What to do when you hate your job? If you can quit, then here’s how. If you can’t, then the solution can be shifting your perspective and more...
If you’re here because you hate your job, just know you’re not alone. A recent study in job satisfaction shows that nearly half of all US workers are not satisfied with their jobs. This could mean a lot of things for many people. But simply said, it means they hate their jobs.
And if given an opportunity, albeit the RIGHT opportunity, they would quit. You feel the same way, don’t you?
Hating your job can mean many things. You could dislike your co-workers or you simply don’t like what you spend most of your working day doing. Whether that’s filing papers, serving food behind the counter, writing boring reports, etc.
There may be thousands and thousands of job opportunities available in the market today. But not all of them are interesting!
But – hold on a second. This isn’t about what’s interesting for the world, right? It’s about you. Why you dislike your job and what to do when you hate your job.
The first step to developing an easy attitude about this to cultivate understanding. So this begs the following question.
Do You Really Hate Your Job?
Lots of people hate their jobs because of one specific pileup or misunderstanding. There’s no reason to hate what you do when you can look past that. If that is what’s the problem here. Some hate their jobs because it demands tough deadlines and long hours.
As Thomas Edison says, “When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this; you haven’t.”
When you’re still unsure about whether you really hate your job. It’s time to recognize the signs that you do. This should help you realize what it is you dislike about your job. And if it’s something that you can change without actually quitting your job, you can definitely start working on that.
1. Every Night Blues
You’ve seen memes and jokes about this everywhere. Sunday night blues is what you feel when you don’t want a fantastic weekend to get over. And you’re treading the working weekdays that are inevitably ahead.
Sunday night blues is a good thing but only when you know how to beat it. That anticipation of working and the added stress is not only for people who dislike their jobs. Even those who enjoy their work feel pressure and stress.
You go back to work on Mondays after 2 days off. This means there are more emails to reply to and deadlines to meet. The pressure of work on the first day of the week is always heated.
But what happens when you feel them every night of the week? Then it isn’t about the weekend passing anymore. If you feel what I like to call the Every Night Blues, your job could be the problem.
2. Physical Stress
Stress can manifest in many ways. And taking on the stress of doing a job you hate can be burdensome. One study concludes that stress impairs a person’s ability to be physically active.
It can cause frequent headaches, lack of appetite, fatigue, trouble sleeping, etc.
Sometimes the thought of working the next day can make one feel queasy. If you notice that you’re feeling sick or “under the weather” more often. And are tempted to take more sick leaves. Your job is the problem.
3. Dullness & Boredom
It can be annoying to talk to a person who loves what they do. So they tell you about how excited they are to get back to the job. And here you are feeling bored and completely unenthused about your job.
The fact that your work isn’t always going to be exciting. You have to jump through hurdles every day. It’s going to get tougher on some days than all. However, if you think about it, challenges at work are a part of the job.
To think dully and unenthusiastically about your job is different. You could be working to pay your bills, support a family, or hone your talents or skills. But if you lack that excitement and spirit for your work, it’s about time you start disliking it altogether.
4. You’re Average at Work
No point in being great at something if you don’t enjoy it, right? Apart from the tiny mistakes most people make at work, you’re not as good as you used to be. You’re merely average at the work you do and maybe people are starting to notice it too.
Or you’re lacking the confidence and stamina to get work done faster and better. If this is happening to you, maybe it’s time to reconsider your options.
5. Frequent Venting
Venting is a way to release pent up thoughts and emotions about something. And if you find yourself making all your venting about your work, then you have a problem. A little bit of venting is normal for everyone. But if you’re frustrated about your work all the time. It could have serious consequences for your mental and physical health.
6. Loss of Focus
The only way something that really holds your attention is when it’s interesting. You can’t expect a musician to focus on a lecture on engineering. No concentration can be the cause of fatigue. And being frustrated at your job takes up most of your energy anyway.
Work productivity is at zero right now. You hate doing what you do. And the fact that you’re getting off work just means you have to get back up on it again tomorrow morning. So basically there’s no rest even when you’re not at work.
This sort of depression can invade your days and nights. You don’t feel like doing anything else after you get off work. So life goes into dragging mode. You’re not focusing on anything. You’re working slowly. And you feel tired and unmotivated all the time.
What you need is to learn how to cope with work stress. But if you are unable to do so, that is a serious sign that you hate your job.
What’s the Next Step?
