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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 January 14, 2021

    8 Reasons Why You’re Unhappy at Work (And What to Do)

    8 Reasons Why You’re Unhappy at Work (And What to Do)

    Work isn’t great right now. Do you remember when you were so excited to get this job? But now, the excitement of change and accomplishment has worn off, and you find yourself in a general state of unhappiness at work…

    Why are you really unhappy at work? There are plenty of reasons to be unhappy in your job role and it is easy to place blame on other people or things out of your control. What is the real reason, underneath your excuses and the feeling of just knowing you aren’t happy?

    And why don’t you just quit? That is always the go to move, isn’t it? You don’t like your job, quit it and find another. But after a few jobs, you find that the problem isn’t the job, it is like no matter what dream job you get, you end up back here. Unhappy. Even if this job was your dream before, the crushing reality that it is not all you thought it would be is setting in. And in reality, not all of us can just quit our jobs and flit off and get their dream job, we have lives and responsibilities.

    So I compiled a helpful list of all the top 8 reasons people are unhappy at work and what to do about it to help you move forward towards a happier life in your current job role.

    1. You Hate Your Boss

    Your boss, thou who decides thy fate doth hath the uncanny ability to rub you up the wrong way. Not everyone likes their boss, we all dream of this perfect boss who doesn’t micro manage and isn’t incompetent. But nobody is perfect, not even your dream boss.

    Your boss controls your work environment, they organize work, define your job role and is your support network and back up if you reach a problem. If you have an issue with your boss, it’s time to take some responsibility and do something about it. You are not responsible for your boss’ behavior but you can control your reactions, actions and attitude moving forward.

    If you walk into the office every day committing to hate your boss, there is no room for growth or amending fences. You need to decide to find a way to make this work, here are the 3 things you can do to help you take control of your happiness at work:

    • Discuss your issues with your boss and find a way you can both work together. Team up and create a plan so that you can both work and not vex each other.
    • Improve your communication skills with them. We all communicate in different ways, you need to find a way to see eye to eye. Find out how they communicate and learn to communicate in that way so that they will respond to you better because they feel heard and understood.
    • Step up. If you can’t reason with your boss and they keep shutting you down, find a way to work around them so you don’t have to rely on them. Take on more responsibility.

    2. You Hate Your Co-Workers

    We ALL have co-workers we do not like, they drive us up the wall in ways you couldn’t even imagine. Your happiness is dependent on your environment and, if you spend 40+ hours of your week in an environment that doesn’t make you happy, you will be unhappy.

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    Co-workers play a huge part in this, as social creatures, we crave social interaction and we are forced to socialize with our co workers simply by proximity. If we are surrounded by negative people who don’t make us feel good about ourselves, unhappiness and a drop in self confidence follows.

    What can we do about this? We have two options when dealing with annoying co workers:

    • Change your attitude about them. Realize that the things your co-workers are doing that annoy you are just reflections of your own inner judgement. For example, Brenda from accounting tells lots of white lies and it drives you mad because you hate lying. That is an issue with your experiences with lying and not something you can control. You can’t control their actions (the white lies) but you can control your reactions (your very obvious eye roll and comment). Instead of responding negatively to them, change the narrative to a more positive judgement and release the negative one. Re-write who you think they are and see the other side of the picture. So when Brenda tells a small white lie, think about how she does it to make someone else feel better, even if she doesn’t believe it herself, she’s compassionate and focus on the good.
    • Avoid them. Some people are just incompatible, it can’t be helped and if you can’t change them or accept them for who they are, simply avoid them at all costs. Requests to move desks if you have too, find a way to not be around them if they are causing you this much pain and stress.

    3. Your Job Isn’t Fun or Rewarding

    Your job isn’t always going to be fun and games; and when it no longer becomes rewarding, you are going to feel unhappy. Human beings thrive on rewards and entertainment and we love competition. By making your work environment fun and rewarding, you will start to enjoy going to work.

    How can you make your job more fun and rewarding?

    • You can try creating games for yourself to play, friendly competitions with your co workers (if you like them!)
    • Create a rewards system so if you hit a target or goal, you get a coffee from Starbucks or another small treat. An example of this would be, if you close 3 files by 5pm, you get to have a cocoa nib; or if you win today’s sales target, you get to have the victory trophy on your desk for the day.

    4. You Don’t Believe in the Work That You Are Doing

    This one is one of the core reasons you’re unhappy in a job role; you are living out of alignment of your core values.

    If your job role doesn’t match up with your core values, then you will be miserable. If you value helping people and you work in program coding, you will struggle to be happy, unlike someone whose values problem solving.

    It isn’t impossible to enjoy your job if your values don’t align with your work. You could reason that by doing program coding, you are helping someone, be it your co-workers or the people who will eventually use your project. You can always flip your perspective.

    Learn what your core values are and find a way for them to align with your job role, in doing so changing the motivation that drives you to do your work. For example, to help people or to problem solve.

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    And if you can’t, maybe it is time to start to consider a career change into a job you have always wanted to do secretly, deep down.

    5. You Feel Stagnant in Your Job Role and You Are Bored

    Your job isn’t going anywhere and you feel like you are wasting your time on this earth, feeling utterly unfulfilled. We love being safe and secure but we also love progression, we get bored of the same ol’ same old, we want new challenges and things to do. If you are just pushing through papers, day in day out, you will become unhappy so what can you do about it?

