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Last Updated on November 26, 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.

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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]

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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? 

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    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.

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    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. 

    More on What to Do When You Hate Your Job

    Featured photo credit: Magnet.me via unsplash.com

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    Rima Pundir

    Health, Wellness & Productivity Writer

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    Published on March 24, 2021

    8 Easy Steps To Finding A Career Right For You

    8 Easy Steps To Finding A Career Right For You

    In the U.S., workers on average spend 90,000 hours of their lives working.[1] This means that it is likely you will spend more time working than with your spouse or partner. For this reason, it is especially important to love your job. When you are in a job you love, it feels custom-made just for you. You feel your values reflected in the company’s mission. You feel rewarded just for working there — “Thank God it’s Monday,” you think each week, and the paycheck is nice, too.

    Here are 8 steps for finding the career that fits your personality like a glove.

    1. Look At Yourself Carefully

    Firstly, Look Inside

    Some diagnostic tests help you assess who you are and what jobs make a good fit. Among free assessments you can take, the Myers-Briggs personality test is among the most popular for gauging how you perceive the world and make decisions. It consists of some 90 either-or questions that indicate whether you consider yourself an extrovert or introvert, and what influences perceptions.

    Knowing yourself and the qualities associated with your personality type can help you decide whether you would be more comfortable in a front- or back-office setting, are more of an “ideas” or “execution” person, or prefer an open office or a quiet, enclosed setting to do your best work.

    Career Explorer is another diagnostic careers tool, and offers a free Career Test to reveal how your interests and goals match up against some 1,000 careers. The test asks your general interest in a handful of random careers, along with your career satisfaction in previous jobs, and predicts career matches that fit your profile.

    Then, Look Outside

    Your friends and family members often know you better than you know yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask them, “What kind of career do you see me in?” or “How can I find a career that’s right for me? and pay attention to their answers.

    Also, think back to talents you enjoyed in your younger years, particularly those that elicited comments from others along the lines of “You’re going to make a great ___________ some day.” Others often see special abilities in you that you may have overlooked.

    2. Write Lists

    The perfect career awaits you if you do your homework. Keep careful lists of the qualities you possess and which types of businesses will reward those qualities.[2]

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    Similarly, when your friends have ideas for you, write them down. You want to be able to go back and reflect on different career paths.

    Putting pen to paper — or fingers to keyboards — and allowing yourself to follow ideas where they lead is a valuable step for finding the career that is right for you.

    What elements of past or current jobs and experiences stick out as the most enjoyable? List them. Think of careers where you could recapture some of those elements.

    Write down the activities where you find real joy. Do you love decorating or rearranging your living room? Could this translate to fulfilling work in interior design or merchandising? Or do you find children endlessly entertaining? Perhaps you would find teaching or youth development a rewarding career path.

    Generate a list of ideas, no matter how eccentric they may seem, and see if any patterns emerge.

    Write a Master List of All Your Strengths and All Your Weaknesses

    Be as specific as possible. If you hate waking up before 11 a.m., it is going to be hard to hold down a 9 to 5 job (unless you can work remotely in another part of the country with a different time zone). If you love talking to people, maybe the back office of a research department is too isolating for you.

    Are you high energy or laid back? Do your strengths or weaknesses tend to make you a natural leader or more of a maverick? Own your particular personality strengths and quirks, and think about the various work environments where you could make the most of them. Do you like receiving direction or chafe when someone gives you feedback?

    3. Set up 15-Minute Informational Interviews

    All of this introspection will help you narrow your search criteria, but then it must lead to action. Ask around to see if there is anyone you know who would spare a few minutes to discuss her field with you. It could be a friend or a friend-of-a-friend or even one of your parents’ friends. You may be surprised to find that people often want to offer advice on the steps to take to start out in their field.

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    Prepare some questions in advance, for example: ask how the person ended up in her field, what best prepared her for her career, which aspects she most enjoys, and how the field is changing.

    Depending on how forthcoming the person is, you might also ask if she would mind if you sent a resume to keep on file in case of any future openings.