Once you know how you feel about your job, the next step is a change of mindset.
Just hear me out.
This very recent article tells you why most people, who hate their jobs, hate their jobs. And a major part of the reason is judgment. With the exception of people who are in exhaustive and troubling professional careers. In that sense, it’s about time to quit and look for a healthier work environment.
So can a change in mindset change the way you look at your job? And if that is the top reason, is it possible to hate your job less?
Let’s find out.
The way we spend one-third of our day working. It’s a lot of effort and time, right? So when you do something for a long time, what’s missing? To be appreciated for what you do. When you were in school, putting in all those hours of homework and studying yielded results.
Grades, trophies, approval, and even bravado was a part of the game.
As adult shoes start to fit you, things are not that different. You enjoy the praise of your co-workers, your boss, and your friends and family. Though in a less childish and grandiose way. But praise is praise – no matter how you look at it.
Gaining other people’s respect is also an important factor here. Having them look up to you or find your job profile impressive. It may not be that your job itself is impressive. But you’re the one braving it.
One of the causes of hating your job is high expectations. In order to maintain your professional image, you tend to overreach and fail to find something good in it. To put it simply, you drive yourself to exhaustion trying to gain other people’s rest and praise.
This is only one side of the coin. The other side is fearing disapproval and criticism if you choose to quit. So it doesn’t matter how miserable the job makes you. You’re too involved with thinking about what others think rather than thinking only about yourself.
Or maybe this isn’t about others judging your professional career. Maybe this is about you judging yours.
The issue is not with the job but it is with the way you perceive it. It’s natural to want to do something respectable and meaningful. But the world just doesn’t grant everyone that opportunity. As a response to that, humans tend to judge others based on the job they do.
For example, one of the most frowned upon jobs is a used car salesman. Even in films, we are always acquainted with a used car salesman in a negative light. Either the character is too depressed and unhappy with his/her life. Or that the character is a deceptive liar looking to rob you of your money.
So this is everywhere. Nurses, dry-cleaning laundry workers, cashiers, serving waiters, etc. These are some of the lowest-paying jobs and despised jobs in the world.
So it’s only to have an opinion about your career. And this, believe it or not, can impact your life choices, which includes liking or disliking your job.
Why “Following Your Passion” Is Bad Advice?
Considering that you’re still reading this article, I’m guessing you think so too! If anybody has ever told you to start “listening to your true calling” or “let go and follow your passion.” Let me tell you that reality is different.
Chances are that person has never felt stuck in a job they hate before. And that they have had the financial freedom to get out immediately.
To think that passion isn’t everything is a hard pill to swallow. But it’s the best honest advice you’ll ever get. Doing a job you hate is tough enough as it is. But it’s even harder to blame yourself for not following your passion. It tackles your self-esteem and confidence tremendously.
No passion of yours will take care of itself. You have to work for it and at it, all the time. It’s impossible to have a job that doesn’t feel like a job. But it’s possible to do a job you hate and still be good at it.
The logic here is effort. It is to build experience and learn new skills to cope with a job. Be it a job you’re passionate about or a job you hate. This lessens the stigma around working and deciding whether you like your work or not.
And it takes the pressure off when you know that your job, by itself, is not all that interesting. But how you choose to work on it is what really matters.
How to Cope With A Job You Hate?
A change in mindset about your job isn’t going to happen overnight. You need to exhaust all your options before you actually quit your job. Whether this is on account of hating it or it’s a super-taxing and challenging workplace.
You can carry out these steps to look at your job a bit differently.
1. Assess the situation
This means evaluating the exact cause of discomfort. Once you figure out the problem, you’re already working on its solution. If this is about your new job, give yourself some time. Things usually settle down after a week or so. If this is your old job, recognize the issues you’re facing.
An entrepreneur once said, “Problems are not STOP signs, they are guidelines.”
This means toxic work culture, superior’s management skills, job details, and expectations. Looking for the core issues can help you stay positive. And it can also make you realize that if it’s not under your control, it’s not your fault. So you can stay calm and positive in difficult situations.
Not everyone who hates their job is independently wealthy. So walking into the boss’s office and submitting a resignation letter is not an option. Hence, understanding the bad side of your job can help you appreciate the good side more. Especially if you have many responsibilities.
2. Don’t stop looking
It’s important to stay ready for when an opportunity opens up. This means keeping your resume up to date and networking when you can. The best way to go about this is to keep multiple copies of your updated resume.
