Take This Job-and Meanwhile, Make Yourself Happy! 

Remember the old Johnny Paycheck Song, “Take this job and shove it?” It sounded tempting.  But in these tough times, it’s not realistic.  So, what do you do to make yourself happy while staying at your job?

The first step is to accept two facts.  The first is that your job is less than satisfying.  The second is that it may be too hard or impossible to quit, look for a new job, relocate and/or upend your family. You may see this as an uncomfortable “fact.”  Nevertheless, accept it and the tensions and limitations it involves.

Then ask yourself and your partner what options you have.  Can you ask your present employer for more variety and/or responsibility?  Are you so exhausted that all you can do is come home and flop into bed?  Are there any ways that you can reasonably set limits on your work without jeopardizing your position?  Would a doctor’s note help you work?

If you can find a little room to maneuver, try spending more time doing rewarding activities.  Take a class at a community center, religious institution, junior college, art studio, or wherever you can find one to your liking.  Join a club that goes for walks. Look for free or low-cost activities in your newspaper. Take your partner out for coffee, even at an inexpensive fast food restaurant.  The idea is to have quality time without spending a lot of money.

Keep up your exercise program, eat well, and sleep well. Keep your partner in the loop.  You can support each other as you go through these hard times.

If none of these suggestions work, go see a therapist with your partner. She or he may see possibilities you can’t see at present.  Perhaps the therapist can help you set up a long range plan to find a new job as well as know of resources for you and your family.


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