Work-Life Balance

How to make your job less annoying, according to Google’s former head of HR

Young Woman Annoyed with Job
Written by Eric Titner

Those of us who have been in the workforce for a while have all come to one inevitable, unavoidable conclusion—no job is perfect. No matter how much—or how little—we like our current positions and workplaces, there are undoubtedly a few things (or many things) that we simply wish were different, and somehow less aggravating and frustrating. And the more time we spend at a job, the more every little minor issue or hassle begins to feel like a monumentally annoying pain that we just can’t seem to avoid or escape.

Does all of this mean that each of us is doomed to have to endure every single exasperating and irksome thing about our jobs and simply accept that fact that they suck? Not exactly. In fact, there are some real strategies that you can deploy to make your job more bearable. In fact, Google’s former SVP of People Operations, Laszlo Bock, recently acknowledged at an SHRM Conference that although work can sometimes be a drag no matter what job or industry you’re employed in, there are ways to effect positive and lasting change.

Consider using the following strategies in an effort to make your work life a little less lame.

Try to ensure your job has meaning for you.

Sure, your job already means a paycheck and a place to keep you busy and occupied during your work shifts, but if you want your job not to suck (and better still, if you want to actually look forward to the idea of working) you should try to find new and improved meaning in your work. Step back and think about your job from a fresh perspective.

Ask yourself the following questions: Are there elements of your job that you’re particularly proud of, no matter how small? Do you do anything that helps others? Do you contribute to your greater community? Try to find new meaning and purpose in your work, and it’ll help refresh and renew your attitude and enthusiasm for your job.

Seek out fulfilling work relationships.

For most of us, we interact with the people we work with, as much as—or even more than—our friends and family, so it’s hard to ignore the fact that these folks are a significant part of our lives. Therefore, your attitude toward your workplace can be greatly affected by your relationships with your colleagues. If you have satisfying and enjoyable connections with your professional peers, chances are you’ll look forward to coming into work and interacting with them each day—whether on projects or at the water cooler.

Conversely, if your relationships with your colleagues is nonexistent, lackluster, or worse, you’ll likely dread having to come into work to interact with them all day. The truth is, very few of us work completely alone, so make an effort to get along with your coworkers and you’ll help ensure that you’ll have an enjoyable and pleasant workplace to go to every day.

Plan for the future.

No one likes to feel that they’re facing a dead end—in life or in work. We should always approach our professional lives as a never-ending journey, not a single destination. If you make it a point to always have a plan for career growth, learning new skills, and expanding your professional horizons, you’ll be able to avoid burnout and resist the static and stuck feelings that make most of us begin to hate our jobs over time.

Consider developing short-term (one year) and long-term (five years) plans for professional growth, and it will provide you with a roadmap for exciting personal exploration, confronting new challenges, and reaching new levels of success.

If your work life is less than satisfying, use the strategies provided here to turn things around and discover new meaning and purpose in your work. It’s important to both you and your organization that you stay engaged in the long run. The key is to make the best of the situation you’re in—create an environment in which you can thrive and hold on to the skills you’re acquiring to make you a productive member of your chosen field.

About the author

Eric Titner

Eric is a NYC-based editor and writer, with years of experience in career-focused content development across a wide range of industries.