If you have extra time on your hands, you can also opt for freelance work. If that’s available to you. It can be a huge red flag for an employer to see you looking for new jobs. While you’re already working somewhere. But you never know when a chance comes your way.
So talking to other colleagues and old co-workers is a good way to weigh out your options. See what’s out there and make it as candid and positive as you can. You may not be necessarily job hunting but you can always start a conversation. And you never know what might happen.
3. Consider career coaching or therapy
It’s natural to feel depressed and anxious about a job you hate. But it’s this very feeling that can lead to serious mental issues. A career coach and therapist or counselor are helpful. In that, they help you deal with these feelings of depression, frustration, or anxiety better.
Because it’s the stigma of a bad job that usually pollutes everything else. You don’t feel like doing anything exciting or fun after work. Because all your mental energy goes into anticipating the next working day.
This can affect personal development, relationships, and personal life.
A career coach can illuminate more career opportunities for you. They’re also excellent at helping you identify changes that you need to make. In order to dislike your job a little less and make the most of a given situation.
By realizing and unlearning yourself, it opens up new doors to value yourself better and not let it affect you on a large scale.
This brings us to the next important segment of the article. And that is a way to take control of your situation to make your job better.
Can You Change How You Work?
Why is this important?
In any workspace, communication is key. This includes your boss, superiors, co-workers, and the work itself. How you communicate with your colleagues and manager. How you direct your actions around others. And how you take on new challenges says a lot about you.
By now you’ve recognized the core issue of why you hate your job. And if it involves any one of these problems, there’s a solution for you.
1. Problems with the Boss or Manager
A good reason to quit any job is a bad boss. Your superior doesn’t support you. He/she doesn’t allow you room for adjustments and to grow. Especially in situations that demand a bit more time and effort.
If your boss is why you hate your job then this is what you need to do.
Refrain from complaining about your boss. Especially when who you’re talking to is a company employee. This creates a very negative atmosphere around you. And others treat you differently because of your opinions.
Next, identify your boss’s behavior. Your boss can be difficult to deal with in many ways. They can be too bossy, lazy, too fussy or insulting. Once you know what it is, you can develop a way to deal with it.
Take up new ways of communicating with your superiors. Test out new communication strategies especially if you are around your manager all the time. If that is getting nowhere, you can always take the high road and bite your tongue.
But always remember, stick to your job profile. Do not let your boss push you around for too long. Always keep your communication positive even while you convey an inconvenience. You don’t want to sound unprofessional.
The last resort is conflict resolution. You can contact Human Resources or the union if your company has one. They have great resources for you to deal with a challenging situation. If you notice a serious dispute, this is the best place to go for guidance.
2. Problems with Coworker(s)
You need a good reason to dislike your coworker. It’s not as straightforward as meeting your coworker and then disliking them. The best thing to do is to build a solid foundation. Get to know your coworker based on the work you do.
If your coworker is being mean to you, try to shift your perspective. Do not look at how your coworker is being mean to you. Look at how you react to it. Maintaining a professional relationship with your coworkers is necessary. It resolves conflicts faster and improves work ethic.
This is your workplace and you have to accept you won’t like everybody. But that’s the point. You don’t have to personally like someone to be able to work around them. If there is a problem, resolve it as professionally and openly as you can.
It’s not a fight when you observe what your coworker is doing to hurt you. Rather than finding faults with that person as if they’re your best friend that let you down.
3. Problems with Salary
Do you feel underpaid? This is a cause for negotiations. But you can’t exactly just barge in and demand a raise. There’s a sophisticated method in place to negotiate a better price. Or it could also be that you’re working more than your coworkers. And you expect some reward or benefits.
The best place to start is to figure out the “How Much” of your salary. If you’re underpaid, calculate by how much. If you think you deserve a reward or some extra benefits, what are they?
There are plenty of accessible websites such as PayScale.com or Salary.com.
Next is to analyze your current position. If you’re the average employee, getting anything extra is a hassle. You need to be great at your job or at least way better than your coworkers to deserve a raise. This speeds up the negotiation procedure a bit faster.
The last thing is to never be overly-demanding. Always end things on a positive note. You can bring your boss’s attention to the fact that you’re underpaid. But it’s not getting you anywhere if you make it personal. Offer ways to your boss to improve your salary.
But what if your boss refuses to pay you more? Keep your options open and welcome other rewards or benefits that are relevant to you.
