What To Do If You Work One Of The 'Worst' Jobs
When you see the enticing headline "Worst Jobs In America," it's almost impossible to resist clicking to see what professions made the list.
But, what happens if your job is on the list?
The first thing to do is to remain calm and not be offended by the designation. A phrase like "worst" is only a point of view.
Many of these lists take into account general factors like work environment, stress, occupational outlook, and income. Careercast.com uses these factors annually as it crafts its best and worst jobs lists.
While these factors are all significant, you can't tailor them to each individual. Everyone has different preferences, financial situations, and ambitions.
Still, if your job made the worst list, chances are it's a tough and, at times, stressful job. Here are some things to keep in mind if your tough job ends up on the worst list.
Always Leave Your Career Options Open
If you're happy and love your job, it doesn't matter what list it ends up on. Career happiness is hard to find and, if you've found it, don't let anything discourage it.
But, if you're on the fence about the job or unhappy, seeing it end up on the worst list may just be another strike against it.
It could be time for a career change.
Decide what you want to do and identify some companies that you may want to work for down the line.
One benefit of working a tough job (and doing it well) is that it gives you an opportunity to sell yourself as a hard and resilient worker. Identify the skills you've acquired and challenges you've overcome. Figure out how to make a case for these skills translating into a new job.
It's also important to conduct a proactive job search. It's not good enough to just send out resumes and hope for responses.
Do your research and make strategic connections. You may know someone that works for the company or have a friend that knows someone who works there. These connections could provide you with important advice about the company and position you're pursuing.
Do whatever you can to get your foot in the door.
Find A Way To Relieve Work Stress
All jobs are stressful, but some are more stressful than others. According to the careercast.com Worst Jobs of 2019 list the Top 5 worst jobs in America are...
1.) Taxi driver
3.) Newspaper reporter
4.) Retail salesperson
5.) Enlisted military personnel
All five of these jobs are very different from each other. However, one thing they have in common is that they all appear to be high in stress (the author of this post can vouch for newspaper reporter as a high-stress job).
Everyone has their own strategies for dealing with stress. Some people focus on what they can do outside of work to alleviate the stresses of their jobs. Outside of work, it's good to have a go-to passion or escape. It could be quality time with family, playing a sport, going to the gym, or some sort of creative outlet. Whatever it is, finding a way to have fun and get your mind off of work is important for your health.
Life can't revolve around work all the time, especially at a high-stress job. If the job becomes all-consuming, it will only increase the overall stress.
Attitude also plays a major factor in stress levels. Approaching a situation with dread or as if you're already defeated will only exacerbate the stress. Keeping a positive attitude in all situations, especially the difficult ones, is essential for keeping your sanity.
Look For Opportunities To Make The Job Easier
This is obviously easier said than done because some jobs are just tough.
However, no matter what job you work, it's never a bad idea to take a step back from time to time to evaluate how you do the job. Do you unintentionally make the job harder on yourself?
By really evaluating how you do the job, you can identify bad habits and ways to correct them. You can also identify ways to streamline the work.
Time management is also crucial. Do your best to plan the day and prioritize the most important tasks. Obviously, you can't plan everything and things change, but it's important to have a framework for the day and know what absolutely has to get done.
Keep communication open with co-workers and look for opportunities to delegate responsibilities.
Don't Be Afraid To Be Selfish At Work Sometimes
Whether it's putting in extra hours, taking an extra shift, or picking up the slack of another co-worker, most of us have gone the extra mile for work at some point.
There are times when it make sense. The work has to get done one way or another and putting in the extra effort could make your life easier in the long run. Sometime this extra effort is way to position ourselves favorably with supervisors and set ourselves up for promotion or better pay.
In addition, when jobs offer overtime pay, it can be very tempting to put in additional time.
When you start extending yourself too much, it almost becomes expected from your employer and before you know it you're burning yourself out without even realizing it.
Learn how to say NO.
Time away from a stressful job is essential, so it's important to keep a proper work-life balance in place. If you're willing to put in the extra work from time to time, no one should fault you when you say no. If they do, you're at the WRONG job.
Look For Bonding Opportunities With Co-Workers
In the old days, it was very common to see a handful of newspaper reporters at the bar after deadline.
There's something very comforting about sharing a drink with someone who experiences the same workplace challenges as you. It's an opportunity to discuss those challenges, share ideas, and even complain (there's nothing wrong with complaining, everyone needs to vent sometimes, just be mindful of what you say).
It's always a good idea to have a trusted group of friends at work, but it's especially important when you work a difficult and stressful job.
Having these type of trusted co-workers makes going to work easier and can improve the overall work environment. It also helps work-life balance to find bonding opportunities outside of work, such as random get-togethers, trivia night, sports leagues, and so on.
These co-workers help to keep you sane and motivated because they are going through the same ups and downs on the job as you and can make for a great support system.
Wear Your "Worst" Job Title As A Badge Of Honor
You work one of the worst jobs in America and you do it well. Own it!
As stated earlier, whether a job is good or bad can simply come down to a point of view.
If the job is a good fit for you, it doesn't matter what others think.
Just do what you can to make the job easier and be proud. The skills that you acquire on your difficult job could prove invaluable in the future.
The worst jobs list is only a list, the key to career happiness ultimately lies within yourself.
If you are ready for a career change and need help then join our program and work one on one with a certified career coach.
- The 10 Worst Jobs for Millennials | Careers | US News ›
- The Worst Jobs of 2018 - CareerCast.com ›
- The 25 worst jobs in US: low pay, high stress, and poor job security ›