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

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

If you hate your job, you’re not alone.

A recent U.K. study found that 60 percent of employees were unhappy in their current positions.[1] Whether you have a boss who always reprimands you or a job so dull that you’d rather watch paint dry, being miserable at work is an incredibly frustrating situation.

Is there any way to escape this daily torment?

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.

I hate my job! Give me some solutions to fix this.

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.

You hate your job but due to financial burdens or lack of other job offers you’re forced to stay where you are.

Try these five solutions:

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1. 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.

2. 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,” many bosses will take note of these remarks. 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.

3. 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.

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4. 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.

5. Take control through goal setting.

Goal setting is a powerful and proven technique for boosting results. 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.

You hate your job, and you need to quit now!

Try these five solutions:

1. Take a vacation.

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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.

2. Be prepared.

If you’ve decided to definitely quit your job, it’s best to be adequately prepared. 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.

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, 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.

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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! 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. Whatever your decision, improve your situation. Any of the recommendations above is far better than doing nothing and wallowing in misery year after year. Hating your job can be just what you need to motivate you to a new and more successful life. Act now!

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Craig J Todd

Freelance Writer helping businesses and people to thrive.

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Last Updated on January 14, 2019

The Key to Finding Job Satisfaction and Having a Successful Career

The Key to Finding Job Satisfaction and Having a Successful Career

Regardless of whether you hold an entry-level administration role or regularly travel to the ends of the Earth as a hot-shot senior executive, you can still find yourself harboring an emptiness… a feeling that something is missing. A popular assumption that experiencing job satisfaction and a successful career should be underpinned by a well-rounded suite of tangible benefits, no longer holds true for many of us.

We’d never deny health care benefits, appropriate and fair remuneration, bonuses and travel perks in a job package. However, even if served to us on a silver platter, those features can only satiate us to a certain point.

You might wonder what governs entrepreneurs and start-up business owners to quit their lucrative jobs, essentially look the gift horse in the mouth and kiss such benefits goodbye! There can be an irresistible pull to mastermind a business with products and/or services that serve the greater good of community wider than that constituting their daily existence.

Even with research showing entrepreneurship to pose greater threats to their mental and physical health, this unique breed of individuals choose to go against the grain in chasing their dreams of being their own boss. Why? Why would anyone risk this type of career suicide?

Whether you’re an employee, have recently taken the leap to being a business owner or been in business for a while, the commonality is a congenital condition we all share as human beings; to feel a sense of purpose, value and contribution to our community. Despite it being harder to find this for ourselves in today’s world, these approaches will help you achieve ultimate satisfaction through the twists, turns and joyrides that are essential features of shaping a successful career.

1. Search for Opportunities That Feed Your Passion, Not Temporary Excitement

Even though well-intended, the ‘feel good now’ compass that career coaches and consultants often recommend you use to create career satisfaction can actually do you more harm than good. Excitement is transient. It doesn’t last. Passion is the compass you need.

Passion and excitement are two different things. The resounding career legacy that still draws you to turn up on the job regardless of the sunshine or storm that awaits you…that’s passion. It’s like a mental and/or emotional itch you can’t shrug off. Staying attuned to that calling will breed success for you sooner or later. Patience is key.

You’re also likely to have more than one key passion. Beware of getting caught in the notion you have to find your one true purpose. In fact, run immediately from any coach who tells you there is only one. There isn’t.

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Your passion is a journey that can take multiple forms so forget thinking there is the single dream job out there that will give you satisfaction in every way you can imagine. It simply doesn’t exist.

Consider embracing different roles and projects to help you fuel your passion or fuel your pursuits in finding it. Job satisfaction and your career success will be all the more sweeter from a wider range of enriching experiences.

2. Don’t Position Job and Career Satisfaction Assessments as Pivotal Guides to Your Success

Despite their popular use for vocational guidance, assessment tools such as Gallup’s Clifton Strengths and the Myers Briggs Type Indicator have come under fire[1] as being limited to the amount of true value and direction they can offer partakers.[2] These and many other guidance assessment tools (e.g. VIA Character Strengths , DISC ) are self-report questionnaires that don’t have normative population data against which to compare your results.

Simply remember these tools help you develop a stronger sense of what you identify as strengths and weaknesses within yourself, not in comparison with other people. They will still add insight around what sorts of career opportunities, tasks and projects are going to light your fire, what ones are going to extinguish it and what will prod and keep the coals steadily smoldering.

3. Be Clear on Your Personal Values, Ethics and Principles and Choose Relationships That Support You Honoring Them

Teamwork, collaboration, open communication and trust are commonplace for any flourishing work environment. However, whether or not your personal values can be honored in your work can make or break your job satisfaction.

How committed do you want to be to an organization that expects an average of 10 unpaid overtime hours every week under the guise of ‘reasonable overtime’? Are you willing to accept their construing this expectation as ‘strong commitment’ at the expense of your partner and children waiting at home for you? What are your boundaries concerning when you clock on to their time and when you clock off to yours?

Being very in tune with what your personal values, principles and ethics are will bid you well in the job satisfaction stakes. Spending time to reflect on experiences and working relationships you’ve had – the good, the bad and the ugly – will help you make well-informed searches and grounded decisions that will propel your career success.

Finding and nurturing relationships with associates and colleagues who share similar values doesn’t just make your day-to-day pursuits more enjoyable. You become fortunate to work with like-minded people who will support, understand and appreciate you like a second family.