4. Problems with Promotion
Do you feel like you’re getting nowhere? It’s important to grow as you grow in any job. But if there’s no higher chair to aim for, things can start to look pretty boring and dull.
There can be plenty of reasons for that.
Recognize if it’s because of you that you’re unable to move forward.
If you’re lazy or procrastinating at your workplace, nobody is likely to give you anything. To aim for bigger projects, you have to be proactive. This means being a go-getter rather than waiting around for a chance.
Look for new ways to make your “dead-end” job interesting. New ways to grow, possibilities, and improvisations that you can take up. Even the most tedious jobs require skill and patience. Keep asking yourself this:
“What can I do (more or better) to make this job interesting?”
You’d be surprised to hear the many suggestions.
If nothing else works out, talk to your boss about it. Make your boss know for certain that you’re willing to grow. Insist on new challenges or bigger responsibilities. And if they still don’t believe you are ready, insist on a trial run. They can see how well you perform and grant you better chances.
How to Quit Your Job?
It doesn’t matter what situation you’re in, quitting your job is never easy. Be it a new job or an old one. It goes against your comfort zone to walk up to your boss and tell him you want to quit.
However, there is a way to quit your job professionally.
Just follow this standard protocol, as I like to call, to quit. You can walk out of that job you hate so much in a more positive light. And never look back again, if you don’t want to.
So here’s what you do.
1. Don’t let anyone (in your office) know
This is rule number one. You can really mess things up for yourself and your reputation if you do. Talking to your family or friends about it is completely alright. Your coworkers are not your close friends. At least not when you’re about to quit.
Before you tell your boss anything, refrain from this topic of conversation. And trust me, there are many ways to tell your coworkers that you’re thinking of quitting. You don’t have to say those actual words, “I’m quitting!”
You can hint about your future plans, your goals, etc. That’s how the word gets out. And that’s how the gossip reaches your boss before you have THAT meeting set up.
2. Don’t do this over email
Never, ever, ever, quit in email. This is the worst thing you could unless your circumstances don’t allow it.
If you’ve been working at this job for a long time, you need to be considerate. This means speaking to your manager about quitting in person. It’s a respectable thing to do. And you can stay rest assured that your previous employer will give you honest feedback.
You don’t want any future employer to come back with a negative recommendation, do you? So you have to do it professionally, no matter how much you hate your job.
Speaking to your manager in person can also improve your situation. You can express your feelings about the job and why you’re quitting. Rather than focusing only on the negatives of what the job is.
If there is any room for improvement, you’d know asap. And if there’s none, you’d know it right away. So you’d be glad to be doing this in person. Because you know you’re doing the right thing by walking away!
3. Give a 14 days notice period (if you can)
Even if you’re abruptly leaving due to personal dissatisfaction, do so preparedly. Give your employee the chance to make proper adjustments. You can prep the replacement they bring for you. So nobody would blame you for the extra workload.
This is your last 2 weeks anyway of doing a job you absolutely hate. So cherish this moment because you’re never going to be doing it again.
Some companies have a 2 weeks notice while others have shorter/longer. So find out in HR about the company’s policy about quitting. And if you can, request your manager to stay on until they find a replacement for you.
This begs the following question:
Should you write a resignation letter? Well, yes of course!
You can hand this letter in when you’re speaking to your manager about quitting. Mention that you’re willing to take a 2 weeks notice period. And that you’re also willing to be open to vetting the replacement they bring in after you.
No hard feelings, remember? Unless they’re done something outrageous to you to harbor such feelings. Be honest about your feelings for the company and appreciate all the effort and trust they’ve put into you with their responsibilities.
Most of the time, it’s the work you hate and not the company you’re working for. It’s good to stick to your point but don’t seem too harsh about it.
How to Prepare to Quit Your Job?
It’s a long way before you actually find a job you love after you quit a job you hate. You have to handle financial situations and understand your needs. To be better prepared, this is what you have to do.
1. Thoroughly research your job
You have to know what you’re getting into. Or else the anxiety and anticipation will drive you crazy. If you’re at your current job still, you must keep your options open. What do you like? What don’t you like? And what would you like to improve in your next job?
As your future employer, you will thank yourself for being so careful. And it’ll be much simpler to get a job you know you’ll for sure. There’ll be no second-guessing or shooting in the dark here.
