“I hate working” is a sentiment that explains how you feel when your job is no longer fun.
You’ll feel like time is at a standstill, and you’ll give anything to leave the office or take a year-long vacation.
Everything becomes irritating, and your boss’s voice sounds like nails on a chalkboard.
You’re unmotivated, miserable, and fed up.
But as much as you’d love to hand in your two weeks’ notice, you’re not ready for a shift.
So how do you cope while you’re there? How do you recover motivation to work and stay sane even if you’re riding out your last lap of work?
This article discusses different things you can do to survive a job you hate.
Table of Contents
Reasons Why You Might Hate the Job
According to a Pew Research report, 49% of Americans are satisfied with their jobs. However, 9% somewhat dislike their jobs, and 6% are very dissatisfied.
If you’re among the 9% or 6%, there are different potential reasons for how you feel.
Let’s go through the most common causes of worker dissatisfaction.
Compensation is one of the most common factors influencing a worker’s job satisfaction. If you feel you’re not duly compensated for your work, you’ll grow frustrated and learn to hate your job.
But it’s not just about the pay. Delayed and inaccurate paychecks can also cause frustration.
Overwork and Poor Work-Life Balance
You start becoming unhappy and unfulfilled when you take on more responsibilities than you can handle. As a result, there’s little time for your personal and social life, and you’re almost always burned out. This leaves a sour taste in your mouth, and you may end up blaming – and hating – your job for everything that goes wrong in your life.
Lack of Career Advancement
You’ll grow to dislike your job if you feel stuck in one position for a long time. Everyone loves and wants growth, and a job that doesn’t provide opportunities for advancement will start feeling like it’s holding you back. Moreover, work will end up seeming like an endless trudge when you have to do the same thing without any prospect of change.
Lack of Appreciation
You’ll wonder if anything you do makes a difference when your hard work goes unnoticed, or your employers fail to recognize your efforts. According to an Achievers survey, 44% of workers will leave their jobs if they’re not recognized.
Is It Okay to Hate Your Job?
It’s natural to be wrapped up in doubt and confusion when you drag yourself through each work day.
Are you just being lazy, or are you in the wrong place? Is it just a phase? Or do you even have what it takes anymore?
But getting to the stage where you realize you’re unfulfilled and unhappy at work isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
The discovery allows you to reevaluate your career and life choices and potentially sets you on the right path.
That said, you still have to assess the problem and decide your next steps.
What to Do When You Hate the Job
You can’t just up and leave when you start disliking your job, especially one that puts food on your table.
Instead, you need to take steps before concluding to leave.
Evaluate Your Situation
I’ll bet that your situation hasn’t always been this way. Even if your current career isn’t something you’ve always loved, the early stages of work must have been pretty good.
Your work frustrations have a source, and figuring it out can point you in the right direction.
Do you feel overworked? Are you frustrated with your boss or your current position? Have you been stagnant on the career ladder? Have you always hated your job? Is it your colleagues? Or perhaps your environment?
Or is it a periodic thing? For example, I hate working when personal life issues are weighing me down.
These are difficult questions to confront, but they’ll help you put things in perspective. You’ll know your next steps when you identify the cause of the problem.
Work On the Problem
If you have a definitive answer, then start taking steps to work on the issue.
For example, if you don’t find your colleagues agreeable, try to understand them better and form connections.
Since you can’t escape seeing or collaborating with them, you must make your workplace conducive by adjusting.
If your workload, position, pay, or office policy is the problem, consider discussing it with your boss.
You can ask for a raise or promotion, suggest different policies, and discuss your workload.
While it’s your boss’s job to identify workplace lapses and improve them, they can’t always read your mind and may miss a thing or two.
So, if you’re unhappy with a situation that your employer or immediate supervisor can fix, walk up to them and air your grievances.
That said, make sure you leave the emotional effects of your frustrations at the door and raise the issues professionally.
Also read: How to Show a Promotion on a Resume
Share Your Burden
You didn’t start muttering, “I hate working,” on your first day, and your job didn’t become a slog overnight.
In fact, like almost every employee, you were likely excited when it all started.
