Last Updated on October 8, 2020

What to Do When You Hate Your Job and Need a Change

What to Do When You Hate Your Job and Need a Change

Do mornings bring with them a sense of impending doom? Would your rather have your teeth pulled out, one by one, rather than going to work? If a really stressed yes is your answer, then it’s pretty clear that you would go through anything to be able to send in a scathing resignation letter. It’s time to learn what to do when you hate your job.

The thing is, practically speaking, most of us don’t have the wherewithal to be able to simply quit a job we hate. We have bills that need paid and time to be filled. However, there are things we can do to improve the situation if we’re feeling stuck. Learn how here.

Why Is It So Hard to Quit Your Job?

Moaning and groaning about your job on a daily basis is not only making you miserable but also irritating everyone around you. Furthermore, telling yourself that sticking to a known devil rather than trying out an unknown one is better is a philosophy that won’t serve you very well.

If you hate your job, you are probably not going to be very good at it, which sets you up for a big fall later. Furthermore, if your job is causing you increasing discomfort or depression, you need to find a way out. That said, the five most common reasons people keep doing the jobs they hate are listed below, and they are pretty understandable.

Fear of Testing New Waters

One of the main reasons people keep sticking to the jobs they hate is the fear of unknown waters. This is particularly true for people nearing retirement, women getting back to work after maternity leave, or even employees who have stagnated in the company or in the same position for too long.

If you know you can be relatively successful in one place, it can be difficult to move on to something where that success is nowhere near guaranteed. 

Financial Concerns

The cost of living, unpaid bills, and rising debts can put fear into anyone. Your rather rickety financial situation will be worsened with unemployment, so this is one reason people stay put in the jobs they hate, unable to see a way out.


A Lull in the Job Market

Sometimes you stay in the job you hate simply because there seems to be a lack of good jobs in any case. Your regular scouring of classifieds and job sites simply tells you that leaving now means you might end up unemployed for a while. What’s the point of leaving if you can’t find something better?

Being Miserable Is Fine

You may be wondering what to do when you hate your job, but so are thousands of other people. It’s part and parcel of life. And if this job is giving your family a good life, then it’s well worth the sacrifice, isn’t it?

These are the ways people talk themselves out of looking for something better. The truth is that it’s not natural to be constantly miserable and stressed, and just because others are doing it doesn’t mean you have to fall in line.

All Jobs Are the Same

Somehow, you think that all the jobs in the world are bad and would probably end up making you miserable one way or another. Bad bosses, jealous colleagues, and a workload that feels like the entire world’s weight – all jobs are like that…except, they aren’t.

What to Do When You Hate Your Job

We’ve established that you hate your job. The main problems is that staying put at a job you hate and not doing anything about it isn’t good for you.

As we said before, a job you don’t enjoy will, if it hasn’t already, turn into a job you are not good at. You will procrastinate, avoid added responsibilities, and basically harp and complain about it all day long – much to the ire of your colleagues and the boss. And if your whining reaches the boss’ ears, you may soon be out of a job in any case.

If you’re really wondering what to do when you hate your job, the good news is that there are specific actions you can take[1]


What to do when you hate your job.

    Frankly, as Maya Angelou put it, “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”

    And this holds true for your job as well. There are basically only two things you can do: either you change your job, or at least the things you don’t like about it; or you change your attitude about it.

    1. Ask Yourself If the Job Is Really the Problem

    Being unhappy with your job may be an extrinsic factor, but it may arise from an intrinsic one. Are you unhappy with your life in general? Or is it just the job you hate? If it’s your life you are unhappy about, then decide to make small little changes every day and get all the help you need to make yourself happy, now.

    Check out this article for some ways to find happiness each day.

    2. Identify Exactly What You Hate About Your Job

    The first thing to do when you start wondering what to do when you hate your job is to identify exactly what it is that’s causing the aversion[2].

    Is it the mean boss? Is it the sniggering and overly competitive colleagues? Is there a new and added responsibility that you cannot handle or are not equipped to do well? Has the workload suddenly increased or decreased? 


    Make a pros and cons list of your current job related to work environments, co-workers, management, etc. This will help you sort out a problem (if it can be sorted). It will also help you identify what you don’t want in your next job if you decide to begin a job search.