The best place to research any field is online. You can look at the salaries, job expectations, and other important bits about your future job. And even figure out if you fit in and if it’s something you won’t end up hating anyway!
2. Get your expenses in order
Take inventory of what you have versus what you want. Switching jobs is never easy. And for some people, it completely depends on one’s finances. If you’re independently wealthy, it can be too difficult to quit your job.
This doesn’t mean you can’t quit a job you hate. You can try to make things work out for you. Here’s how.
If you know you’ll be struggling to keep your finances afloat for the next few months. You can try saving up a few months before actually quitting. This means living on little and understanding your needs against your wants.
It’s true that most of the time, we think we need something but that’s actually just an indulgence. Our essentials needs are different than the things we are fond of.
The best way to move forward is to keep tabs on everything. How much money is coming in versus what’s going out? In this way, you’ll be able to track down unnecessary or avoidable expenses. And actually start saving money to take that leap.
You can always increase your income without putting in extra hours at work. Here’s how.
Start selling stuff: Don’t be cheap. You’d be surprised by how much junk you have in your home that you don’t even use. More than half of the things we own we no longer use. These possessions could really fill up your wallet.
Stuff like books, clothes, appliances, and gadgets. If you can limit your possessions down to the bare minimum. Stuff that you can live comfortably without. You’re doing yourself a huge favor!
Clear away your digital junk: We all have subscriptions, don’t we? It may be a small amount per month but it adds up a whole lot. You have TV streaming services, music services, that fitness app you’ve been meaning to track. All these exhaust your digital wallet.
How to Change Careers?
If you’re yearning to change careers altogether, know that you are not alone. These people have, and you should know that there is a lesson to be learned here.
You can learn more about other fields online. But it’s a whole other thing to actually take that leap. Some may fall and others may fly. But you will have some learning and unlearning to do.
Here are some key points to know when switching careers.
1. It’s not going to be quick
Say you’ve dropped out of medical school to become a writer. There’ll be days when you doubt your decision and feel anxiety as a result. And there’ll be days when you’ve never felt freer and more positive about it.
The trick here is to learn. If you figure out what you want to do, you’re set. And to know what you want to do, you have to work hard. This means putting in the effort everyday to build your passion.
Planning can lessen the burden of switching careers. It gives you something to look forward to. You can take tiny, baby steps toward your goal. This, oftentimes, can feel unsettling and confusing. But it’s the only way to give yourself time and understanding.
2. Don’t stay in your comfort zone
If you keep relying on what you already know, you’d never move forward. This includes people who already know – that is, your networking circle. You have to make new contacts to gain more clarity.
Most preferably, attend certain events, seminars, and participate in discussions and forums online. Tap into professional circles to acquaint yourself with new trends and conversations. Making this simple effort can really elevate your personal understanding. And build a new network, from ground up, to aid you.
If you meet people first then look for jobs, it’s much simpler. And it helps you connect with your future employer better than a resume ever will.
3. See what works
Still unsure about what your career skills lie? Look at what’s already out there.
If it’s money you want to focus on, you can search for high-paying jobs. If you want to boost your mental health and creativity, look for the same. It’s a jungle out there. And every industry is counting on fresh and skilled faces. You’re one of them!
Here’s when I tell you to FOLLOW YOUR GUT! Trust your instincts because deep, deep down you already know what you want to become. Try every conceivable option and see what sticks. You will fail but you will get back up again for something different.
Life is all about trial and error. The point is to just keep going. As Rilke once said, “No feeling is final.” So in that sense, no career is final unless you make it so.
You Can Do This!
As it turns out, there are plenty of things you can do when you hate your job. You can make inner changes by modifying your attitude about your job. Or you can commit to changing jobs to find something interesting and fun.
Challenges are a bit of any job profile. But you get to decide the kind of challenges you want to take on. And this article will help you figure it out faster.
Whether that’s making peace with the job you already have. And transitioning to a new job or a new career at the right moment.
The lesson in all of this is to give yourself time. It would be wiser to read this article all over again. And start making the required preparations to feel happy with your job.
I hope what you’ve read, thus far, is informative and helpful. It’s not the best feeling in the world to hate something you do one-third of the day. But there are tons of ways to turn that frown upside down. By cultivating hobbies that distract you from work or by developing healthier relationships. You can do this!
So before you sign off, comment below and share your experience.
Which part of this article you thought was more relevant to your life? What is your to-do list like when it comes to making such a big career decision?