⌄ Scroll down to continue ⌄
Last Updated on

Career Success

What to Do When You Hate Your Job (for Both Who Choose to Stay or Quit)

Written by Brian Lee
Ex-chief of product management at Lifehack
⌄ Scroll down to continue ⌄

Millions over the globe are in the same predicament where they do not like their jobs. “I hate my job.” That is a pretty common phrase everywhere.

You are only left with two options. One is that you keep doing what you do even though you find no enjoyment in it and the other option is to quit and move on to the next chapter of life.

But 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. 

So what should you do if you hate your job?

Signs to Help You Decide What To Do When You Hate Your Job

The reasons why people hate their job vary. It could be because of a bad boss, some unfriendly colleagues, a boring job, or an underpaid job. More reasons of why people hate their job can be found here 8 Reasons Why You’re Unhappy at Work.

Monday morning blues are a key sign that you hate your job and it’s time to start thinking and doing things differently. What you are feeling is actually a blessing in disguise.

Try to go through this infographic from CreativeLive on whether you should quit your job or not:[1]

Should you quit your job?

    However, the decision to stay put or quit might not be as straightforward as one comprehends. There are numerous implications of changing a job, and you might have to prepare yourself mentally to be very sure about your decision.


    No matter the reason behind your frustration, you need to determine what you need to do next. To help you with your decision, peruse the things to consider before quitting your job in the next section.

    What To Do When You Hate Your Job?

    If you’ve already reached the stage of saying “I hate my job!” then you’ve taken an important first step towards freedom. Admitting that your work is a nightmare means that you’re ready (and hopefully willing) to take action to change your circumstances.

    As you’ll see shortly, there are several solutions that can help bring your work life into a happier realm.

    Before we get started, let me suggest that you put aside any preconceived notions of what you might do. Instead, keep your options open and wait until you are drawn to a solution that offers the best results for you.

    Fortunately there are a number of solutions to help you escape from your joyless work situation. We’ll divide these solutions into two categories.

    The first one will cover solutions that help you stay in your current job but improve your circumstances. The second category will offer you solutions for quitting your job and moving to new pastures.


    How to Stick to Your Job And Stay-Put

    You hate your job but due to financial burdens or lack of other job offers you’re forced to stay where you are. The question, “Why is it so hard to leave a job?” must have crossed your mind numerous times.

    You might said it numerous times, “I hate my job what do I do.” But there are ways to help you determine how to enjoy work when you hate it.

    Try these solutions:

    1. Determine if the job is indeed the issue.

    Try 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.

    Being dissatisfied with your job could also be due to an external issue, but it could also be inherent. Are you dissatisfied with your life as a whole? Is it simply your work that you despise?

    If you’re unhappy with your life, make little daily changes and get all the assistance you need to make yourself happy right now. This is one of the prime things to remember when learning, “how to enjoy a job you hate.”

    2. Make an effort to develop connection.

    Are you having trouble finding purpose in your work?

    Create meaning in your work by finding ways to feel connected if it feels meaningless. Make friends with your coworkers. Make a connection with a charitable organization to which your employer contributes.


    Connecting with others can help you feel more purposeful in your work. Life is also much more fulfilling when people are connected. Create opportunities to connect with coworkers so that your employment becomes more than just a source of income.

    3. Reduce your stress levels outside of work.

    Do you find yourself anxious and overwhelmed at work, with little control over your responsibilities?

    Begin by reducing your stress levels outside of work. Suppose you’re feeling overwhelmed by your job and can’t find an easy, quick way to reduce your tension at work, work on reducing your stress outside of work. So what to do if you hate your job?

    Start making your regular duties more effective in your personal life so you can spend more time doing things you enjoy.

    Get rid of the hobbies that aren’t bringing value to your life and are wasting your time. Use the time you’ve saved to accomplish something you enjoy. It is easy to say “I hate my job” but its not worth it. Set personal goals and create a really gratifying life.

    4. Long working hours? Be willing to consider new ideas

    If your job hours are draining you and you want to change them, there are several options. Could you work from home occasionally to reduce the continual barrage of interruptions that wear you down?

    Will your boss let you work four-day weeks instead of five so you can spend less time commuting? Are you willing to give up some of your personal amenities to reduce your job hours and take a pay cut?


    Being adaptable and open to new ideas will assist you in finding a solution to your long work hours.

    5. Bring Snacks to Share With Your Coworkers

    If you’re one of my coworkers, this is very important. It should go without saying that treating others with kindness will make you (and them) happier, and if you work somewhere where there is a constant sense of negativity.

    6. Reach work early

    Yes, I know I said before to create goals that you can manage, but that doesn’t negate the value of this tip in making your job more bearable.

    It may sound counterintuitive (why would I want to spend more time in a location I despise? ), but this practice will help you maintain momentum during your change. It’s also one of the simplest methods for you to stand out in the eyes of your boss, maybe leading to a promotion.

