7 Positive Things You Can Learn From a Bad Job

Frustrated at Work

Do you struggle getting out of bed in the morning when you think about going to work? Are you regularly feeling frustrated, upset or overwhelmed as a result of your circumstances at your job? Do you start feeling anxious or sad on Sunday evenings when you know that you have to go back to work on Monday? Many professionals today are unhappy with their current employer and feel like they are stuck in a bad job. Even if you are in a toxic environment, constant negative thoughts can be detrimental to mental, physical and emotional health. At this point, it’s more productive to begin creating an exit strategy and maintaining your sanity. Here are seven positive things you can learn from a bad job!

1. Get clarity on what you really want to do

Do you know what your dream job even is? Have you thought about what position lights you up inside and doesn’t feel like work? Being in a bad job can help you understand exactly what you’d rather be doing. The key is to be intentional and list out what tasks, responsibilities and projects you want to work on. Many professionals overlook this step, become desperate and jump into the next job without knowing what they really want.

2. What values you desire in a future company

It’s much easier to determine what values and attributes you’re looking for in a new organization when you are in a negative situation. Are a company’s vision and overall mission important to you? How would you want your employer to treat employees, customers and partners? Writing down the values you desire in a future company helps you learn from your current circumstances and be able to clearly identify what you’d like moving forward.

3. More insight on a particular industry

While your present job might not be a good fit for you, there is usually an opportunity to learn more about the current industry you’re in. Think about the knowledge you’ve gained by being immersed in this sector or job field. Can any of that experience or background be applied to a new position with another organization? Relevant industry experience among job candidates is a plus for recruiters and hiring managers.

4. Focusing more on your work

At a very basic level, if you are in a bad job you generally don’t have to worry about being distracted by additional activities in the workplace. This can allow you to focus more on your actual work. When you have limited interactions with others, it can allow you to have more time to dedicate to the role or responsibilities you were hired to do. What is an area of your personal performance that you could improve on with more focus?

5. How to resolve personality differences

Odds are that if you feel like you are in a negative work environment, then there are colleagues, managers and/or customers that are difficult to communicate with. There could be many reasons for miscommunication, but a primary one could involve personality differences. We all have aspects of our personality that are normal and natural to us. However, other people might find them to be annoying, unnecessary, or even rude. In most bad jobs, you deal with resolving personality differences head on.

6. Conflict resolution skills

Extreme conflict is another trait of many toxic environments. Being exposed to situations involving disagreements or arguments can be very uncomfortable.  However, in many workplaces that are negative, you won’t have the option to avoid all conflict because your own job or performance could be on the line. These circumstances cause many professionals to develop better conflict resolution skills in order to work as a team and get things accomplished.

7. How to be resilient

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, working a bad job increases your level of resiliency. Sure, many people will just quit a job without a back-up plan, but that isn’t an option for most individuals who have bills and families to support. Working through daily challenges increases your levels of grit and mental fortitude. Improving your level of resiliency also helps with aspects of problem solving and critical thinking.

Feeling trapped in a bad job isn’t ideal for anyone. Nevertheless, there are positive things that can be learned and applied to your next career opportunity.  Negative situations can help you get clarity, understand what you value in a company, and allow you to capitalize on industry knowledge in the future. You can also focus more on your work, resolve personality differences, improve conflict resolution skills and resiliency.  What is a positive aspect you learned from being in a bad job?

Porschia Parker-Griffin is a Certified Coach, Professional Resume Writer, and Founder of Fly High Coaching. (https://www.fly-highcoaching.com) She empowers ambitious professionals and motivated executives to add $10K on average to their salaries.

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