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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!

Reference

More by this author

Craig J Todd

Freelance Writer helping businesses and people to thrive.

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Published on March 20, 2019

How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business

How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business

Have you ever felt lost in the minutia of your job?

As a business owner, I can relate to getting bogged down in the day to day operations of my business. Things like inventory, payroll, scheduling, purchasing and employee management take up the bulk of my day.

While these things are important and need to get done, focusing too much on the details can make you lose sight of the big picture. This is why having a good mission statement comes in handy.

What is a Mission Statement?

Put simply, a mission statement is an internal document that provides a clear purpose for the organization. It provides a common reference point for everyone in the organization to start from.

In other words, after reading your company’s mission statement, managers and employees should be able to answer the question “What are company’s main objectives?” For example, Southwest Airlines mission statement reads:[1]

“Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.”

In this single statement, Southwest conveys the company’s goals of providing the highest level of customer service as well as providing a good working environment for their employees.

Mission Statement VS. Vision Statement

While the mission and vision statements are related, there are subtle but distinct differences the you should be aware of.

First of all, a mission statement is designed primarily as an internal company document. It provides clarity and direction for managers and employees.

While there’s nothing wrong with sharing your company’s mission statement with the outside world, its intended audience is within the company.

While a mission statement provides a general framework for the organization, the vision statement is usually a more inspirational statement designed to motivate employees and inspire customers. Going back to Southwest Airlines, their vision statement reads:[2]

“To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.”

This statement inspires good feeling from the customer while motivating the employees to achieve that vision.

What Does a Good Mission Statement Look Like?

When coming up with a mission statement, it’s important to take your time and do it right. Too often, people (especially entrepreneurs) just write down the first thing that comes to mind and they end up with worthless or (worse yet) a generic mission statement that is utterly useless.

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Remember, a mission statement should provide a common framework for everyone in your organization.

When writing a mission statement, you should always try to incorporate the following;

  • What we do?
  • How we do it?
  • Whom do we do it for?
  • What value are we bringing?

Now, you can see how tempting it is to just come up with something generic that ticks off those four boxes. Something like “We provide the best widgets available online for the consumer.”

After all, that did check off all the boxes:

What we do? Provide widgets.

How we do it? Online.

Who do we do it for? The consumer.

What value we bring? The best widgets.

The problem with this mission statement is that it could apply to any number of companies producing the same widget. There is nothing to distinguish your company or its widgets from any of your competitors widgets.

Compare that mission statement to this one:

“We provide the highest quality widgets directly to the consumer at an affordable price backed up with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If our clients aren’t 100% satisfied, we’ll make it right.”

What’s the difference?

Both mission statements answer all the same questions of what, how, whom and value. But in the second statement, they are differentiating their company from all other competitors by answering the question “what makes us unique”.

Another way to read that is, “Why you should buy from us.” In this example, it’s because our widgets are of the highest quality and we stand behind them 100%.

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You might have noticed the statement didn’t say that we sell widgets at the lowest possible price. That’s because we are emphasizing quality and satisfaction over price.

A different company’s mission statement may emphasize selling widgets at the lowest possible price with little to no mention of a guarantee.

Hallmarks of a Good Mission Statement

1. Keep It Brief

Your mission statement should be no longer than three sentences. This is not your company’s magnum opus.

You should be able to distill the what, how, who and why questions into a succinct message.

2. Have a Purpose

A company’s missions statement should include the reason it even exists.

Make clear exactly what the company does with statements like “We strive to provide our customers with …….”

3. Include a “How”

Take this as an opportunity to differentiate your company from its competitors.

How do you provide a product or service that’s different or better than how your competitor provides it?

4. Talk About the Value You Bring to the Table

This is where you can really set yourself apart from the competition. This is the “why” customers should buy from you.

Do you offer the lowest prices? Fastest delivery? Exceptional customer service? Whatever it is that sets you apart and gives your particular products, services or company an advantage talk about it in the mission statement.

5. Make Sure It’s Plausible

It’s okay to shoot for the stars just to settle for the moon, but not in a mission statement.

Being overly ambitious will only set you and your employees up for failure, hurt morale and make you lose credibility. You will also scare away potential investors if they think that you are not being realistic in your mission statement.

