Do you HATE your job?
As much as I would love to say leave your job and go find something that you are passionate about and love – it’s not always that easy.
Just for the record, leaving a job that leaves you exhausted and miserable is always worth it – it’s just not always easy!
We have responsibilities and commitments. We have bills to pay. We have food to put on the table and a roof to keep over our heads.
But don’t despair, there are options.
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Here are my thoughts on what to do when you hate your job.
Work out why you hate your job
This is where we need to get specific. Why exactly do you hate your job?
It might be you have a manager that you dislike or that you feel is incompetent. Your job might be repetitive and boring. You might not like the environment that you work in both from a physical and emotional standpoint.
Your job might be causing some sort of moral emotional conflict. You might feel like your work has no purpose or that you are wasting your time doing something well below your skill level.
Perhaps the money is terrible?
There are a lot of different reasons but it’s important to get specific about why you hate your job so that you work out what to do next.
Working out why you hate your current job is an important step in working out what your next job should look like.
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Work out the parts that you like and/or love about your job
Most of the time we don’t hate everything about our jobs. We dislike certain things but not others.
So what do you like, enjoy or love about your job?
You might like the people you work with or you might like the company overall and believe in what they represent or do. You might like your work environment. You might enjoy the variety your job provides.
You might like that work challenges you and makes you think outside the box for solutions. You might enjoy being a problem solver.
You might like the company’s social life and enjoy working with people you consider your friends.
It’s important that we acknowledge the bits that we like about our jobs, one so that it helps us get out of bed in the morning and two so that we can maximize the parts we like while minimizing the bits we don’t (to the best of our ability).
Related post – How Would Your Work Colleagues Describe You?
Work out what you can do to not hate your job as much
We’ve worked out the bits you hate about your job as well as why you hate them. We’ve also looked at some of the reasons you like your job.
Now we need to work out ways for you to stay in the same job and not hate it as much.
In a nutshell, our plan is to maximize the bits we like and minimize the bits we don’t. This could mean asking to work on certain projects or stepping up to take more responsibility. It could mean stepping back a little and delegating more work.
If you are having problems working with a particular person (which I can so relate to!) it’s time to look into whether you can transfer into another department or get a job in a different part of the same company where you will not be working with that person.
Keep your eye out for internal positions (even if they are a temporary secondment). A lot of companies have internal job boards that advertise new or up and coming positions.
Your first thought might have been – but there’s no use applying for those jobs because it’s already predetermined who will get them. I know this can be frustrating. We all know that some jobs that are advertised are already handpicked for certain people (it shouldn’t work like that, but we all know it sometimes does) but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t throw your hat in the ring.
Don’t assume someone else will get the job. Put your paperwork in and see how you go! You might impress someone in an interview or with your application which would lead to bigger and better things.
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Work out what you want to do instead
Okay so you hate your job and you know you want to be doing something else.
So what exactly do you want to be doing for a living?
This can often be the hardest part, we don’t like what we are doing but we aren’t exactly sure what we should be doing instead.
Don’t torture yourself if you are not sure what you want to do next. Give yourself some breathing space without pressure to figure it out.
Related post – Focus on Your Strengths Not on Your Weaknesses
Try before you buy
Granted this option won’t work for everything – it’s not like you can try out being a heart surgeon!
But there are a lot of professions you might be able to try before you buy, so to speak.
For starters, you could do some volunteer work to get a feel for a certain job, role or industry.
You might be able to freelance or contract in your spare time or have a little business going on the side. Depending on your hours, you might be able to work part-time in a certain role to see if you like it?
Related post – What Happens When You Discover Your Dream Job Isn’t What You Want
Keep your hours in check
If you hate your job, it’s not going to help if you are working 12 hour days 5 days a week.
While this isn’t always possible if you hate your job try to keep your hours down. I’m not suggesting you clock watch and are out of there at 5 pm on the dot no matter what, but that you don’t hang around when it’s really not required.
People sometimes tend to stay at work because other people are still there and they want to look good. Forget about how things look and get the hell out of there.
Related post – How to Stop Clock Watching?
Make sure you switch off when you are not working
Regardless of when you leave work at the end of the day if you hate your job make sure you leave it at work!
If you are coming home and thinking about your job non-stop, you are only going to hate it more because it will feel like it’s all-consuming.
You must work out ways to switch off and relax. You need to have an off button.
I remember years ago talking to a work colleague about how hard it was for him to switch off when he went on holiday. For me it pretty much happened straight away, in most cases, I walked out of the office, went on holidays and forgot all about work entirely. For my friend, it took a week or two to start to relax (which isn’t good when you only have a week or two off in the first place).
The interesting thing about this story is that now I work for myself, I think about work all of the time and have a hard time switching off but for me, that’s okay because I love it.
Related post – 10 Ways to Unwind After a Stressful Day at Work
What training do you need?
What training do you need to move onto a job that you will love?
Whilst I am not saying you need to rush out and do a four-year university degree to change jobs, you might need some specific training.
Look into what you need and be proactive about making it happen and getting the training that you need.
CreativeLive have a great range of business-related courses that might help. Check out their range to see if anything works for you.
Sort out your finances
Let’s face it, people often stay in jobs they hate because financially they feel like they have no other choice.
This is where we need to get our finances sorted.
This could mean downsizing where you live, sticking to your budget, making a budget in the first place, making compromises (do you really need that bigger house with the extra bedroom that no one uses or gets used once a year?) and making sacrifices.
It might mean giving up some luxuries or even everyday things we take for granted to get yourself into a more comfortable debt position. It might mean chopping up a credit card or making sure the ones you have are all paid off every month.
It might mean getting real about what is a want and what is a need!
