Good At


What do you do when you hate what you’re good at? Using your talents seems a no-brainer but for some of us, being good at something does not necessarily mean that it will be something you necessarily enjoy doing. Here are a few pointers to consider if this is a dilemma you face:

1. When you hate what you’re good at, consider that it may not actually be the job you hate but those you work for, or with say, your boss, co-worker(s), or subordinate(s) who might be lazy, ill-tempered, aggressively demanding, or just plain incompetent. In such situations, you need to determine whether there is anything in what you hate dealing with that might be alterable as well as whether it might be possible to leave your present job to find a position similar to it but less likely to get on your nerves

2. Look for pleasurable activities you can do outside of work, whether in the evenings or on weekends. Anything that affords you enjoyment will at least help compensate for obnoxious workplace conditions that may not be changeable. Whether it is exploring a subject you find fascinating, indulging yourself with a challenging computer game, practicing your beloved guitar, energetically working out (and in the process perhaps discharging some of your anger), socializing with friends you are fond of, or simply listening to music you delight in, don’t allow your life to revolve around your abhorrent work situation any more than absolutely necessary. And if you can avoid attracting negative attention by doing something that enables you to take short breaks from what antagonizes you may as well, go for it.

3. Pursue anything that might make your job more interesting. Can you ask your boss whether you might work on something different, or at least do it differently. Might you be permitted to take some time off to develop a new, and potentially valuable, skill even as you continue to explore other job opportunities in your field? Or might you take evening classes, or classes online, to prepare yourself to enter an adjacent field more to your liking?

4. Don’t lose hope that (sooner or later) either your work circumstances will change just enough for you to feel less disgruntled with them, or that you’ll be able to re-locate yourself professionally to a position substantially more satisfying. As difficult as it may be, if there aren’t yet any viable alternatives to what you are presently doing, focus on the positive aspects of staying put. (The salary is decent, benefits are good, commute is short, it beats being jobless, etc.) And try not to catastrophize your situation. As bad and as frustrating, as it may be, you can bet there are others worse off than you. So as trite as it may seem to say it, make every effort to look on the bright side.

Mandy X


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