Until you began to nurture hatred for the monotony: the colorless and tedious routine of the early commute, morning pleasantries and forced smiles.
Little by little, you discovered things you didn’t like about your job. The boring projects you’d pick up when everyone looks away and all the elbow grease that comes with it. How you fake your way through presentations and doing things that aren’t just you.
The worst part? Enduring all that and keeping things to yourself.
Sharing how you feel with a supportive boss or understanding coworker may help. If you notice people around you who release the occasional grunt or mutter frustrations, you can talk to them.
You can also trust a supervisor, manager, or team leader who you feel is welcoming and open to communication.
Finding that others also go through this phase will provide relief and give you a sense of validation that will help you continue.
That said, be careful how you share your frustrations. Don’t go around your workplace or social media saying, “I hate my job.”
Please keep it to people you can trust and don’t make the conversations frequent.
You can also choose to keep these conversations outside work and instead talk to friends or family about your frustrations. Just make sure you are also supportive when they want to vent to you.
Steps to Help You Start Liking Work Again
If you find yourself hating a job you once loved, it’s possible to reignite the flame. Here are the top things you can do to get your old passion back.
1. Identify the Things You Love About Your Job
Things like workplace dynamics, compensation, and workload may make you forget the things you used to love about your job.
Looking back at those fun aspects and remembering how you enjoyed doing specific things could help you relearn how to love your job again.
Whether it’s a scenic office route, a specific coffee flavor, a lunch spot, or work that fulfills you, pick up those activities again.
Issues like the Covid-19 pandemic can change the social environment at work. For example, people may find it challenging to integrate with others after returning to the office.
Work may also cause you to drift apart and leave you secluded, making you forget the once lively hub that was the office.
You can try to reconnect with your colleagues and rebuild your office camaraderie. Organize after-hours fun events like the old days and joke about things you’ve been through.
3. Refocus Your Perspective
According to an Academy of Management study, employees who love their job see it in a different light from others. For example, a social worker can remind themself that they’re helping children find better lives.
Reframing your position and its impact can remind you why you chose this career.
You should also think about how you started and where you’re at. Looking at the quality of your work and the things you’ve achieved will motivate you again.
4. Remind Yourself What’s at Stake
Remind yourself about the consequences of leaving your job and why you must push on. Your current job could be the perfect stepping stone to your future ambition.
So, even if you’re not where you want to be, setting your eyes on the big picture will keep you inspired.
You should also remember to love your job if it’s the reason you can provide for your loved ones.
When It Is Better to Find a New Job
Leaving your current job may be the only viable solution in some cases. But you have to be sure.
In any case, hatred for your job will affect your performance and work quality.
If you can’t find a way to motivate yourself again, you’ll be living on borrowed time. That’s because your employers can only tolerate your low output for too long before firing you.
So, when does it make sense to go from “I hate working” to searching for a new job?
Here are the top reasons it’s time to move on:
- It’s clear that there are no opportunities for advancement
- Your passion lies elsewhere
- Complaints dominate your work conversations
- A toxic workplace with no prospects of change
- Poor compensation
How to Quit
Don’t make any rash decisions when you finally make up your mind about quitting. There’s a right way to leave your job.
Start job hunting quietly while you’re still working and make sure you understand the non-compete clause in your employment contract.
You can use job boards and sites like LinkedIn for your search. Ensure you update your resume and thoughtfully prepare for your interview.
This time, do your research to prevent lightning from striking twice. Confirm that you’ll enjoy the job and that the employer has an excellent employee engagement track record.
Also, ensure you’re mindful of what you say to employees about your current mission. Again, don’t tell people you hated working for your previous employer. The company you want to work for might check references and your work history.
You should make yourself available to help the company through the transition process, especially to show your replacement the ropes.
Don’t use a scorched-Earth approach, as this could cost you opportunities and waste your time and energy. Instead, you should be focused on your new adventure and prepare yourself adequately.
We’ve all been in work situations we don’t like at one point. I hate working in a toxic environment and don’t fancy grinding it out after work hours.
However, one of the exciting things about work is finding solutions and reshaping things to your advantage.
So, see your current situation as another challenge you should conquer, and you’ll always find ways to rebuild your motivation.