    3. Discuss Your Woes With Your Boss

    Sometimes bosses are the reason you hate your job. While sometimes they are just nasty, most bosses do care about their employees and want them to be happy in their position. Talk to your boss, and discuss what is making you unhappy[3]. See if a solution, or at least a part solution, can be reached, and then try and compromise a bit from your end, too.

    If the boss is the problem, see if your company can move you to a parallel position under someone you work better with. 

    4. Don’t Quit Without a Back-up

    If your job is not driving you up a wall and is also compensating you decently for your troubles, quitting may not make you as happy as you thought it would, especially if you haven’t landed another gig. Being unemployed will make you miss that salary, overanalyze your behavior, and perhaps think of yourself as a quitter.

    If you have to leave your job, make sure you have landed another one, preferably one that is your dream job, or has all the attributes your current job lacks.

    5. Do Your Best to Be a Good Worker

    You hate your job and no compromise or new job is in sight, but you aren’t quitting either. That doesn’t mean that you should let yourself be unprofessional. Hate your job as much as you want, but you still have to do it to the best of your abilities. 

    Once you arrive at work, focus on doing each task to the best of your ability. This may require a shift in thinking. Try to focus on the aspects of your job that you’re grateful for to give yourself an energy boost.


    6. Look at the Bright Side

    You cannot hate everything about your job now, can you? If you’re wondering what to do when you hate your job, concentrate on what you do like about your job and mentally block the negatives out.

    Think about the future. You may hate your current job, but if it’s just a stepping stone that allows you to reach your career goals a few years down the line, sticking to it may make sense. 

    7. Don’t Overshare Your Feelings

    No one wants a gripe at the office. If all you do is moan, groan, complain and whine, no colleague of yours is going to like you, and those friends you made at work will soon disappear into thin air. Being a person who always complains will further alienate you at a job you already dislike. 

    8. Change Jobs

    Finally, if your job is simply soul-crushing, and there’s no way to improve it, it’s time to start your job hunt. Again, try not to quit your current position until you have another lined up. Write out positions you’d be happy working in, and focus your search on those areas. 

    If you want to move into a completely different field, start taking classes to pump up your resume. With time and effort, something will come along that will, hopefully, make you happier. 

    Final Thoughts

    If a job starts affecting your life in a bad way and simply makes it impossible for you to feel good in your professional and personal life, maybe it is time to quit. However, it’s always good to have an escape plan beforehand. 

    Until you’re able to move on to something better, try shifting your thoughts into more positive territory and do your best to impress in whatever position you find yourself in. 

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    Last Updated on October 13, 2020

    How to Get Promoted When You Feel Stuck in Your Current Position

    How to Get Promoted When You Feel Stuck in Your Current Position

    Have you been stuck in the same position for too long and don’t really know how to get promoted and advance your career?

    Feeling stuck could be caused by a variety of things:

    • Taking a job for the money
    • Staying with an employer that no longer aligns with your values
    • Realizing that you landed yourself in the wrong career
    • Not feeling valued or feeling underutilized
    • Taking a position without a full understanding of the role

    There are many other reasons why you may be feeling this way, but let’s focus instead on learning what to do now in order to get unstuck and get promoted

    One of the best ways to get promoted is by showing how you add value to your organization. Did you make money, save money, improve a process, or do some other amazing thing? How else might you demonstrate added value?

    Let’s dive right in to how to get promoted when you feel stuck in your current position.

    1. Be a Mentor

    When I supervised students, I used to warm them — tongue in cheek, of course — about getting really good at their job.

    “Be careful not to get too good at this, or you’ll never get to do anything else.”

    This was my way of pestering them to take on additional challenges or think outside the box, but there is definitely some truth in doing something so well that your manager doesn’t trust anyone else to do it.


    This can get you stuck.

    Jo Miller of Be Leaderly shares this insight on when your boss thinks you’re too valuable in your current job:

    “Think back to a time when you really enjoyed your current role…You became known for doing your job so well that you built up some strong ‘personal brand’ equity, and people know you as the go-to-person for this particular job. That’s what we call ‘a good problem to have’: you did a really good job of building a positive perception about your suitability for the role, but you may have done ‘too’ good of a job!”[1]

    With this in mind, how do you prove to your employer that you can add value by being promoted?

    From Miller’s insight, she talks about building your personal brand and becoming known for doing a particular job well. So how can you link that work with a position or project that will earn you a promotion?