You probably won’t be able to fix your financial problems overnight but if you have a plan on how to get them under control, leaving your job won’t seem such a terrifying financial step.
Related post – Do You Need More Money?
Make sure the money is worth it
Are you working just for the money?
Whilst I am sure you are not alone if you hate your job and you are working just for the money. you want to be damn sure you are spending that money the way you want to.
Don’t spend your hard-earned cash on stuff that doesn’t mean anything to you. Make sure you are spending your money on things that make you happy and fulfilled.
Related posts – What Do You Value Most – Experiences or Possessions? and The Real Cost of Buying Stuff
Get real about what you are sacrificing to stay in a job you hate
What are you sacrificing for a job you hate?
How has your health been lately?
Are you stressed, exhausted and miserable? Is your blood pressure through the roof? Are you yelling at your partner or children for no valid reason other than you feel completely worn out?
Are you spending 60 hours working and never seeing or spending quality time with that same partner and children?
We make a lot of sacrifices when we hate our jobs.
Make sure you are crystal clear on your sacrifices so that you can weigh them up in any work-related decisions you have to make.
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Sign up for a particular time frame
Perhaps you have the option of signing up for short periods of time?
You might sign up for temp work where you move around a lot, sign up for a two-year contract where you know you can get out at the end of that time or take on some other sort of flexible work arrangement.
While some people might not like the inconsistency, it might work perfectly for others who don’t want to be tied down to full-time work with the same company for years on end.
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Accept that leaving is the right/best option
A couple of years ago I was working in a job that I hated. Hated! I was being harassed by my manager on a regular basis, the hours were crazy and it was just horrid.
Because I had gone from freelancing (working for myself) to working for a company again, I had what people viewed as a gap on my administration resume. Whilst I knew that I had learned some valuable lessons working for myself (that I could never have learned anywhere else), it appeared that some business people didn’t view it the same way.
All I could think was – if I leave my job after only being here a couple of months, how will that look on my resume? What would people think? How would I explain leaving to future employers?
At the time, I thought this was the worst case scenario!
As it turned out my manager fired me during my probation period for no reason and with no warning and suddenly I found myself unemployed with the history of being fired on my resume!
Leaving by my own accord, though it would have been hard to explain, would have been much easier than trying to explain why I was fired (particularly when I didn’t fully understand the reason why myself).
Sometimes the right option is the hard one but it’s important to acknowledge that it’s still the right thing to do.
Related post – How to Deal with the Emotions of Being Fired
It’s one small word but it can be a big step. Or not depending on how you feel about work, your company and sometimes yourself!
Sometimes the best thing for us to do is leave. We can justify staying all we want. There are the money and the benefits and the uncertainty of what the hell will I do next?
But sometimes it all comes down to the fact that we need to leave our crappy job, our shitty company or our nightmare boss.
Work out your exit strategy
You have decided that you hate your job and you want to leave. Good on you!
My next question is what is your exit strategy? What’s your plan?
It might be as basic and start looking for another job and leave when one that appeals to you comes along or it might be something like leave, take some time off and then start looking. Or you might leave your job and start looking for a new one straight away.
Whatever you decide on, you need a strategy. You don’t want to be jumping from the frying pan into the fire so to speak. You don’t want to be going from one job you hate to another job you hate. You want to avoid accepting a job only out of desperation.
Your exit strategy might involve learning about a new company you are thinking of working for or speaking to friends, colleagues, and mentors about what is involved in certain roles, companies, and industries.
Work out a strategy. Work out your plan of attack and then go for it!
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Don’t burn your bridges
Don’t go burning bridges when you leave.
That doesn’t mean you have to take every person’s concerns into consideration but don’t screw yourself over.
As much as you might hate your boss, telling them what you think of them might not be the best idea because some industries have gossip networks that spread like wildfire and you never know who your next employer or next boss might be!
Related post – Is Loyalty in the Workplace Dead?
Hang in there and focus on other areas of your life
You might be thinking, I’m not in a position to take advantage of these options at the moment. That’s okay, it happens.
If that’s the case, what should you do?
Hang in there, do your best work and focus on other areas of your life whether that be family, friends, hobbies, health, sports or your personal growth.
Sometimes we can’t do much about a job we hate but we can do a hell of a lot about other areas of our lives.
Always remember you are much, much more than what you do for a living.
If you are keen to focus on your personal growth, these posts can help –
- 10 Best Online Personal Growth Courses
- How to Break the Habit of Self-Doubt and Build Real Confidence
- 10 Best Books on Habits – Learn how to Break Old Habits and Create New Ones
Acknowledge what working adds to your life
You might be thinking, I hate my job and I just want to win the lottery and never have to work again!
I hear you – most of us have indulged in this fantasy at some point.
But here’s the thing. Some people retire and miss working. Others miss the interaction with people as well as the feeling that they are contributing and adding to society.
Whether we realize it or not working adds a lot more to our lives than we often acknowledge. You might be surprised how quickly you would get bored if you had nothing to do all day for years and years to come.
Related post – Why Do You Work?
Take pride in your work
I don’t care whether you are the cleaner or the CEO or whether you hate your job or love it.
No matter what camp you sit in, there is something that you will want to do – take pride in your work.
Take pride in yourself and in knowing that you are doing the work to your best ability. Just because you hate your job doesn’t mean that you can’t or shouldn’t be good at what you do or be proud of yourself in the process.
Related post – Are You Proud of Yourself
I hope that I have given you lots to think about. Working takes up such a large chunk of our lives, our ultimate work goal is to have a job that we love doing that we are great at.
A job we love is what we want to aim for but it’s important to have ideas and options in place for when we end up with a job on the other end of the spectrum!
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