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10 Reasons Why (Almost) Everyone You Know Hates Their Job

10 Reasons Why (Almost) Everyone You Know Hates Their Job

“Oh, you hate your job? Why didn’t you say so? There’s a support group for that. It’s called everybody, and they meet at the bar.”

-Drew Carey

Admit it, one of your favorite things to say is “I hate my job.” It’s not that you want to hate it. You’d like nothing more than to have a job that you love. But your job just makes it impossible. And so you have to vent just to survive. When someone cuts you off in traffic, or they’re rude to you at a store, you feel a need to tell someone about it just to make yourself feel better and to get over the shock.

The same is true about your experience at work. The difference is, you have to keep going back to work day after day and subjecting yourself to the same horror. But you might not feel like you have a choice. Everyone around you seems to be having the same problem, so it begins to feel normal, even though it’s bad – really bad. In fact, you might feel like your job is killing you, and you might just be right.

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Basically, if you’re like most people, you don’t like being at work, or you really don’t like being at work. If you love your job, you’re a rare exception. But why is this happening? Why does everyone seem to hate work? Are we all just lazy? No. There are other forces at play.

Here are 10 reasons why almost everyone you know hates their job:

You’re not allowed to be creative.

Your job has certain red tape and requirements that you must abide by. Sure, there are times when rules and standards work. But there are also times when new ways of thinking would improve things tremendously. The problem is at your job, no one seems to know the difference. You work with brainless drones who follow protocol even if it makes no sense.

No one listens to you.

You’re the first to admit that you’re not always right. But sometimes you actually are, and if anyone was listening they would know that. It would be nice if you weren’t invisible.

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You don’t like the people.

You’re pretty easy to get along with. But the people you work with? It’s hard to know where they found them. Needless to say, your personalities just don’t fit, and you’d love to find a job with people who think more like you do.

You don’t like your boss.

You’re not sure how your boss got the job. Either she is the Devil that wears Prada, or she can’t make a decision to save the whole Titanic. Either way, you want to strangle her, but of course, you can’t (and avoid a homicide charge).

You find your work boring.

Wait, what? Oh, sorry, I fell asleep there. . .

Your schedule isn’t flexible.

Forget about your kid’s soccer games. You’d be lucky to get there if your kid was being born. Ok, maybe even your work isn’t that bad. (If it is email me and I’ll feel bad for you personally.) But seriously, did these people ever hear of work/life balance?

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You don’t feel like you’re making much of a difference.

At the end of a long, hard workday, if you don’t feel like you cared about what you did. You probably leave wondering what the point is. It makes it hard to be motivated to get up and do it all over again.

It doesn’t tap into your real talents and who you are.

Do you ever get the feeling that you could dress a random stranger up like you and send them in to do your job and no one would notice? If you feel like you’re completely interchangeable, your job probably doesn’t connect with the parts of you that make you YOU. How great would it be to have a job that really needed you everyday?

It’s out of your comfort zone – in a bad way.

Remember going up in front of the class with that sick feeling in your stomach because you didn’t know the answers? If your job feels like that everyday, you probably hate it. You might have somehow found yourself in a job that you don’t feel prepared for or feel particularly good at. If you’re feeling like a fraud, it’s not because you’re not good at anything, it’s because this job isn’t right for you.

You don’t like the company or its policies.

Maybe you don’t like what your company stands for or how it does business. Maybe you’d feel more at home in a smaller company or a place that has more flexible or family-friendly policies. If your company’s values and your own don’t align, you might feel like you’re being forced to compromise yourself in ways that don’t sit right.

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Do these resonate?

If you said yes to one or more then you’re not alone. And, that’s bad. That’s bad for you. But it’s also bad for all of us in terms of economic costs and lost productivity. But there is good news. Even though most people don’t like their jobs, you don’t have to be one of them. You might want to consider making a change. Now that you know 10 things that will make you hate your job with a passion, you can find a better job next time.

Know someone who hates their job?(I’m guessing you do.) Please share this post with them!

Featured photo credit: B_Me via pixabay.com

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Jessica Sweet

Career Coach

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Last Updated on December 3, 2019

7 Powerful Steps to Achieve Career Success

7 Powerful Steps to Achieve Career Success

I often hear people say, “I want to be successful but don’t know where to start” or “I’ve achieved career success yet I’m not happy.” And then I ask, “what does career success mean to you?” And many have a hard time articulating their response with much conviction.

It’s common that people lack clarity, focus, and direction. And when you layer on thoughts and actions that are misaligned with your values, this only adds to your misdirected quest to achieve your career success.

A word of caution. It’s going to take some time for you to think about and work on your own path for career success. You need to set aside time and be intentional about the steps you take to achieve career success. In my opinion, this step-by-step guide is apart of your life philosophy.

1. Define Career Success for Yourself

Pause. Give yourself time and space for self-reflection.

What does career success mean to you?

This is about defining your career success:

  • Not what you think you ‘should’ do
  • Not what people may think of you
  • Not adjusting to friends and family’s judgements
  • Not taking actions based on societal or community norms

“A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms” – Zen Shin

When you strip away all your external influences and manage your inner critic, what are you left with? You need to define career success that best suits your life situation.

There’s no fixed answer. Everyone is different. Your answer will evolve and be impacted by life events. Here are a few examples of career success:

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  • Work-life balance
  • Opportunities for growth and advancement
  • Feeling valued that my contributions had an impact

Now even as you reflect on the examples above, the descriptions are not specific enough. You’ve got to take it deeper:

  • What do you mean by work-life balance?
  • What do you consider to be opportunities for growth and advancement?
  • How do you like to be recognized for your work? How do you know if your contributions have had an impact?