    Consider leveraging your strengths and skills.

    Let’s say that the project you do so well is hiring and training new entry-level employees. You have to post the job listing, read and review resumes, schedule interviews, make hiring decisions, and create the training schedules. These tasks require skills such as employee relations, onboarding, human resources software, performance management, teamwork, collaboration, customer service, and project management. That’s a serious amount of skills!

    Are there any team members who can perform these skills? Try delegating and training some of your staff or colleagues to learn your job. There are a number of reasons why this is a good idea:


    1. Cross-training helps in any situation in the event that there’s an extended illness and the main performer of a certain task is out for a while.
    2. As a mentor to a supervisee or colleague, you empower them to increase their job skills.
    3. You are already beginning to demonstrate that added value to your employer by encouraging your team or peers to learn your job and creating team players.

    Now that you’ve trained others to do that work for which you have been so valued, you can see about re-requesting that promotion. Explain how you have saved the company money, encouraged employees to increase their skills, or reinvented that project of yours.

    2. Work on Your Mindset

    Another reason you may feel stuck in a position is explained through this quote:

    “If you feel stuck at a job you used to love, it’s normally you—not the job—who needs to change. The position you got hired for is probably the exact same one you have now. But if you start to dread the work routine, you’re going to focus on the negatives.”[2]

    In this situation, you should pursue a conversation with your supervisor and share your thoughts and feelings to help you learn how to get promoted. You can probably get some advice on how to rediscover the aspects of that job you enjoyed, and negotiate either some additional duties or a chance to move up.

    Don’t express frustration. Express a desire for more.

    Present your case and show your boss or supervisor that you want to be challenged, and you want to move up. You want more responsibility in order to continue moving the company forward. Focus on how you can do that with the skills you have and the positive mindset you’ve cultivated.

    3. Improve Your Soft Skills

    When was the last time you put focus and effort into upping your game with those soft skills? I’m talking about those seemingly intangible things that make you the experienced professional in your specific job skills[3].


    Use soft skills when learning how to get promoted.

      According to research, improving soft skills can boost productivity and retention 12 percent and deliver a 250 percent return on investment based on higher productivity and retention[4]. Those are only some of the benefits for both you and your employer when you want to learn how to get promoted.

      You can hone these skills and increase your chances of promotion into a leadership role by taking courses or seminars.

      Furthermore, you don’t necessarily need to request funding from your supervisor. There are dozens of online courses being presented by entrepreneurs and authors about these very subjects. Udemy and Creative Live both feature online courses at very reasonable prices. And some come with completion certificates for your portfolio!

      Another way to improve your soft skills is by connecting with an employee at your organization who has a position similar to the one you want.

      Express your desire to move up in the organization, and ask to shadow that person or see if you can sit in on some of their meetings. Offer to take that individual out for coffee and ask what their secret is! Take copious notes, and then immerse yourself in the learning.

      The key here is not to copy your new mentor. Rather, you want to observe, learn, and then adapt according to your strengths.

      4. Develop Your Strategy

      Do you even know specifically why you want to learn how to get promoted? Do you see a future at this company? Do you have a one-year, five-year, or ten-year plan for your career path? How often do you consider your “why” and insure that it aligns with your “what”?

      Sit down and make an old-fashioned pro and con list.


      Write down every positive aspect of your current job and then every negative one. Which list is longer? Are there any themes present?

      Look at your lists and choose the most exciting pros and the most frustrating cons. Do those two pros make the cons worth it? If you can’t answer that question with a “yes,” then getting promoted at your current organization may not be what you really want[5].

      The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. —Mark Twain

      Here are some questions to ask yourself:

      • Why do you do what you do?
      • What thrills you about your current job role or career?
      • What does a great day look like?
      • What does success look and feel like beyond the paycheck?
      • How do you want to feel about your impact on the world when you retire?

      Define success to get promoted

        These questions would be great to reflect on in a journal or with your supervisor in your next one-on-one meeting. Or, bring it up with one of your work friends over coffee.

        Final Thoughts

        After considering all of these points and doing your best to learn how to get promoted, what you might find is that being stuck is your choice. Then, you can set yourself on the path of moving up where you are, or moving on to something different.

        Because sometimes the real promotion is finding your life’s purpose.

        More Tips on How to Get Promoted

        Featured photo credit: Razvan Chisu via


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