6. Make It Unique and Distinctive

Imagine if someone who knew nothing about your business walked in and saw how it was operating, then they read your mission statement. Would they be able to recognize that mission statement was attached to that business? If not re-work it.

7. Think Long Term

A mission statement should be narrow enough so that it provides a common framework for the existing business, but open enough to allow for longer term goals. It should be able to grow as the business grows.

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8. Get Feedback

This is very important, especially from managers and employees.

Getting their input can clarify how they currently see the company and their role within the organization. It’s also a good way to get people “on-board,” as studies show that people are more likely to go along with an idea if they feel included in the decision making process beforehand.

9. Review Often and Revise as Necessary

You should review the missions statement often for two reasons.

First, as a reminder of what the essence of the company is. It’s easy to forget when you are in the day to day grind of the business.

And two, to make sure that the mission statement is still relevant. Things change, and not everything can be anticipated at the time a mission statement was written.

For example, if a mission statement was written before the advent of the internet, a company that use to sell things door to door now probably has a website that people order from. You should always update the mission statement to reflect these changes.

The Value of Mission Statements: Why Go Through All of These in the First Place?

It may seem like a lot of work just for a few sentences that describe a company, but the value of a well written mission statement should not be discounted.

First of all, if you are an entrepreneur, crystallizing the what, how, whom and value questions will keep you focused on the core business and its values.

If you are a manager or other employee, knowing the company’s basic tenants will help inform your interactions with both customers and colleagues alike.

Strategic Planning

A relevant mission statement acts as a framework for strategic planning. It provides guidance and parameters for making strategic decisions for the future of the company.

Measuring Performance

By having the company’s mission in a concrete form, it also allows for an objective measurement of how well the organization is meeting its stated goals at any one time.

Management can identify strengths and weaknesses in the organization based on the criteria set forth in the mission statement and make decisions accordingly.

Solidifying the Company’s Goals and Values for Employees

Part of a well run organization is nurturing happy and productive employees.

As humans, we all have an innate need for both purpose and to be part of something larger than ourselves. Providing employees with a clearly defined mission statement helps to define their role in the larger organization. Thus, fulfilling both of these needs.

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Now I’m not saying that a mission statement can overcome low pay and poor working conditions, but with everything else being equal, it can contribute to a happier and more productive workforce.

To Hold Management Accountable

By creating a mission statement, a company is publicly stating its highest values and goals for the world to see. By doing so, you are inviting both the public and your employees to to scrutinize how well the company lives up to its ideals.

So if you state that you only provide the highest quality products, and then offer something less, it’s fair for both the public and the employees to question, and even call for a change in management.

If management doesn’t take the mission statement seriously, no one else will either; and the legitimate authority that management rely’s on will be diminished.

To Serve as an Example

This is the opposite side of the coin from the previous statement. If the highest levels of management are seen taking the mission statement seriously and actively managing within the framework of the statement, that attitude filters down throughout the organization.

After all, a good employee knows what’s important to their boss and will take the steps necessary to curry favor with them.

Finally, use the company’s mission statement as a way to define roles within the company. You can do this by giving each division in the company a copy of the mission statement and challenge the head of each division to create a mission statement for their respective departments.

Their individual mission statements should focus on how each department fits in and ultimately contributes to the success of the company’s overall mission statement. This serves as both a clarifying and a team building exercise for all parts of the organization.

Final Thoughts

Developing a mission statement is too often just an after-thought, especially for entrepreneurs. We tend to prioritize things that we perceive will give us the biggest “bang for our buck.”

Somehow, taking the time and effort to sit down and think seriously about the what, whom, how and value of our business seems like a waste of time. After all, we got in the business to make money and become successful, isn’t that all we need to know?

That mindset will probably get you started okay, but if you find yourself having any success at all, you’ll find that there really is such a thing as growing pains.

By putting in the time and effort to create a mission statement, you are laying the groundwork that will give you a path to follow in your growth. And isn’t building long term success what we are really after?

More Resources About Achieving Business Success

Featured photo credit: Fab Lentz via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Southwest Airlines: About Page
[2] Fit Small Business: 10 Vision Statement Examples To Spark Your Imagination

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