    4. Read Job Postings

    Before you apply for a job, start reading job postings in the two or three fields that excite you. You can find postings on LinkedIn, MonsterJobs, Indeed, Glassdoor, and Simply Hired. Do you feel goosebumps zipping down your spine when you read about certain jobs? It could be an indication that this is the job of your dreams.

    Familiarize yourself with job descriptions to learn common industry terms, roles, and in-demand skills. Glassdoor, for example, gives you an insider’s perspective on what it’s like to work for a given company — but keep an open mind, too, knowing that former employees with a grudge are usually the most motivated to post reviews.

    5. Write Your Resume

    Your resume should reflect the skills you possess and the specific skills sought in a job. But be sure to customize and change your resume appropriately for each position you pursue. Don’t be afraid to parrot some of the words on the list of requirements back to the company. Many times, companies will actually use the key words mentioned in the job posting when screening resumes.

    Research the organization that you are targeting and try to work in examples that have relevance to their customers or clients, or to issues taking place industry-wide. State how you can add value by quantifying results you achieved in former jobs or even volunteer activities. For example, “coordinated silent auctions for children’s advocacy organizations that brought in $29,000.”

    Ideally, you will want to concisely recount your skills to make a riveting impression as a professional ideally suited for the position.

    Check out these 10 Killer Resume Tips to Nail Your Dream Job.

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    6. Watch a Movie or Two That Features a Character Working in the Field

    While movies tend to exaggerate, you may see something that either confirms that you belong in that environment or scares you away from it. Career conflicts are a genre in themselves — you can find most any job represented in some form on the big screen.

    The character played by Anne Hathaway in “The Devil Wears Prada,” who successfully navigated her nightmare boss played by Meryl Streep, showed the ups and downs of working on a fashion magazine. Meanwhile, “Legally Blonde” likely inspired a whole horde of young women to enter careers in law.

    7. Don’t Be Afraid to Take a Risk

    When it comes to job-hunting, the biggest risk is not taking a risk. Write a cover letter that truly reflects your own personality. Remember that you need to stand out, not just blend in to the hundreds of “blah-blah-blah” letters.

    So, if you’re funny, be funny. If you’re serious, adopt a more measured tone. If you’re intellectual, use bigger words. Be you, not what you think you should be. When you’re authentic, it improves the likelihood that the career you find will be the right fit for you.

    Think of ways to show passion for the career path you are pursuing — and then make the case for why it is the right fit for you. Hiring managers look for candidates with dynamism behind their desire to work for the company. Choose words that reveal that you are passionate, not passive: instead of “helpful,” your findings were “game-changing.” Instead of “useful,” your discoveries proved “transformational.”

    Here’s How to Write A Cover Letter That Stands out from 500 Applicants.

    8. Thank Everyone Who Helped You — and Especially Everyone Who Interviewed You

    The gracious job-hunter lands a job faster. Even if you don’t snag a job the first time around, when you remember to thank the people who granted you an interview, those people will remember you and think of you for other opportunities. Thanks should also go to those who provided you with a recommendation or who took time with you for an informational interview.

    While it may seem old school or downright quaint, a handwritten thank-you card still carries cachet. It shows that you took time to be appreciative. Or, if you send a note electronically, sincerely show gratitude and help the person remember you by bringing up something he said that you found helpful or insightful.

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    A thank you to one person should not be able to be swapped with a communiqué to any other person who helped you in your search.

    You Are on a Campaign to Land a Job until You Land the Job

    You will likely have to meet several people in a company. Inevitably, those people will talk to each other. Make sure the emails that you write them are different from each other instead of canned notes with different names attached. Take a look at these tips on how to write a thank-you email.

    Show unwavering cordiality and professionalism to everyone whom you encounter in the company. Even if you come across the receptionist entering the restroom at the same time as you, politely hold the door. Your good impression will travel throughout the office network.

    Bonus: Return the Favor When You’ve Landed Your Job

    Congratulations! You finally landed! Now it’s time to pay it forward.

    Remember all those who helped you follow the key steps to your sought-after career, and never pass up an opportunity to help others land jobs they love.

    Returning the favor will make you even more appreciative of having found the right career for you. And, when you look for your next job, you will find that you’ve built a network of helpful people on whom you can rely.

    More Job Hunting Tips

    Featured photo credit: Saulo Mohana via unsplash.com

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