How to Cope with A Miserable Job After College

Written by: Susan Hang

Adult life, also known as life after college, seems to exude excitement as it symbolizes freedom, success, lavish indulgence in anything and everything, an amazing social life, and an even more amazing career.

Unfortunately, the majority of us will realize quickly that this life we’ve envisioned all these years is truly a fairytale that precedes adult reality.

It has officially been one year since I entered the world of merchandising and I’ve come to find out that the majority of the 12 individuals who embarked on this path with me are unhappy – a few have quit, a few more plan on quitting, and only one person absolutely loves the job. I’m appalled at the high turnover within just one year and it’s starting to dawn on me that the majority of us are unhappy with our lives fresh out of college and what we’re doing in our real first year working. So whatever the reason for your unhappiness, here are a few ways you can cope with this rough stage:

– Trust that this phase is a part of the process.

You know that quote says something about there being nothing like old fashion hard work? Well, your struggle is basically just that. We all start from the bottom and that’s really the only way to prove yourself – how hard you’re willing to work and how far you’re willing to go. I think a lot of us start to think that we’re going to be miserable forever since time can really feel infinite when you’re not enjoying a particular task. So just constantly remind yourself that the struggle is a part of the process and continue to put forth your best. As generic as it sounds, this is really just a reminder we all can use often and before you know it, it’ll be over.

– Change Your Attitude.

Most of our feelings and perspective on life is dependent on our attitude. Train your mind to steer away from seeing only the negative aspects and feeling only negative emotions. Give yourself some pep talk and think about how fortunate you really are to even have a job opportunity. You’ll find that work is easier to wake up to when you’re not feeling so bitter and angry all the time.


– Find something you enjoy and do it often.

It’s so important for people to make time for themselves because it’s what helps us keep our sanity. Finding something that you enjoy allows you to de-stress and have something to look forward to, which makes life that much better. It also balances the negative energy and feelings you have towards your job. Take note that this was also how a lot of the big name bloggers became superstars – they started blogs as creative outlets to break free from their ordinary jobs.

– Find a support network.

Sometimes, we just need to talk through our feelings with people that actually care. Venting is healthy so make sure you surround yourself with people you genuinely enjoy being around and trust. You might find that a lot of you are in the same boat, which will make your work life easier to bear knowing you’re not alone.

– Prepare for Plan B.

Leaving a job and finding another one you enjoy isn’t as easy as it sounds. While you’re at your current job, you should be honing in on transferrable skills that are important to the job you want and learning as many systems and methodologies as you can. You should also be saving money in case you decide to quit before you have another gig lined up. In the interim, work on building an effective portfolio, constructing an impactful resume, and writing a killer cover letter. Practice your interviewing skills over and over and restart the job application process.

As I always say, it’s most important that you don’t give up and lose hope.



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Image Source Credits – Vogue, Fashion Gone Rogue