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Being able to honor your personal values in your work means you will still be able to sleep at night when you have to tread where others fear to, and make extremely difficult decisions others would never ever dream of having to make as you forge success in your career.

4. Be Clear on Your Own Definition of What Having a Successful Career Means for You

It’s tempting to get caught up in the ideals and projections of success expressed by those we love, admire and respect. Underneath, we all want on some level to belong to a successful club of some sort.

With research reporting how much money we feel we need to be truly happy,[3] many of us try to subscribe to the notion that having the car of our dreams or taking a European holiday annually will not bring us happiness. The truth, however, for many of us is these tangible rewards are congratulatory reminders of our persistent efforts to chase our career pursuits.

If those are things you aspire to, don’t let anyone steal your desire and want to feel deserving of these things, that those are some parameters by which you define your career success.

Despite consistently being the top revenue earner for two years running, you may not wish to become the sales manager. You may not wish to step out into running your own business even though you consistently excel as an employee, delighting clients and repeatedly receiving glowing testimonials.

Your definition of career success might be enjoying the predictability of a regular workplace routine. You get to leave – without feeling guilty – at the same time each day, love the people you work with and get to spend a good, uninterrupted amount of work-stress free quality time with your family. That picture is also blissful job satisfaction and complete career success.

5. Identify the Sorts of Challenges and Problems You Want to Learn to Overcome

Standard advice you might receive from a career coach might be to look for opportunities where you get to capitalize on exercising your strengths and career-related activities you enjoy.

However, to become a success at anything involves improvement. To excel at anything often involves stepping outside boundaries and comfort zones where others wouldn’t. This means dedicating focus and attention to things you’re not so good at and things you don’t like.

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Here’s where working with a coach can be particularly helpful. Map out the experiences that were unsavory in your working history. Were there challenges you opted out of, projects you failed at or toxic relationships that blasted your sense of purpose and self-worth into oblivion? It’s within these experiences that you might just find the most valuable lessons and guiding lights for your trajectory to achieve greater job satisfaction.

If your natural leadership style is to be a collaborator, finding opportunities that require you to apply a more dictatorial style might be needed. Discussing a secondment or short-term project where you get to develop and test your skills can be a step further in earning contention to lead a larger project down the track.

With several of the company’s boldest personality types penciled to roll out the operation, you’ll not only develop skills that earn your right to throw your hat in the ring; those key players have an opportunity to see your competence. You can then work on building relationships with those stakeholders before you need to hit the ground running should you win the lead.

Greater job satisfaction comes with planning and choosing the lessons and opportunities you want to learn, not desperately flailing, floundering and hoping for the best.

6. Keep Reviewing Your Goal Posts and Be Amenable to Change

The word ‘career’ is indicative of a longer-term pathway of change, growth and development. The journey is dynamic.

You will accumulate new skills and let those you no longer need, become rusty. Your intrigue will be stimulated by new experiences, knowledge and people you meet. Your thinking will continue to expand, not shrink. As a result, your goalposts are likely to change.

A major part of enjoying a successful career is not just setting goals effectively, but regularly reviewing and readjusting them where necessary. However, moving the posts or the target still needs to take place by applying the same processes by which you originally created them. The strength of your emotional connection to those revised goals needs to be the same, if not stronger.

By asking yourself the following questions, you can assure your developmental and growth trajectory is still on course:

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  • Would working toward these goals still allow me to honor my personal values, principles and ethics at the same capacity if not greater?
  • Do the activities I need to undertake to meet these goals honor my highest priorities?
  • Does this feel right for me and those who are nearest and dearest to me?
  • Is this aligned with my passion?
  • Is chasing this goal a right step for me to take now or is this a detour or distraction which could delay my greater plan?

Each of your career goals should have different review periods. Whatever you do, stick to the review schedule you set. It will not only keep you focused but help you see your progress (or lack thereof) and allow you to timely re-chart your course before you get too far down the track. You don’t want to waste time haphazardly heading in the wrong direction.

7. Be Prepared to Let Go

It can be unfathomable to us as to why others risk leaping into the unknown when everything truly appears fine and dandy in the career realm. The company provided stability, recognition, financial success, interesting projects and the promise of a promotion…what was wrong? Why now jump sideways to run a café or train in another field altogether?

Nothing may have been wrong at all. It was all going right. It was just the end of a chapter. Perhaps the yearning for the next step is actually taking a different trajectory entirely. You may want to simply experience a different rhythm. Perhaps it’s time to pursue a different passion.

If you have leaped from employee-land to freelancing or have made the reverse-jump (or you know someone who has), you will have quickly grown a different appreciation for pros and cons each work lifestyle brings. Working for yourself can bring the greater realization of your creativity, whether or not it can be monetized to earn you a living.

When your customers are buying you or a product you designed and fashioned, there is a direct level of appreciation and gratitude that can elevate your confidence in the way you have never experienced as an employee, regardless of your rank.

Similarly, there are times where we need to recognize our business ventures were adventures, not long-term life-changing empires. There are times we need to recognize that time is what provides the clearest limitation of how long we persist for in such pursuits.

We have to recognize the absence of enough financial, mental, emotional and physical breadcrumbs that tells us we’re no longer meant to push in that direction. At least, not for the present time.

The Bottom Line

Above all, keep the momentum. As long as you remain committed to pursuing work opportunities that allow you to honor your highest priorities, the truth of who you are and what you stand for, achieving ultimate job satisfaction and a successful career will never be too far away.

More Resources to Help Advance Your Career

Featured photo credit: Csaba Balazs via unsplash.com

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