Your career is a huge part of your life, and if you are feeling bored, uninspired, or under-appreciated, it can have a seriously negative impact on your mental and physical health. Many of us groan when the alarm clock goes off each morning, but if you just can’t stand the thought of another day in the office, then it might be time to make some changes.
When you hate your job, the most common advice is often to quit, but it’s not quite as simple as that. If you don’t have another job lined up, it can be financially impossible to leave employment. And while the frustration of working at a place where you are unhappy can be hard to handle, resigning in haste has its downsides.
If you are feeling like you really hate your job - be it the organization you’re working for, your workload, or your boss – there are ways to turn an awful situation into an opportunity for future success.
Signs You Hate Your Job
Maybe you flat-out hate your job and dread the thought of starting work every day. But, it is important to remember that sometimes our jobs get harder, but not necessarily worse, and a transition period, although challenging, can further our careers.
If you truly hate your job you might experience the following warning signs:
- You have less energy and find it harder to concentrate on daily tasks
- Sunday night blues - every night of the week
- You’re feeling depressed and don’t have time for outside interests
- You have new physical ailments
- You are not excited about your job anymore
- You lack confidence and are making mistakes
- You vent about work more often
- You are abusing alcohol or drugs
- You are feeling under-appreciated in the workplace
- You have a negative work/life balance
What To Do If You Hate Your Job
Surviving a job you hate can seem like an impossible task. It can push anyone to their breaking point. But, some strategies can help shift your mindset, and give you a sense of direction and hope for the future.
Here are some tips for coping when you hate your job:
Assess your situation
When we are miserable, we all tend to get wrapped up in how we are feeling, rather than why we are feeling that way. When we don’t determine the cause it is difficult to solve the problem. You need to ask yourself some hard questions about your current situation. What is it about your job that you hate? Is it the hours you are working, or the types of task you are undertaking, or can you not tolerate your superior? Have you always hated your job? Or, has something changed such as a reduction in your responsibilities due to a company restructuring? It might be that you don’t hate your job, but a certain aspect of it. This self-analysis can help you to focus and identify where adjustments need to be made.
Once you have detected what isn’t working for you, it is time to talk to the person who can help to implement change. If you are feeling burned out or overwhelmed due to your hours, maybe a more flexible work schedule could be the answer. Or, if you are feeling under-compensated for your efforts, and haven’t received a raise in a while, be open with your opinion. If something is making you unhappy, it’s up to you to take initiative and speak up. There is a lot of support out there you might be unaware of, and you and your employer could come up with a great solution to address your issues and increase your job satisfaction. And remember that Human Resources is there to help.
Identify your goals
If you want to leave your job but it’s not possible right now, make a plan. Start by identifying what it is you want. Maybe you’d love to switch industries or start your own business? Whatever it is, have a goal in mind and start working towards it. It doesn’t matter if your timeline is three months or three years, having a target date will give you something to focus on. Then you can develop a plan based on your current contract and financial situation. Every day, think about how you’re going to get closer to your goal. If you set your sights on where you want to be rather than wallow in your temporary circumstances you will feel more positive and motivated.
Develop skills and training
Once you have a goal in place you need to focus on developing the skills that will make you more valuable in your next position. For example, if you want to start a business, take the time to research what makes a successful entrepreneur and begin to build on your leadership skills. If your dream position is at a particular firm, find out as much as you can about the company and what would make you a stand-out candidate the next time they are recruiting. Many organizations invest in training for their employees. Take advantage of it! This can benefit you in your current position and in the future. There are also a wide variety of online courses available, many for free, which can add to your arsenal of job skills.
When you hate your job you tend to feel unmotivated and unproductive. This can lead to putting in minimal effort, mistakes, and producing low-quality work. In turn, your boss and colleagues will be unimpressed and your discontent will deepen. While you might not want to, putting your all in and producing high-quality work will help to boost your confidence and hopefully fulfill you to an extent. It will be a challenge, but try to push through, if only to ensure a positive recommendation for a future role.
Vent! But to the right people
It can be extremely cathartic to vent, and it’s important to talk to other people when you are feeling unhappy, but remember to avoid situations like trash talking your boss in the break room or berating your team members on Facebook. Nobody likes a gossip. Instead, find a trusted, supportive friend and explain what you are going through. Complaining doesn’t necessarily fix anything, but, unloading all of those feelings and frustrations can lift a weight from your shoulders, and may just give you enough perspective to see how you can take some ownership of the problem and improve it too.
Life is too short to be unhappy at work. If you hate your job, no matter how much longer you have to work there, be proactive and make changes that will benefit you in the future.