Let’s take a look at some potential responses to the questions above:

  • I want more time with my family, and less stress at work
  • I want increased responsibilities, to manage a team, a higher income, and the prestige of working at a certain level in the company
  • I’d like my immediate leader to send me a thank-you note or take me out for coffee to genuinely express her or his gratitude. I’ll know I’ve made an impact if I get feedback from my coworkers, leaders and other stakeholders.

Further questions to reflect on to help narrow the focus for the above responses:

  • What are some opportunities that can help you get traction on getting more time with your family? And decrease your stress at work?
  • What’s most important for you in the next 12 months?
  • What’s the significance of receiving others’ feedback?

Now, I’m only scratching the surface with these examples. It takes time to do the inner work and build a solid foundation.

Start this exercise by first asking what career success means to you and then ask yourself meaningful questions to help you dig deeper.

What types of themes emerge from your responses? What keywords or phrases keep coming up for you?

2. Know Your Values

Values are the principles and beliefs that guide your decisions, behaviors and actions. When you’re not aligned with your values and act in a way that conflicts with your beliefs, it’ll feel like life is a struggle.

There are simple value exercises that can help you quickly determine your core values. This one designed by Carnegie Mellon University can help you discover your top 5 values.[1]

Once you have your top 5 values keep them visible. Your brain needs reminders that these are your top values. Here are some ways to make them stick:

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  • Write them on cue cards or notes and post it in your office
  • Take a picture of your values and use it as a screensaver on your phone
  • Put the words on your fridge
  • Add the words on your vision board

Where will your value words be placed in your physical environment so that you have a constant reminder of them?

3. Define Your Short-Term and Long-Term Goals

When writing your short-term and long term life goals, use the SMART framework – Specific Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Treat this as a brainstorming exercise. Your potential and possibilities are limitless.

How you define short-term and long-term is entirely up to you. Short-term can be 30 days, 90 days, or 6 months. Maybe long-term goals are 4 months, 1 year, or 10 years.

Here are a few self-reflection questions to help you write your goals:[2]

  • What would you want to do today if you had the power to make it the way you want?
  • If no hurdles are in the way, what would you like to achieve?
  • If you have the freedom to do whatever you want, what would it be?
  • What type of impact do you want to have on people?
  • Who are the people you most admire? What is it about them or what they have that you’d want for your life or career?
  • What activities energize you? What’s one activity you most love?

Remember to revisit your core values as you refine yours goals:

  • Are your goals in or out of alignment with your core values?
  • What adjustments do you need to make to your goals? Maybe some of your goals can be deleted because they no longer align with your values.
  • How attainable are your goals? Breakdown your goals into digestible pieces.
  • Do your short-term goals move you towards attaining your long-term goals?

Get very clear and specific about your goals. Think about an archer – a person who shoots with a bow and arrows at a target. This person is laser focused on the target – the center of the bullseye. The target is your goal.

By focusing on one goal at a time and having that goal visible, you can behave and act in ways that will move you closer to your goal.

4. Determine Your Top Talents

What did you love doing as a kid? What made these moments fun? What did you have a knack for? What did you most cherish about these times? What are the common themes?

What work feels effortless? What work do you do that doesn’t seem like work? Think about work you can lose track of time doing and you don’t even feel tired of it.[3]

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What are your desires? Try it out. Experiment. Take action and start. How can you incorporate more of this type of work into your daily life?

What themes emerge from your responses? How do your responses compare to your responses from the values exercise and your goals?

What do you notice?

5. Identify ‘Feeling’ Words You Want to Experience

Do you have tendencies to use your head or heart to make decisions?

I have a very strong tendency to make rational, practical, and fact-based decisions using my head. It’s very rare for me to make decisions using my emotions. I was forced to learn how to make more intuitive decisions by listening to my gut when I was struggling with pivotal life decisions. I was forced to feel and listen to my inner voice to make decisions that feel most natural to me. This was very unfamiliar to me, however, it expanded my identity.

Review this list of Feeling Words. Use the same technique you use for the values exercise to narrow down how you want to feel.

Keep these words visible too!

Review your responses. What do you observe? What insights do you gain from these responses and those in the above steps?

6. Be Willing to Sit with Discomfort

Make career decisions aligned with your values, goals, talents and feelings. This is not for the faint hearted. It takes real work, courage and willingness to cut out the noise around you. You’ll need to sit with discomfort for a bit until you build up your muscle to hit the targets you want.

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Surround yourself with a supportive network to help you through these times.

“These pains you feel are messengers. Listen to them” – Rumi

7. Manage Your Own Career

Not to be cynical, but no one can make you happy but yourself. If you don’t take control of your career and manage it like your own business – no one will.

Discern between things that you can control and what you can’t control. For example, you may not be able to control who gets a promotion. However, you can control how you react to it and what you’ve learned about yourself in that situation.

Summing Up

For many who have gone through a career change or been impacted by life events, these steps may seem very basic. However, it’s sometimes the basics that we forget to do. The simple things and moments can edge us closer to our larger vision for ourselves.

Staying present and appreciating what you have today can sometimes help you achieve your long-term goals. For example, if you’re always talking about not having enough time and wanting work-life balance, think about what was good in your work day? Maybe you took a walk outside with your co-workers. This could be a small step to help you reframe how you can attain work-life balance.

Remember to take time for yourself. Hit pause, notice, observe and reflect to achieve career success by getting deliberate and intentional:

  1. Define Career Success for Yourself
  2. Know Your Values
  3. Define Your Short-Term and Long-Term Life and Goals
  4. Determine Your Top Talents
  5. Identify ‘Feeling’ Words You Want to Experience
  6. Be Willing to sit with Discomfort
  7. Manage Your Own Career

“When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you.” – Lolly Daskal

Good luck and best wishes always!

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Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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