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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. 

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    Featured photo credit: Magnet.me via unsplash.com

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    Rima Pundir

    Health, Wellness & Productivity Writer

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    Last Updated on July 21, 2021

    How to Get Promoted Fast (A Step-by-Step Guide)

    How to Get Promoted Fast (A Step-by-Step Guide)

    “Attitude is altitude,” a famous adage tells us. When it comes to getting promoted fast, maintaining a can-do attitude conquers all. Keeping up a sunny, pleasant professional demeanor will help you win friends and influence Human Resources managers. So will good work hygiene. Show up early, work late, and volunteer for assignments once yours are completed to the best of your ability.

    Realize, too, that every office newbie wonders how to get promoted fast. So you are always competing against others at the company for that spot above yours. For this reason, it’s not enough to be a whiz at your given tasks. You also need to be likeable—the type of person whom others want to work with and (ultimately) work for.

    Research shows that employees with high emotional intelligence (EI), such as managing relationships, are 75 percent more likely to be promoted than employees with high IQ.[1] Teamwork matters as much as your individual abilities.

    Additionally, these 10 steps will help you succeed faster than you dreamed possible.

    Craft a Plan for How to Get Promoted

    Step 1: Have a Plan

    In this world of fast-disappearing mentors, you need to be the architect of your own plan.

    Ask others in your field what they did to get promoted and how long it took. Map out a general timeline for your own advancement.

    One thing to consider: think of where you want to be five years from now, then work backwards to figure out when you should receive your next promotion.

    Step 2: Commit Your Plan to Paper

    Studies show that writing down one’s dreams and aspirations helps them happen faster.

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    One Saturday when you’re not at the office, take a few hours to capture your plan on paper. Then, separately, pen the tangible steps you believe you need to take to accomplish your dream.

    Perhaps you should aim to get into the office at least a half hour earlier than your direct supervisor each day. Or maybe write, “win one piece of new business per year” as your goal. Do you know someone who could throw your company a piece of new business? Consider reaching out to that person.

    Step 3: Discuss Your Plan with Your Boss or Direct Supervisor

    Performance reviews are a logical time to ask your boss how to get promoted. Bear in mind that any raise you receive may be an indicator of whether you’re perceived to be on the fast track for promotion or on a slower track. (To find out how your raise compares to other workers’ raises, ask around.)

    If you already are on the fast track, just keep doing the excellent work you are doing. If you discover that you are on a slower track, it may make sense to first work out with your boss the steps you need to take to get a hefty raise, and from there, make the case for why you deserve a promotion.

    Get It in Writing

    Step 4: Ask for It in an Email

    Did a client commend your public speaking ability? Did your research report exceed your boss’s expectations? Did your colleague profusely thank you for pitching in over the weekend? In the most gracious way, ask that person to send you an email thanking you and to please copy your boss on it.

    When it comes to discussing a potential promotion with your boss and the powers-that-be, glowing emails really help bolster your case.

    Be sure to bring those emails with you into your performance review meetings. The emails can help you prove you deserve a promotion.

    Step 5: Put Any Interim Managerial Tasks in Writing

    If you are ever asked to fill in for missing supervisor, ask your boss to write an email to the whole team about the process to be followed.

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    This one step will help clear up confusion among your teammates and smooth the way for you to demonstrate your managerial talent. You’ll spend more time managing people and less time trying to manage the process.

    The Casual Check-In

    Step 6: Check In with Your Boss Now and Then

    If you happen to have a boss who gives you a lot of feedback, consider yourself lucky. You will already know how you are doing long before any performance review. You can also use any negative feedback to help you make micro adjustments so that you can bring up your performance before it’s officially rated.

    However, if you happen to have a boss who doesn’t offer up much feedback, make it a habit to casually check in with him or her. Wait until a calm moment, knock on the door or cubicle wall, and ask if he has a minute or two. Then, simply sit down and ask what he thought about your contribution to the latest project. (See Step 7.)

    But take care. The casual check-in should be used sparingly. Do it too often, and your boss may start to consider you a bit paranoid (and then wonder why you are).

    Step 7: Accept All Feedback (Positive and Negative) Gracefully

    When you ask your boss for feedback, you will receive it. And you may not always like what you hear.

    Maybe you thought your two-minute introduction to the new product launch was phenomenal, but your supervisor found it uninspiring.

    Perhaps you thought the client meeting was a smash success, but your client said otherwise after you left the room.

    Those who get promoted fast demonstrate an ability to receive positive feedback gracefully and bounce back from negative feedback equally gracefully. Even if you don’t like what you hear, thank your boss for sharing her feedback and promise her that you will work to improve. Then, draft some action steps you will take to keep your promise.

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    Solve Problems

    Step 8: Remember You’re There to Solve Problems, Not Create Them

    Try to be easygoing and flexible. Strive to receive the plum assignments, but realize that everyone in the firm also wants the better assignments. So, be gracious when you receive a terrible assignment, and just do your best to finish it professionally.

    If you find yourself with a lot of free time, volunteer for extra work, but be judicious about what you volunteer for. It’s important to be perceived as poised and professional, not desperate and clamoring.

    Prove you deserve to be promoted, instead of nagging your associates about how to get promoted.

    Step 9: Work Hard

    Today, business moves at the speed of technology. It’s important to keep up with technology as it evolves. You may need to take additional classes or get additional certifications and digital badges just to stay ahead of change.

    Be the person at your company who embraces change rather than shunning it. Do things the new way, and prove that you love to learn.

    By showing your willingness to change with the times, you’ll prove that you’re an employee who’s worth keeping around.

    Invest your time in learning about the business, your company, and your clients, and your investment may well pay off in a promotion.

    It’s Not Just What You Know

    Step 10: Get Along with Everyone

    Bosses tend to promote those whom they like faster than others on staff—regardless of their talent level.

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    So first and foremost: get along with your boss. But don’t kiss up because that will make your coworkers turn against you.

    Strive to be known for being nice to all, fair to all, and coming up with creative solutions to problems.

    To boost your popularity, try to attend some of the outings, all of the office parties, and as many office showers and office birthday celebrations as you can without sacrificing your work product. Occasionally offer to organize one of these events if you have the time.

    Getting along with everyone is one is a surefire way to get ahead and be promoted faster.

    The Bottom Line

    To get promoted faster, it’s important to understand that ambition coupled with camaraderie wins.

    When your supervisor notices that you take criticism well and learn from mistakes, and that you keep emotions in check and get along well with others, you will earn respect.

    The most important mantra for those who long to get ahead: be professional.

    Solve problems, so that you can be promoted to tackle and solve even bigger problems.

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    Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

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