I Hate My Day Job But I Need The Money. What Should I Do?

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If you are an actor, chances are you also have a support job to bring in an income while you pursue the business of show business (unless you are independently wealthy or have reached that enviable point in your acting career where you can survive solely on your earnings as an actor). Sometimes this means working at a job that you don’t like only because you need the money.

Most of us have, at one time or another, worked at a job that we did not like. Sometimes the boss seems stingy, or the coworkers are mean, or the pay is too low for the amount of work required, or we just don’t like the work itself. Here are some thoughts on dealing with this problem. Ask yourself the following questions: What is it I don't like about this job? Is the thing I hate about this job fixable? Would it be worth staying at the job if I could fix the problem?

Let's break it down. What is it that you don't like about your job? Is it a personnel matter, i.e. you have a problem with people you work with? If so, possible solutions include asking for a private meeting with the person or persons, in which you make an effort to find out what they are thinking, and to make your feelings known. This can clear the air, and get the unspoken issues out in the open, with the hope that all those involved can adjust their behaviors accordingly. Remember to be professional and try to be respectful, because being disrespectful and angry will very likely sabotage any potential progress. Sometimes your coworkers and supervisors have no idea that their words or behaviors have upset you, and simply making them aware of your thoughts and feelings can be enough to bring them around.

Is the thing you hate about the job fixable? If your coworkers or your boss still make you miserable, or you can't seem to find a way around the thing you dislike, then it probably is time to look for employment elsewhere.

If you dislike the work itself, the best thing to do is to figure out what you would prefer to do, and then look for a job where you can do that instead. Sometimes this is simply looking at what jobs you can find, and then choosing the best out of the bunch. (We can't always find the perfect job right away.) In the meantime, since you need to keep your job until you can find another, try to make the best of it, and to take the path of least resistance. Sometimes it just doesn't pay to argue with people when you already know you can't win. Try just agreeing with them, and letting the conflicts just roll off your back, knowing that you will soon be gone from the unpleasant situation as soon as you can.

Remember to communicate effectively. Use your friends and family as support systems and to help get the word out when looking for a new job.

Robert Curtiss, a former psychotherapist, works at Essay Management with personal manager John Essay, whom he helped to create TheActorsGuideToEverything.com.


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