    7. Make an effort to be a good worker

    You despise your job and have no intention of changing it, but you also have no intention of resigning. But then how do you address to the question, “what to do if you hate your job?”

    That isn’t to say you should be careless with your appearance. You can despise your job all you want, but you must nonetheless perform to the best of your abilities.


    When you get to work, concentrate on completing each task to the best of your ability. This may necessitate a mental shift. To give yourself an energy boost, try focusing on the areas of your employment that you’re grateful for.

    8. Focus on the positive

    You couldn’t really despise everything about your job right now, can you? If you’re unsure what to do when you despise your job, focus on what you appreciate about it and mentally block out the unfavorable aspects.

    Consider the future. You may despise your current job, but remaining with it may be the best option if it’s simply a stepping stone to your professional objectives a few years down the road.

    9. Be grateful for having a job

    However much you hate your job, just think of the millions of unemployed people who are desperate to find work. While your job may be far from perfect, it’s still a job. It pays you a wage and offers you a chance to contribute to society.

    10. Be honest with your boss

    It may be hard to discuss with your boss the reasons why you hate your job, but it can be worth it. When confronted with facts such as: “My duties lack variety” or “I never get sent on training courses,” or “I hate my job”, many bosses will take note of these remarks.

    If you’re bored with the monotony of doing the same tasks each day, go to your boss and ask if there are any new responsibilities they would be willing to give you. Perhaps they’re looking for help on a project in an area that interests you. You won’t know if you don’t ask!


    Alternatively, you can ask your boss to inform you if any other positions come up within the company. With time, you may come across an opportunity to move into something you enjoy more.

    If they want to keep you then there is a good chance they will take action to make your working life more acceptable to you. If your problem is with your boss, still find a way to talk to him or her about the issues. Open, non-hostile dialogue can resolve most problems.

    11. Inject fun into your work

    You may work on a factory line or as a data entry clerk in an office. On the surface these jobs might appear as dull as dishwater. However, if you go to work with an expectation of having fun, you’ll be amazed by the results.

    Ways of adding fun to your work day include spending breaks with upbeat colleagues, singing at work, exchanging jokes with co-workers, and understanding that being professional does not mean you always need to be serious.

    12. Customize your work space

    If your company is dragging you down and slowly drowning your hopes and dreams, you need to take immediate action. One of the best things to do is to take control of your personal working environment.

    For example, if you work in an office make sure your desk and drawers are clean and tidy. Then introduce some character and inspiration to your desk space by adding an ornate plant and/or adding a picture of a loved one. Small changes like these can make a big difference.


    13. Take control through goal setting

    Goal setting is a powerful and proven technique for boosting results and altering your “I hate my job” attitude. Your employer is likely to have organizational goals, but there is nothing to stop you from creating your own goals as well.

    If you’re on good terms with your boss, explain to him or her that you’re planning on setting goals to help you develop your job and to benefit the organization.

    If you’ve stopped speaking to your boss (it happens!), then you can still set goals that are within your control. For instance, you can decide to arrive early to work each morning to tackle the daily backlog of emails.

    14. Find hobbies you enjoy outside of work

    Having something that you enjoy outside of work can really make work more enjoyable. Hobbies will allow you to take your mind off of work and truly relax.

    Not only is this a great stress reliever after work, but it can help you have something to look forward to throughout the day.


    How to Quit For the Better

    What to do when you hate your job and you need to quit now?

    Before you take steps to resigning from a job you hate, you need to know for sure that you are taking the right step. Try these to help you to quit the job you hate:

    1. Take a vacation

    A vacation does not need to be an expensive trip to the Caribbean. Use any vacation time you may have saved up to give you breathing space to take stock of your life, and time and energy to focus on your future.

    It can be time off of work to spend job-hunting and going to interviews, or with friends and family who can give valuable advice.

    With time to think, you can decide if you really want to quit your job and if so, what your next steps will be. You don’t like your job but you need to find out what’s next. And what better way to find answers than doing it on a vacation?

    2. Be prepared

    If you’ve decided to definitely quit your job, it’s best to be adequately prepared. Before you say “I hate my job and I will quit”, make sure you are well prepared of what’s to come.

    This will mean either having sufficient savings to live on for a period of time or having another job to go to. Update your resume, give your present employer a decent notice period, and leave on the best terms possible. Make the decision to quitting the job you hate, the best one!


    3. Move sideways

    If your work problem is related to your manager or team members, you may not need to leave your current employer. Instead of leaving a job you hate, you could choose to apply for other positions within your organization.

    A new manager and a new team could be just what you need to break free from the “I hate my job!” trap.

    4. Turn your skills into a freelance career

    Do you love your work but hate your work environment? If so, you could be a good candidate for freelancing. Let’s say that you work as a personal assistant.

    It’s the role in which you’ve always excelled, but right now you have an obnoxious boss. Why not take your skills to the marketplace and see if you can secure well-paid contract work? You could also consider offering your services as a “virtual assistant.”