    • Apply for a promotion or ask for new challenges from your boss.
    • Mix up your attitude, find ways to make it more fun and exciting.
    • Shop around for a promotion at another firm.

    6. You Are Underpaid

    You feel underpaid for the work that you are doing and it is making you feel unhappy because all the hard work you are putting in isn’t being appreciated enough. If it was, you wouldn’t feel underpaid.

    Let’s ask the hard question, are you really being underpaid? Or do you just feel unappreciated or overworked? Maybe it is because you have taken on additional responsibilities and you feel like you aren’t being rewarded accordingly.

    People who are unhappy because they feel underpaid are stressed about money, they are working hard and it is going unnoticed and unappreciated.

    The key component at play here is stress. Increasing bills and expenses in their personal life, general life stresses, more and more work is coming in and it is being unrewarded and you feel like you need a reward for handling all this stress. And you do, but you have been purchasing stress relief for a while and you need more money to pay for more stress relief, as more stresses get dropped into your inbox each day.

    If you feel underpaid, it is because you don’t love your work and it’s is not worth the amount of stress for your salary. Have you heard that famous quote:

    Working for something you don’t care about is called Stress. Working for something you do care about is called Passion.

    Here are things you can do to spark happiness when you are feeling underpaid

    • Reignite your passion with your work, find meaning in it and see the results that you are creating. Every day you come in and you make a difference somehow, start to see how it’s affecting other people, and start to appreciate yourself for doing it.
    • Ask for a raise. Simple but often never done option.
    • If you are being underpaid and if there is no room for a raise (and you have asked), then I suggest finding ways to reduce your stress levels. Trying things like guided meditations, exercise or stress relieving hobbies can reduce the feeling of being undervalued because your life is suddenly so much more than just working for money.

    7. You Are Overwhelmingly Overworked

    We all get burnt out from work sometimes as work comes in flows of business. And at some point, you crack and the pressure and stress gets to be a little too much; especially since you have sacrificed your personal life just to try and keep on top of this ever increasing workload.

    If you feel overworked, you need to learn some self-care so you can keep on top of the burnout:

    • Stop helping out unnecessarily, at least until you feel under worked. Start saying no to anything that isn’t vitally important.
    • Find a way to automate or reduce your workload. Delegate, hire new staff, get programs into to automate parts of your job role.
    • Keep on top of your mental health, make sure you are doing the necessary things to keep it in check, whatever your process is (or find a process and implement it).
    • Set boundaries. Work shouldn’t be your life, if you say you are clocking off at 6, you clock off at 6. Set hard boundaries because this technologically advancing modern world will push them. If you finish work, don’t check your emails, leave the office, go do something recreational to help you relax and rest, I advise going on a walk to let your head relax.

    8. You Are Feeling Really Unappreciated at Work

    One of the core driving elements in humans is our need for recognition and if it goes un appeased, you will feel unhappy. You can try and force appreciation out of your co-workers and bosses, like a child with their 10th crayon drawing sticking it under their parents noses and gladly proclaiming what they have done. But that is never as satisfying as it seems and the validation received is not authentic enough, it feels hollow and empty.

    So what can you do about it since you cannot control anyone expression appreciation of your hard work?

    Be the change you want to see in the office. Create an initiative to show everyone else they are appreciated, I bet that half of your office feel unappreciated.

    Start a culture of appreciation and gratitude, start thanking people and noticing their hard work. Go out of your way to make someone else feel appreciated, the more you do it, the better your environment will become.

    With all things, Expectation equals Manifestation. If you treat everyone with appreciation and make an effort, they will most certainly make an effort to appreciate you back. Someone just has to start the chain, why shouldn’t it be you?

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    All of these issues can also be resolved by you quitting your job and finding a greener field. Sometimes your job just sucks, your boss is just unworkable, no matter how positive you are, people are always unappreciative and negative and you really are underpaid.

    What If You Hate Your Job But Can’t Quit?

    There is a difference between being unhappy in your job role and hating your job which makes it much harder when you want to quit and you can’t. Not everyone can just quit their job whenever they feel like it, even with some savings hidden away, you have bills to pay, a social life to maintain (when you can get one!) and people who rely on you. But you HATE your job, you wake up in the morning and you really wish you could wake up as somebody else in an alternate timeline.

    Here are our top 3 things to do when you really hate your job and can’t quit.

    1. Change departments or job roles within the business. Shop around, see if there is another role that would be more suited to you or that you would actually find more interesting.
    2. Change your attitude. You attitude controls your reality, if you wake up and decide that you hate work, you are not going to have a good day. Change your mindset from negative to gratitude. Make a list of all the reasons you are grateful for your job, it may take a while, but the more reasons you find the be grateful, the easier it is going to work will become.
    3. Apply for other jobs, there is nothing stopping you from quitting your job if you have another solid job lined up and if it’s making you THAT miserable. No amount of money is worth the struggle to your mental health.

    Final Thoughts

    Remember that happiness is completely within your control. How you handle outside influences trying to wreak havoc on your happiness by putting you down and making you feel unworthy is completely up to you.

    You can’t always let every comment bounce off you like water off a duck’s back, but you can control the environment you are in, the attitude in which you face adversity, and you control what you think. Make an effort to learn to see things in another way because even if you quit and go to a greener grass, not everything will always be “perfect”.

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    Featured photo credit: Mimi Thian via unsplash.com

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