    5. Don’t look back

    If you’ve chosen to quit your job then go for it! Quitting the job you hate could be one of the best steps of life.

    Once you’ve informed your employer, and agreed on an exit date, put the rest of your energy and focus on what you want to do next.


    Sometimes people decide to leave a job, but get emotionally caught up with worrying about things such as missing their colleagues and stressing over the future. Don’t let this happen to you. Keep your eyes firmly on a brighter working future.

    A job that you dislike can make your life a living hell. The secret to freedom is to act. You must decide whether to quit your job or stay where you are.

    6. Clear your debts

    People can take advantage of a plethora of wonderful possibilities in life. However, for many people, these opportunities are constrained due to debt. There are probably things you’d rather do with your money than pay off credit cards or student debts.

    Consider your life without these financial constraints. Financial independence allows you to do things you want to do, such as travel, dine out in new places, and try new things.

    You will be able to do this if you can pay off your debt. Your employment is the vehicle that allows this to happen. Say it aloud – “I hate my job but it also helps me pay bills.”

    7. Finding skills that can be transferred

    Worker assessment is used in almost all positions to assess performance in a range of areas. You may be working in a job that you despise and these performance reviews. However, the input you receive from these might be quite useful in advancing your profession.

    A performance review and feedback from managers and colleagues can help you recognize your strengths and flaws. Examine your areas of strength. Those assets can be used to advance your career in another industry.

    In the near term, taking the plunge and quitting your career may be gratifying. However, there are long-term implications for you and your family to consider. The job you despise could lead to something you enjoy if you devise a well-thought-out strategy.

    8. Don’t give up without a plan B

    If your job isn’t driving you crazy and pays you fairly for your problems, quitting might not make you as pleased as you expected, especially if you haven’t found another career.

    Being unemployed causes you to miss your salary, overthink your actions, and maybe consider yourself a quitter. So if you are still contemplating what to do when you hate your job, consider planning for alternatives first before quitting.

    9. Read Simon Sinek’s book Find Your Why

    Find Your Why, a book by internationally acclaimed organizational strategist and speaker Simon Sinek, could be a game-changer in getting you back on track to a successful and pleasant job.

    According to Sinek and his co-authors, there isn’t much distinction between having a professional why and a personal why.

    It’s as much a statement of the labor you put in every day as it is the reason your friends and family love you. It’s less about the duties and activities themselves and more about the emotional and mental satisfaction you get from completing them.

    10. Consider broadening your horizons and developing an entrepreneurial mindset.

    You may believe, “I’ll always be an employee,” and the prospect of beginning your own business may terrify you.

    There’s a good possibility you have marketable skills that could, at least, shift your focus away from the terrifying prospect of spending the rest of your life in a dead-end job. If you wonder, “what to do if you…”, then try to become an entrepreneur.

    Bonus: Work with A Career Coach And/or Therapist

    When we really detest our daily grind, it’s high time to keep a lookout for the development of symptoms of anxiety and/or depression.

    Don’t just look for physical signs such as feeling greater and frequent fatigue, increased emotional eating, poor sleep. Loss of motivation, concentration and lower general interest not just in your work but in your personal life activities and relationships…these signs should raise alarm bells.

    Your friends and family might start reflecting they’re fed up of hearing about how your boss is constantly laying blame on you for their mistakes.

    Tolerance has worn thin listening to constant complaints about your doing the work of two people yet never confronting your boss about it. Continuing to play the broken record of your pain is not only sucking the lifeblood out of you but your friends and family as well.

    Don’t hold off working with a therapist and/or career coach when you notice these things. Both professionals will help you recognize the full picture of your experience and how it’s impacting you. Of greatest value is their helping you to start identifying changes you need to make and how to turn those into reality.

    When your emotional, physical and mental resources are drained from coping with your soul-destroying nine-to-five, your mindset is unlikely to have the optimal sensibility to hatch your escape plan.

    You’re likely to be operating from a fixed mindset of desperation than innovation and run the stakes of moving from one crappy job situation to another.

    Invest focus to rediscovering your worth, career interests and learning how to dream big again. Go deep in exploration of what your values are around what you want your work to give to you and mean to you.

    If working with a coach or therapist feels like an uncomfortable step for you, consider looking into undertaking a course that helps you work through these questions. Give yourself a gentle kick to ignite momentum in a different direction.


    Whatever your decision, improve your situation. It is not worth lingering and creating an additional mental load. You can opt for any of the recommendations above, which are far better than doing nothing and wallowing in misery year after year.

    The perusal of the write-up would give you additional clarity and confidence that you needed to take the final call.

    Hating your job can be just what you need to motivate you to a new and more successful life. Act now!

    Featured photo credit: Magnet.me via unsplash.com


    ⌄ Scroll down to continue ⌄
    ⌄ Scroll down to continue ⌄
    ⌄ Scroll down to continue ⌄
    ⌄ Scroll down to continue ⌄
    ⌄ Scroll down to continue ⌄